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durana / ladino / or both?
I'm going to try to get a perennial clover plot going this spring. It will be 1/4 ac. but I'm not sure if I should plant Durana, Ladino, or a mix of the two. I do another annual plot of about the same size with some brassica mixes but I thought the clover would be a nice addition. Any advice is great!
Durana clover grows by stolens, above ground. It is a white clover. I may consider annual clovers in a mix. Durana starts slow as it build roots first.
Perennial clovers can be seeded in the fall with a cereal grain for establishment.
I see that you are in the north. Durana takes time to establish. I have some.
I am in the northern LP in Michigan. Take a soil test. Pay attention to potassium levels.
If you have time, maybe buckwheat after the last frost, then a cereal grain and the Durana.
I planted 14 acres of Durana last year. It's been great. I planted about 2 acres today. Nothing bad to say about it. fertilize lime and mow it and you are good. I sprayed it last summer for grass and broadleaf
I've planted both Durana and Imperial Whitetail Clover. Both grew well. The deer definitely preferred the Imperial Whitetail Clover. This is in Virginia, your results may be different.
Thanks, I'll follow Pat's clover article and see what happens! Also, any preferred brand?
IMO, brand is not important, variety of clover is. You will pay more for a “buck on the bag” moniker.
Ladino is about $4-5 a pound and Durana is about $7 a pound. Imperial Whitetail is even higher.
Ladino is the gold standard for clover in terms of tonnage and attractiveness to deer. Most mixes contain about 40-50% ladino, 15-25% durana, and the rest a mix of red clovers - usually ruby and gallant.
As mentioned above, it's not a bad idea at all to include some balansa clover. This is an annual that establishes very fast, puts N in the ground fast, and can reach 30-36" tall. It's a great aid to the plot as the other clovers take longer to establish.
I buy all mine from Merit Seed in Merit, OH. They have mixes and will custom mix. Much cheaper than Imperial and just as good.
Ladino clover is at the lowest price in many years .... $3.40/lb in 50 lb bags retail. Anyone buying perennial white clover seed the last decade is buying Ladino now. Yes, 50 lbs is a lot of seed, but it stays viable for years. Share with friends, or plant annually for the next 5 years. Generic, no copy righted brand name, no coatings to add weight, pure 100% seed. You want innoculant, buy a fresh $6.50 bag each year. Good old fashioned, traditional food plotting.
IMO, clover is such a good crop that unless you're planting large acreage the difference in cost doesn't matter much, especially when you factor in the longevity. I normally plant Imperial, but last fall I planted Grandpa Ray's Inner Sanctum and it looks pretty good now that it's warmed up a little here. It got off to a slow start because of little rainfall but I expect it to do well.
I planted WTI clover in 2012 and it's still going strong. Going to frost seed it this week with WTI clover. Deer feed in it 12 months of the year. Then spray grass killer. I had planted another clover the same year in another plot and it has never done as well as the WTI clover beside it. I'll be tilling this plot under and plant Grandpa Rays alfalfa-clover mix. And use his 3 way annual clover mix as a nurse crop.
I used Durana for three years. It looked great, but the deer never really got excited about it. I finally gave up on it, terminated it, planted Whitetail Institute clover in my plots where the Durana was and the deer have gone nuts over it. They were digging through the snow to get to it all winter. Ohio.
My stradegy has always been to go with a large variety so that no matter what ma nature dishes out something will do well.