When establishing clovers ensure that soil pH is not a limiting factor (ideally 5.8 – 6.2). Also ensure that the nutrients molybdenum, sulphur and phosphate are adequate before sowing. Clovers do not like to be shaded during establishment, ensure sowing rate of companion species are correct to ensure they do not dominate the slower establishing clovers and graze regularly to ensure adequate light.
Sow shallow at a depth of 5 – 10mm into well prepared, pest and weed free soil.
Sow at 2-4kg/ha as a component of a mix. As white clover is available in different leaf sizes (small through to large) ensure the correct leaf size is chosen for your location and end use, generally small leaf varieties are suited to dryer regions and sheep grazing with the large leaf types more suited to higher rainfall/irrigation rotational dairy/beef grazing.
Due to its large seed size always sow red clover at higher rates than white clover e.g. 3 - 5 kg/ha as a component of a mix and up to 10 kg/ha as a specialist crop. It performs best on free draining soils.
Combine with compatible companion species and sow at the same time as these as part of a seed mix (generally autumn or spring depending on location).
Subterranean clover has a larger seed size than red clover and as such must be sown at higher rates to ensure adequate plat numbers post establishment. Sow between 6 – 10 kg/ha ideally in the autumn with companion species. Be aware that subterranean clover can be slower to establish than other clovers.
When grazing red clover rotational grazing is best as animals (especially sheep) can preferentially graze the clover if set stocked, reducing its ability to regrow. Red clovers contain phyto-oestrogens, so if feeding to breeding stock during mating care must be taken. This is apparent when the clover is growing rapidly (generally late summer through to early autumn).
The smaller the leaf of the white clover the better its ability to cope with set stocking with the larger leaved varieties suited to rotational grazing only.
Subterranean clover's grazing management during its first season (first spring flowering from an autumn sow) should be lax. Once established, subterranean clover produces well through the warmer months, graze until flowering then reduce stocking rate to promote seed set.