The amounts of clover seed to sow are
influenced by the object sought in sowing; by combinations with which
the seeds are sown, and by the relative size of the seeds. The soil and
climate should also be considered, although these influences are
less important than those first named. When clovers are sown for pasture only, or to fertilize the soil speedily and to supply it with humus, the largest amounts of seed are sown. But for these purposes it is seldom necessary to use more than 12 pounds of seed per acre. These amounts refer to the medium red and mammoth varieties, which are more frequently used than the other varieties for the purposes named. They also include the crimson sown usually to fertilize the soil. When sown to provide seed only, 12 pounds per acre of the medium red, mammoth and crimson varieties will usually suffice. Half the quantity of alsike will be enough, and one-third the quantity of the small white, or a little more than that. Whether alfalfa is grown for seed, for hay or for pasture, about the same amounts of seed are used; that is, 15 to 20 pounds per acre. When sown with nurse crops and simply to improve the soil, it is customary to sow small rather than large quantities of seed, and for the reason that the hazard of failure to secure a stand every season is too considerable to justify the outlay. From 4 to 5 pounds per acre are frequently sown and of the medium or mammoth variety. When the mammoth and medium varieties of clover are sown for hay with one or two kinds of grass only, it is not common to sow more than 6 to 8 pounds of either per acre. The maximum amount of the seed of the alsike required when thus sown with grasses may be set down at 5 pounds per acre. These three varieties are chiefly used for such mixtures. With more varieties of grass in the mixtures, the quantities of clover seed used will decrease. When clovers are sown with mixtures intended for permanent pastures, it would not be possible to name the amounts of seed to sow without knowing the grasses used also, but it may be said that, as a rule, in those mixtures, the clovers combined seldom form more than one-third of the seed used. The seeds of some varieties of clover are less than one-third of the size of other varieties. This, therefore, affects proportionately, or at least approximately so, the amounts of seed required. For instance, while it might be proper to sow 12 pounds of medium or mammoth clover to accomplish a certain result, less than one-third of the quantity of the small white variety would suffice for the same end. The influences of climate and soil on the quantities of seed required are various, so various that to consider them fully here would unduly prolong the discussion. But it may be said that the harder the conditions in both respects, the more the quantity of seed required and vice versa.
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