How to Blend Clover Seed & Starter Fertilizer

Overview

Clover, when planted as ground cover, can give texture and depth to a chronically thin lawn and add nitrogen to the soil. When planted in pastures, it provides better nutrition than grass for grazing animals. However, because of the extremely small size and special needs of clover seed, it cannot simply be spread over the soil. Unlike grass, clover is a legume that requires a specially mixed starter fertilizer to ensure its germination.

Step 1

Place the clover seed in a large bucket or container.

Step 2

Add rhizobium trifolii inoculants to the clover. Clover needs to be inoculated with this bacteria in order to help it extract nitrogen from the air. Follow the package instructions for specific application rates. But, as a general rule, you will need 1 ounce of inoculant for every 6 lbs. of white clover seed and 1 ounce for every 12 lbs. of red clover seed.

Step 3

Add lime to the seeds. Lime strengthens the clover's roots and reduces the likelihood that they will develop disease. Use 1 pound of lime for every 8 pounds of clover seed.

Step 4

Mix the adhesive. This mixture will simultaneously feed the clover seed and help the lime and inoculant adhere to it. Add 4 cups of corn syrup into three-quarters of a gallon of water and mix well.

Step 5

Add 1 cup of the adhesive to the seed/lime/inoculant mixture and stir it well. Continue to add the adhesive, cup by cup, until the seeds are evenly coated. Do not add more than you need--soupy mixtures take longer to dry.

Step 6

Spread the seed mixture out over a sheet of newspaper and store it in a cool, dry area. Allow them to dry overnight.

Step 7

Mix the seed mixture directly into the manufacturer's recommended amount of starter fertilizer needed for your yard. Then pour the seed mixture and fertilizer into a fertilizer spreader, calibrate it to the correct spreading rate and apply.

Things You'll Need

  • Large container
  • Rhizobium trifolii inoculants
  • Lime
  • Large spoon
  • Corn syrup
  • Water
  • Newspaper

References

  • Department of Agriculture: Inoculating and Lime Pelleting Pasture Legumes
  • Farm Info: White Clover
Keywords: clover fertilizer, blend clover, clover seed

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.