Red clover is a cool-season plant that grows during the winter in all but the most frigid of U.S states. Although most home owners consider red clover a lawn weed, it is frequently applied to pastures and grazing lands, which is a process called overseeding. In addition, many wildlife enthusiasts plant red clover seed to provide winter food for animals such as deer. As the warm-season grasses and crops die back in the fall, the red clover germinates and begins to grow. Planting red clover seed is best done in the spring once the soil is thawed but can also be planted in summer or fall.
To determine how much red clover seed you will need for the planting location, multiply the number of acres that you are planting by 10 lbs. This gives you the total amount of red clover seed that you need.
Before planting, water the soil in the planting location well until it is damp to a 2-inch depth or wait until after a rain shower to apply the clover seed to the soil. Moist soil allows the clover seed to germinate faster.
Pour the proper amount of red clover seed into a broadcast seed spreader. Set the dispersal rate on the broadcast seed spreader to dispense seeds at a rate of 10 lbs. per acre. Push the broadcast seeder over the planting area until the clover has been completely dispersed.
After spreading the seed, it’s important to work it into the soil to prevent birds from eating it. To do this, till the planting area lightly so that the red clover seed is pushed into the soil by at least 1/4 inch. If the planting area is currently being grazed by animals, you can skip this step since the animals will press the seeds into the ground with their hooves.
Water the seeds immediately after planting until the soil is moist to a 1-inch depth. Don’t worry about overwatering, since red clover grows best in fields with slightly soggy to moderately moist soils.
After planting the red clover seed, maintain the land as normal using the watering recommendations for the other types of grasses or crops planted there. The one exception is that red clover may require extra nitrogen fertilizer if the soil in the area does not contain very much.