Clover/Chicory Planting Instructions

Overview

Grow clover and chicory in your backyard or garden and use the leaves in fresh salads. Clover (Trifolium) is an aesthetic plant that prevents soil erosion and enriches it with nutrients such as nitrogen. Roast the roots of chicory plant (Cichorium intybus) to use as an alternative to coffee. Both forage plants are considered invasive as they spread and compete with grassy lawns for soil moisture and nutrients, so grow them in a separate part of your land.

Planting Clover

Step 1

Prepare the site before planting clover seeds. Remove weeds, stones and rocks and rake the area to a depth of 2 inches in September or October. Moisten the site lightly with a spray nozzle.

Step 2

Spread the tiny clover seeds in a flat container and moistened lightly with a commercial sticking agent a few hours before planting. This makes the surface of the seeds sticky, which helps bacteria adhere to it.

Step 3

Inoculate the seeds with rhizobium bacteria immediately after applying the sticking agent. Mix the bacteria with the seeds until each is evenly covered. Allow to air dry for two to three hours.

Step 4

Spread the clover seeds over the planting site and rake lightly to ensure they go 1/4- to 1/8-inch deep in the soil. Keep the soil evenly moist to allow the seeds to germinate.

Planting Chicory

Step 1

Prepare the soil before planting chicory. Add shovelfuls of organic compost to the existing soil two to three months before planting to enrich it. Rake the area so the amendments get mixed in. Make sure the planting site receives plenty of sunlight and has well-drained soil.

Step 2

Spread a general purpose fertilizer over the planting site a week before sowing seeds and rake deep.

Step 3

Insert a cane at each corner of the planting site and stretch garden wire between them to form a straight line. Dig a 1-inch deep trench directly under the wire.

Step 4

Sprinkle seeds lightly into the trench. Cover with soil and water lightly. Seeds germinate in 10 days to two weeks.

Step 5

Thin seedlings when they grow 1-inch tall. Pull them out of the soil along with the roots to space existing ones 5 to 6 inches apart. Water the seedlings lightly so the soil is evenly moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Rake
  • Spray nozzle
  • Clover seeds
  • Flat container
  • Commercial sticking agent
  • Rhizobium bacteria
  • Organic compost
  • General purpose fertilizer
  • Canes
  • Garden wire
  • Shovel
  • Chicory seeds
  • Watering can

References

  • University of Minnesota: Clover, How to Grow It/How to Eliminate It
  • BBC Guides: Growing Chicory
  • University of Arkansas: Chicory
Keywords: planting clover, planting chicory, clover and chicory

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Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.