CERTIFIED ORGANIC! Melilotus officinalis. This biennial cover crop has been used for centuries to improve soil structure, fix nitrogen, provide nutritious pasturage, and feed honey bees. Its taproots are widely branched and deeply penetrate the subsoil, using nutrients unavailable to other plants. When the plants and roots decay after tilling, these nutrients are released, along with considerable nitrogen. Soil aeration, drainage, and nutrition are all improved. Yellow Sweet Clover Organic has an appealing, sweet smell as it grows, and its pollen and nectar rich flowers are famously known for bee forage. It will feed a wide range of wild pollinators as well.
Plants will reach 30-90cm (12-36") tall in the first year of growth. In year two growth (including flower stalks) starts from the base. At full maturity, they can reach 1.2–1.8m (4-6') tall. We recommend tilling under when the second year growth reaches 15cm (6").
Pasturage is only recommended when the plants are 25-38cm (10-15") tall. At lower heights, it might not grow back. When taller it can become woody and unpalatable.
Sow seeds 1cm (½") deep in rows 15-20cm (6-8") apart at a rate of 250g per 1,000 square feet or 11.35kg per acre.
This biennial relative of White Dutch clover improves soil structure, fixes nitrogen, provides nutritious pasturage, and feeds honey bees. Its widely branched taproots penetrate the subsoil deeply, drawing up nutrients unavailable to other plants. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Yellow Sweet Clover from seed.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Yellow sweet clover does best from spring or fall sowing. Direct sow during the eight weeks after the last average frost date. Or sow six to eight weeks before the first average frost date. This sweet clover is hardy to Zone 4: -34°C (-29°F).
Sow seeds 5mm (¼") deep.
Plants will reach 30-90cm (12-36”) tall in the first year of growth. In year two growth (including flower stalks) starts from the base. At full maturity, they can reach 1.2–1.8m (4-6’) tall. We recommend tilling under when the second year growth reaches 15cm (6”).