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Purple Clover Ground Cover

Purple Clover Ground Cover

Purple Clover Ground Cover

Coldweather gardening often requires digging up the ground to add a layer of insulation to the soil. This is how I prepare my plot for winter. The layers of mulch act not just as insulation but a source for much-needed nutrients that aren't available in the soil when it's frozen.The common name for Trifolium pratense, Red Clover, can be confusing as the flowers are more a pink to pink/purplish, not a true red. It is grown as a forage crop for pasturage, hay and green manure for livestock. It is a nitrogen-fixing plant and is often grown as a cover crop to improve soil fertility. Its native habitat includes fields, pastures, meadows, waste areas, and along roadsides. It can be found in grassy locations that are not regularly mowed.

Cover

A good groundcover does just that: It covers the soil, visually eliminating bare spots in the garden by filling in between larger shrubs, landscape trees and perennials. But a groundcover is more than just visual; it also helps reduce weeds that would thrive in bare soil, and the groundcover helps slow evaporation and keep more moisture in the soil. Disturbed, bare soil on slopes or hillsides is unstable, but a groundcover like clover can help support the soil and slow erosion.Red clover (Trifolium pratense) grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 and warmer. In areas with hot summers, red clover grows as a cool-season annual that dies back in summer. These clovers are more often grown, and better suited, as a cover crop in gardens and on farmland and as forage crops for livestock than as ornamental groundcovers. They grow 1 to 3 feet tall with a leggy growth habit not well suited as an effective groundcover. Red clover is also considered highly invasive in some areas.

Don’t forget that there is an option to just dig up parts of your lawn if you so choose. It can feel overwhelming to do this all at once, so take it in sections. If another goal is to add more garden beds and spaces for flowers to a traditional lawn, remove chunks of your lawn to start fresh. As you plant perennials, mix in clover in between or in those hard-to-grow areas. In this approach, you’re treating it like a ground cover, which adds an element of diversity to the spaceClovers — specifically Trifolium repens — have for centuries been domesticated ground cover plants or livestock forage plants. Clover is a legume, in the same plant family as peas, beans, and peanuts. Its common names include white clover, white Dutch clover, Dutch clover and ladino clover. While it is native to the Mediterranean, it was introduced into the United States early in the colonial days. By 1747, it was common enough that Benjamin Franklin noted red clover’s value in improving pastures. Today, it grows readily from Canada to Texas, from Florida to Alaska. (Source: www.lawnstarter.com)

 

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