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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a month and a half ago I planted 5 lbs of Sainfoin as an experiment here in central PA. From what I read, it was supposed to germinate in 7 - 14 days. When nothing happened, I chalked the experiment up to failure as I hadn't used an innocullent as was suggested, thinking that since other legumes were planted in this ground, it would be ok. After the two weeks, discouraged, I decided to plant something a little more common here. I planted another 5 lbs. of Sweet Yellow Clover. What I thought was sweet yellow clover coming up started to bloom today, it is SAINFOIN!!! The area is choked with it. This may get interesting. I hope the bees are happy.

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I hope it does well for you, the bees love it. It needs a calcareous alkaline soil, and is not supposed to do well in acid soils. It requires a unique inoculum. The inoculum for clover and alfalfa will not make colonies on the roots. The seedlings look like nothing I have ever grown, and bear no resemblance to sweet clover. I bet if you look the sweet clover is there too. You will probably have both bloom next year. After that the sainfoin will shade out the sweet clover seedlings and it will disappear. At least that is what happens out here. Sainfoin does real well for us. We have carbonate soils and the pH runs up near 8.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Our soil here tends to be more acid, but weeks before planting I tilled in an enormous amount of lime and brought the soil up to 8.0. Also forgot to mention that this plot had Mancan Buckwheat in it last year that I let go to seed, it came back up in spots throughout. We are also blessed with abundant Dutch clover as well. It is good to be a bee here right now. The Locust flow several weeks ago was insane too, extracted 20 lbs of pale yellow honey out of my oldest hive. I am really hoping I can keep the Sainfoin going here after all I read about it.
 

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I have both white and yellow sweet clover and the bees love it. It is a no annual so next season it should bloom.
 

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Good to see more sainfoin success. I just planted 24 acres of sainfoin this past April. Right now it's in full bloom and my honey bees are going crazy on it. It's doing really well considering I'm not irrigating it either (2nd driest state in the nation). Hopefully I'll get at least one cutting of hay out of it later this summer.

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