Clover is an alternative ground cover for gardeners to plant instead of turf grass or is sown within the yard to achieve a dense thick lawn. In fact, those with infertile or poorly draining soils can plant clovers to prevent turf grass problems. When clover is planted correctly and at the right temperature, this ground cover can quickly sprout up from the soil.
When clover seeds are planted correctly on prepared soils, they can sprout in two to three days in the summer. Also, clovers take less than a week to germinate and sprout when temperatures are around 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Their germination and sprouting times are dependent on soil preparation and proper sowing methods. Throwing clover seeds over the soil or grass will lengthen your sprouting times.
Clovers must be planted in soils that have a pH of 6.4, according to the University of Kentucky website. When clover is planted outside of this range, this ground cover cannot absorb enough nutrients fro proper growth. To check your soil pH range, send a soil sample to your cooperative extension office. Apply soil amendments based on the results. Soil that is under 6.4 should be amended with lime. Alkaline soils or a pH over 6.4 must be amended with sulfur.
Planting Clover Seeds
The amount of clover seeds you distribute depends on if you want clovers as your primary ground cover to growing within the lawn. Gardeners seed clovers at a rate of 2 to 8 oz. per 1,000 square feet, according to the University of Minnesota website. Sowing clovers at 8 oz. per 1,000 square feet makes the ground cover your main plant. To achieve an even distribution, mix up your clover seeds with sawdust. Applying clover seeds in clumps will cause the seeds to compete with each other, which will slow down establishment time.
Keep your clover seeds moist to encourage germination, as suggested by the University of Minnesota website. When clover seeds are allowed to dry out, their germination time is slowed down or they do not germinate at all. As soon as seedlings sprout, you can reduce your watering schedule. It is important to note that clovers should never be fertilized with nitrogen. Because these plants use nitrogen in the atmosphere, adding more to the plants will cause them to die out.