How to Plant Red Clover Blended With Starter Fertilizer


Red clover is both a biennial and perennial depending on the type of species. The red clover plant can achieve 18 inches to 24 inches in height and contain prolific red blooms. The best time for planting red clover is late spring to early summer for northern climates, while an early fall planting will do well for southern climates. Red clover will do well in most soils, but thrives in soils with a pH range of 6.6 to 7.6. A light organic starter fertilizer is best when seeding red clover, as a heavy fertilizer may kill the young seedlings.

Step 1

Prepare the soil by scraping it with the sharp tangs of the garden rake. Clover seed does not require heavy preparation to the soil for it to germinate and take hold.

Step 2

Broadcast the red clover seed at a rate of 2 oz. to 8 oz. per 1,000 square feet. Using a heavy application rate of 8 oz. per 1,000 square feet will allow the clover plants to take over an area and choke out any plants in the seeding zone.

Step 3

Add starter fertilizer to the seed when broadcasting. Add approximately 2 lb. of 2-6-4 fertilizer to the seed for 1,000 square feet of area.

Step 4

Water in the new seed and starter fertilizer with a sprinkler system attached to a garden hose. Keep the area moist for the first two weeks after broadcasting the seed. Once the small plants begin to show the telltale signs of the three-leaf clover you can allow the natural rain cycle to take over and water the new clover patch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Clover flowers will attract bees. Caution should be exercised when planting clover where young children will play. The bright red flowers will attract bees and young children, which may cause stings to the little ones.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden rake
  • Red clover seed (2 oz. to 8 oz. per 1,000 square feet)
  • 2-6-4 starter fertilizer (120 lbs. per acre)
  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Clover How to Grow It
  • Oregon State University: Red Clover
  • University of Missouri: Red Clover
Keywords: red clover, cover crop, clover bees

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.