Clover as Live Mulch?

ehsteveApril 29, 2012

Hi,

Has anyone tried using clover as a live much cover for container gardening? (I'm growing peppers and tomatoes).

I understand that clover is nitrogen fixing so was hoping the presence of clover would add to the nutrition in the soil while also helping keep the direct sun off the top of the soil.

Would there be any major problems with this? Would the clover produce a meaningful amount of nitrogen or would it be there more for aesthetic purposes (beyond the mulching)?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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fortyonenorth(6b)

I don't think you'd see much benefit (in terms of added nitrogen) for single season crops such as peppers and tomatoes. Legumes are great nitrogen fixing cover crops. But my understanding is that the benefit to the soil is provided when they are plowed under - not when they are actively growing. Within the confines of a container, I think you'd be creating nutrient competition.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:07PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

What makes you think you need the extra N - that's what fertilizers are for. ;-) Even if it was to add N, it would be competing for everything else ...... and how are you going to deal with THAT?

I'd skip the idea, depend on your fertilizer as the N source, and mulch with bark or similar if you think it's necessary. Keep in mind that you can't turn over a cover crop in container culture like you can in the garden. There are a lot of significant differences between container culture and gardening, one of which you probably just hit on.

Best luck to you!

Al

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:10PM
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