Microclover Lawn Seed Mix
A recent breakthrough in grass seed formulations and technology has created Microclover®. This revolutionary in sports turf produces an amazingly green turf that is wear tolerant, sustainable, easy to maintain, will save you time and money. The tiny Microclover naturally fertilizes the lawn with Nitrogen and results in less fertilizing, less watering, less mowing and less hastle. This product is perfect for:
DLF-TRIFOLIUM SEEDS & SCIENCE
DLF-TRIFOL1UM closely focuses on the demands of customers as well as on the latest trends in the grass seed and clover markets. Offering one of the world’s largest research and breeding programmes in turf, DLF-TRIFOLIUM is working continually to improve the quality and reliability of all its varieties. To ensure these varieties meet the needs of the marketplace, they are tested in a worldwide trialing network to assess their adaptation to different environmental conditions and uses.
DLF-TRIFOLIUM is the world’s largest producer and distributor of grass seed, with subsidiaries in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, UK, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, United States, China and New Zealand. From such a worldwide distributor network, customers can expect the best service and support.
Just like the players sports turf surfaces are always under a lot of pressure. A recent breakthrough in breeding has made it possible to ease this pressure. This revolution in sports turf involves tiny clovers, Microclover®, which are now welcomed in turf due to their many benefits.
Microclover® [Trifolium repens] is a leguminous species. Legumes can fix nitrogen from the air. This N-fixation takes place in root nodules that are formed by the symbiotic Rhizobium bacteria. The continuous process of parts of the roots dying and degenerating means that the accumulated nitrogen is made available to the surrounding grass plants. Microclover® also produces stolons so that it can spread itself evenly over the pitch. Adding 5% of Microclover® to the turf seed mixture will result in a much-improved pitch.
Microclover® is adapted to a wide range of climatic and soil conditions; it is already growing successfully all around the world. Microclover® tolerates wet and shade conditions, as well as drought. However it can only tolerate wet conditions as long as the area is not flooded for long periods. The type of shade normally occurring in parks and on golf courses is not a problem for Microclover®. Its stolons allow it to regenerate itself after severe stress.
In order to maintain the Microclover® at the desired level below 50% in the sward, some nitrogen could to be applied in spring and early summer. The nitrogen will favor the growth of the grasses. Depending on the growing conditions and level of wear, 0-100 kg N/ha is needed; around 40 kg N/ha should normally be sufficient. Summer and autumn applications will not be necessary. Fertilizer application is most important in the year of installation. As the Microclover® doesn’t fix P, K or Mg from the atmosphere, these elements have to be applied as usual.
The first rule in our approach to mixture design is to choose the most appropriate species for the area of use. Microclover® grows quite aggressively and is very well suited to the latest fine leaved, dense, high quality perennial ryegrasses.
Strong creepingtypes of red fescue are ‘strong’ enough to be used in mixtures with perennial ryegrass and microclover. Slender creeping red fescue and chewings fescue are used more in mixtures without perennial ryegrass where they find equilibrium with the Microclover®.
Smooth stalked meadow grass is a good partner for more continental climates. It grows less aggressively and is an ideal species to mix with Microclover® in areas that receive a lot of wear. In dry areas Microclover® can be added to a tall fescue and smooth stalked meadow grass mixture.
The appearance of turf containing Microclover® will be superior to traditional turf. The clover permanently fertilizes the sward, thus increasing its’ wear tolerance. In addition it weaves its stolons with the grass, spreading evenly and integrating its leaves homogeneously into the sward. Microclover® will improve the performance of even the highest-ranking wear tolerant varieties.
Trials made by STR-Bingley in 2004/05 demonstrate how Microclover® improves the quality when it is added to a mixture, as can be seen in this figure. (PRG – perennial ryegrass, me = Microclover®).
Results from BSA trials in Germany confirm the excellent wear tolerance. The figures show that wear tolerance of even good grasses is further improved when Microclover® is added to the mixture [Micro-0 is grasses only, Micro-1 and Micro-2 are two different Microclover® varieties mixed into the same grass mixture].
The improved wear tolerance of Microclover® swards is very important, particularly for areas such as the goalmouths of sports fields, where ground cover can be difficult to retain. Users in different countries in Europe confirmed these results, and increased the use of Microclover® in their pitches. The dense stolon micro structure also results in an improved tolerance to cutting, allowing lower mowing heights.
Mixed with grasses, the Microclover® grows around the grass plants and feeds them nitrogen. The nitrogen continues to be released into the soil during the growing season until the first night frosts occur. The nitrogen is therefore available when and where it is needed, and so there is no risk of leaching, nor is there a risk of fertilizer burning in the field. The use of Microclover® can be equivalent to fertilizer-applications of up to 180 kg N per ha per year. Forturf Microclover® is the perfect permanent slow release N-fertilizer.
Additionally Microclover® is an aggressive species, filling in gaps quickly. It competes well with weeds, thus reducing the need for herbicides. Herbicides should even be avoided as they may harm the Microclover®. See the next figure for the effects of Microclover® on the compositions of the pitch (MC = Microclover®).
Apart from being wear tolerant and sustainable, Microclover® is also very cost effective. The price of a mixture containing Microclover® is easily recovered during the first year after sowing, because of reductions in the cost of fertilizer and it’s application, weed control, mowing and irrigation.
For less money a better pitch.
Improved visual merit
Clover remains greener much longer than grasses do, in both drought and cold conditions. Swards containing Microclover® are a brighter green earlier and later in the year. It has a good summer colour, as it is particularly resistant to drought because of its deep rooting system.
Normal white clover looks considerably different to turf grass. Microclover® has such tiny leaves (one third of the size of ordinary white clover] and short stems, so that from a distance of two meters it looks like ordinary grass.
Microclover® does well in shaded areas that receive at least some sunshine during a day. Microclover® is evenly distributed in the sward; it doesn’t have the patchy and weedy appearance as seen with ordinary white clover.