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Thread: Crimson clover

  1. #1
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    Jul 2008
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Crimson clover

    Does anybody have any experience with spring planted Crimson Clover? How soon does it flower?
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Princeton, Kentucky, USA
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Dave,
    I've never planted any in the spring so I really don't have any idea how it would do. But Crimson Clover is a cool season annual, so the summer months could be hard on it. We have planted a lot of it in the fall, around the same time wheat is planted, and it comes up and does great the next spring. Bees love a big patch of crimson clover and it makes good honey. The only problem is if spring is really wet it might rain a lot of the days the clover is in bloom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    2,674

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    I planted a fall crop, and am disapointed. it flowerd fine, but apperently its a one off per year deal. the blooms lasted about 2 weeks and there done. white clover is more expensive seed, but blooms better.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Princeton, Kentucky, USA
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    164

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    It does only bloom once per year and as a pure honey plant white clover is better. But crimson usually starts a little earlier and does produce a fine honey. Most of the people I know who plant it use it as a cover crop, and most never gets to bloom. We planted a couple of small patches just to let the bees have it, and it can reseed itself.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
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    228

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    I've planted both white and red clover and my bees prefer the white. As others mentioned white blooms longer and does better the second year around. I will be picking up 4 lbs. from Ag Coop today to rid my back yard of the last area that was a lawn last year, this year I will be planting clover and zinnia in a 40' by 80' area.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    109

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    I have about an acre of it but the cool & wet spring kept the bees inside while it bloomed. Luckily we have about 100 acres of pasture full of white clover

  7. #7
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    Jul 2008
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    We have at least 10 acres of White Clover, Sainfolin, & Wild flower plantings. I have been using Buckwheat as a cover crop on the fallow areas. It gets too tall tyo use in the garden and the bees only work it in the morning. We are too cold to plant the Crimson in the fall. I am going to plant the Crimson in the next couple of days, and I will figure out how many days from planting to bloom. One thing I did find out is the seed is mature 30 days after bloom. They use it in Minesota as a spring planted cover crop, but they do not say if it blooms or not when planted in the spring.
    Dave

  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    Princeton, Kentucky, USA
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Dave,
    Have you ever had any sanfoin honey. I read an article about the plant in one of the beekeeping magazines and it sounded like a promising honey plant.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2008
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    We had some last year, but it was not pure. What I have been told is that Sainfoin is light in color and premium quality. The bees sure like it. Our bee pasture is diverse in makeup. I avoid monoculture.
    Dave.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2008
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Planted the Crimson Clover on 5/23. As of today, 5/28, it is already emerging.
    Dave

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    109

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Burrup View Post
    Planted the Crimson Clover on 5/23. As of today, 5/28, it is already emerging.
    Dave
    Wow. That's fast.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
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    555

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    My second yr crimson clover came and went by the 2nd week of June, and we are running 2 weeks later than normal . White dutch works better for me

  13. #13
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    Laurens SC
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    74

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Last fall, I planted crimson clover in my wheat patch to keep down the weeds. It came up in the spring and the bees gave it a really good work over. I also planted some mixed in some pasture grass late summer, last summer and it came in early in the spring when it was about too windy for the bees to do much with... This spring, I planted a couple good sized patches around our strawberry plants and it did well and is still blooming and the bees are still working it although it is about played out...
    Last edited by Michael1964; 06-19-2013 at 08:40 AM.

  14. #14
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Update, 45 days later the Crimson Clover is just starting to bloom.
    Dave

  15. #15
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    Jun 2013
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    Cumberland Va.
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    We plant alot of white clover and alfalfa for food plots for the game, I have planted crimson in the past, but I think white is far superior for logevity, I will keep mine mowed as neccessary, weekly, and each time I mow I look at all the blooms going down, only to find the next day or two it is a field of miniature cotton balls again. Blooms spring through fall...... hard to beat in my opinion.

  16. #16
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Big Graham you missed the point of the thread. I am looking for a cover crop to use short term that will benefit the bees. We have a lot of white clover already, but we do not get any bloom until the second year. If I used it for a short term cover crop we would get no bloom at all. We have been using Buckwheat, but it gets too tall, and does not fix nitrogen.
    Right now I am thinking Crimson Clover is the perfect answer.
    Dave

  17. #17
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    Jun 2013
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    Cumberland Va.
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    as a cover for white.... yes I did indeed miss the point. I would have to think crimson would be a great choice for a cover crop. I usually just use wheat or rye when i sew clover in the fall, not for the bees, for the clover. I did plant about 4 acres of buckwheat alone where I plan to plant clover / alfalfa this fall. I figured the bees would love the buckwheat blossoms. No you say? Wow, that will be a dissappointment. First year Dave, forgive the ignorance if I expel it. Thanks. G

  18. #18
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    May 2013
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    Holt FL
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    48

    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Quote Originally Posted by biggraham610 View Post
    as a cover for white.... yes I did indeed miss the point. I would have to think crimson would be a great choice for a cover crop. I usually just use wheat or rye when i sew clover in the fall, not for the bees, for the clover. I did plant about 4 acres of buckwheat alone where I plan to plant clover / alfalfa this fall. I figured the bees would love the buckwheat blossoms. No you say? Wow, that will be a dissappointment. First year Dave, forgive the ignorance if I expel it. Thanks. G
    Dutch White clover is by far the best of the clover family for bees. The ferrule is much shorter and more easily harvested by the bees. White clover produces a smaller blossom flower, but much more of them. In my area, Crimson Clover grows the best partly because we have very sandy soil that dries quickly and won't hold moisture for long, the Crimson is very drought resistant and also does real well with a lot of rain which makes it so versatile. Any legume, which clover is in the legume family, when planted in a filed as it dies off in the spring produces an excess of Nitrogen slowly released into the soil which benefits the summer crop as in my case is Coastal Bermuda or Bahia grass for hay. This year I am going to plant Dutch White Clover to see how well it does in an effort to benefit the Bees and wintering. The White clover will germinate and bloom earlier than the Crimson in which I hope creates a much longer season for my girls.

    Things to consider: I would first contact your extension office to see which clover does best in your area. It will grow great in your yard or pasture or along a tree line. Your other crops will benefit from the Nitrogen release even if it is your gras/turf. Costs vary from variety as well as source. My local Farmers Coop was half the cost for a 50 lb. bag than the big box stores or local garden center. I can drill (planting by scratching the soil surface and compacting) or broadcast the seed with a fertilizer spreader or by hand, the drill will give you the best germination rate. Overall the costs will be rewarding for the bees and the other vegetation.

  19. #19
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    Jul 2008
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    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    Default Re: Crimson clover

    Here's what I have learned. Crimson clover planted late enough in the spring to have no vernalization, blooms for a long time, but does not have a lot of bloom at any one time. It started blooming 45 days after emerging and it is still blooming. The bees were not real thrilled with it. They worked the Buckwheat far more heavily than the Crimson clover. It is producing ripe seed now so I will probably have it forever now. For a short tem cover crop I think I would stick with the buckwheat.
    Dave

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