Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba)

Requirements and uses
Melilotus alba is a legume sometimes grown for forage. It is well dapted to a wide range of soils, but not acidic soils. Sweet Clover is tolerant of alkaline and saline soils. It is characterised by a rapid growth rate, but slower rate after defoliation, as well as an upright growth habit. Sweet clover is intolerant of shade.

 

Establishment
Well-cultivated, uniform and firm seed bed required for good results. Seed usually drilled or broadcasted directly after conventional seedbed cultivations. Optimum sowing depth is 15-20 mm with a firm soil cover. Seeding rate of 9-12 kg/ha when sown pure but reduced to 4-5 kg/ha if sown in mixture with grasses.

 

Utilization
High nutritive value at vegetative stage of growth when grazed, at pre-flowering stage for silage, and at early-flowering stage for hay. It is favoured for honey production and for its nitrogen fixing ability in preparing agricultural soil for future crops.