Question about Living Mulch

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by GreenGuts, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. I have a few questions about using dutch white clover as a living mulch.
    Should I let it bloom?
    When it gets too tall and I cut it down, will it re-grow?
    How deep should I sow it?
    Is this what I'm looking for?
    Thanks to anyone who can help answer my questions.

  2. #2 MrTea, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2014
    Clover is an invasive species.  Chop it down and it will grow right back.  If you plant it artificially you should be good for 2-3 years.  Just add water and trim them at your leisure.  Dutch White Clover is a perfect cover crop.  That link you posted will do well although I find that website  is slightly more on the expensive side.
    Do I let it bloom or cut before it blooms? Does it matter?
  4. Doesn't matter.
  5. Thank you Mr Tea.
    Might you suggest a cheaper alternative to the link I posted?
  6. #6 FickySiskers, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2014
    GG, if you have a local farm and garden try there. I was able to pickup Dutch white clover for a 1lb for $11. My costs are notoriously high, so it should be cheaper in your locale. From what I've read, it seems that the best course of action is to chop and drop as well as alternating your living mulch. Maybe between legumes and non legume. I have yet to get bloom on my clover, usually the weed chokes out the light and it dies off. On my no-till pots I'll be planting legumes and top dressing w/ comfrey between cycles until ready for a new start.

    If growing indoors i'd urge you to check out this site: It has loads of  micro plants.  Gonna get some micro clover, micro chia, micro cilantro, and maybe some micro broccoli for myself for my 10-15 gal pots.  Seaf0ur just purchased some micro clover, gonna ask him how it turns out in a few months. 
    Those pots are one helluvah clusterfuck! lol
  8. Yah! Thats what happens, when I learn about or test a pheno. I should have never topped this one.
  9. Thank you guys! So much information.
    OK, good information. I'm running no-til 15g pot indoors. I've read about the comfrey before, I want to do exactly like you say and top dress with comfrey, but I've been unsuccessful in finding some comfrey.
    Yes, I'm growing indoors. Are you going to plant all of those in one pot for a diverse cover crop? Is that the plan? Thanks for the link!
  10. Hopefully, though I doubt i'll have room for the broccoli.
    That site sells red clover, is that OK to use instead of white dutch? I assume yes, but I have to ask. I havent seen anything about red clover mentioned, it's always white dutch that folks mention.
  12. #12 GreenGuts, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2014
    So I've been doing some reading and apparently the micro clover has deep roots vs the dutch white has shallow roots and won't interfere with our girls roots.
    I've also learned that in order for clover to do it's magic nitrogen fixing trick, it needs Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar. Trifolii. It's an inoculant that the clover needs.
    So I'm thinking of using a lentil and clover for a cover crop, the lentil will provide the Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar. Trifolii.

    Or maybe I don't need the lentils and I can just buy the inoculant?

    Am I understanding this all correctly? This is what I've picked up from reading a few studies.
  13. Is there somewhere I can start with this stuff?
    There's a few threads about cover crops on different forums, i'm not sure what the rules are here about linking to other forums. Google ICMAG or Rollitup, pretty sure they both have some 300+ page threads about about cover crops.
    I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, but I know I need the cover crop to keep my soil moist and the clover also pulls nitrogen from the air and puts it directly into the soil in a plant usable form. I plan on setting up a SIP watering system on my next grow and I've read the top of pots can dry out when running SIPs, so the clover cover crop will help keep the top of the soil moist. This is what I've picked up so far.
  15. Your spot on GG. The N fixing is such a minor thing in my book. I look at this way, if your soil mix is solid N should be the last thing your looking for. Plus it is the easiest thing to add. I think where the cover crop really pays off is in the root zone and moisture retention. The relationships it creates in the root zone, nematode suppression, green manure, etc... I also think it depends on the situation. My 2 pennies.

    The database I posted earlier from UH Manoa , the individual data sheets had in the description what they are good at and what they are poor at. This is all agricultural data so adapting it to horticulture is always a challenge, IMO. I usually just fling it out there and see if it flies.

    At this point (after actually running it), I'm starting to see it's place in my garden will be when the no-till pots come down. Add small top dress compost, plant a cover crop, chop and drop with comfrey until ready to reuse. Now I need to work out the details.
  16. I've went with micro clover.
    I've done alot of reading trying to come to a decision. I agree with you Ficky, it's really going to pay off I think. I'll plant the clover in my no-til 15g geopot, let it establish itself before dropping cannabis into the pot. This way - hopefully - the clover will hacve eastablished all that myco / fungi / bacteria web and the cannabis can tap right into it. (I think this is how it works, correct me if I'm wrong please)
    Also the clover will keep my soil moist on top and prevent it from drying out - coupled with a SIP watering system, the pot should remain moist thru and thru, no dry spots.
    But I think now, the largest benefit of the clover is the establishment of the whole web deal in the soil, before planting the cannabis.
  17. #17 corkybuchek, Feb 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2014
    AFAIK clover's rhizobium are bacteria that fixes nitrogen into the root zone and the rhizobium appear as nodes on the plant roots. The plants (legumes) may also form endomycorrhizal relationships with fungus just like various grasses and cannabis.
    The Myco fungus also forms nodes on the plants roots that are different than rhizobium they are called arbuscules. 
    I picked up "teaming with microbes" and didn't have time to finish before i had to take it back.

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