The joys of crimson clover, part 1: planting in September


We put in our first planting of crimson clover this weekend.

We do this, of course, for the bees.

Crimson clover produces a long, beautiful bloom that is full of nectar for the bees.
Crimson clover produces a long, beautiful bloom that is full of nectar for the bees. In our garden, we plant several patches (see those in the upper background).

If all goes well, here’s what will happen: The clover seed will germinate and sprout fairly quickly (especially if we get rain). The clover will grow at a reasonable speed this fall so that where we have planted it, the ground will be covered in a deep, dark green. The plants will maintain this color after the fall frosts and through the winter. When warmer temperatures begin to creep in  next February and March, the clover will start to grow in height.

By early April, we will begin to see some blooms sprouting. Usually, in the second or third week of April (sometimes earlier), the long, deep-red blooms will appear.

The next thing you see will be the honeybees, and they will be everywhere.

Bees love this stuff. They make a very light, very sweet honey out of it. One year, the crimson clover was so abundant that we used up all our equipment and had to do an early extraction (late May) in order to free up the equipment to store more honey.

The blooms last two to three weeks.

Once they are gone, we cut the clover and use it for straw elsewhere in our garden. Or, we gather it up, store it in the barn and spread it on our planting the next September.

Crimson clover has become part of the routine we have to maintain a good environment and nutritious diet for the bees.

We’ll be posting more about crimson clover later this month.

Here’s what the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education site has to say about crimson clover.

 

Key words: honeybees nutrition, crimson clover for bees, light honey, clover, crimson clover planting in September, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

3 thoughts on “The joys of crimson clover, part 1: planting in September

  1. Will it re-seed itself? Jose Ash clean6@comcast.net > There are few laws that will pass the Constitutional test. Governments do not pass laws for peoples protection or to secure the rights of anyone other than the government itself, or its benefactors. There is always deceit behind every act of legislation no matter how well conceived their rationalization, just as there is always a majority of gullible willing to accept their reasoning as true concern for public interest or safety. > > Every act of a government, from county, city, state, to the federal government, has just as equally, if not more so, the consequence of restricting those rights, that are by intention of our Constitution ABSOLUTE.

    1. Yes, it will to some extent. We have patches of crimson clover near the hives that come back year after year without our doing anything. But for the big areas, we aren’t confident enough in it yet to depend on re-seeding. That’s why we plant every September.

      Jim

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