Clover 'fixes' nitrogen, which is a good thing to do. My first
question is, does this help nearby plants while the clover is growing,
or does the clover first need to be turned under, and then benefits
others in the future?
A related question (I think): do weeds do harm, at the root level?
Obviiously, shading out the 'good' plants would harm them. And, there
are specific cases where the 'weed' produces chemicals that inhibit
other plants. (think, Black Walnut.) But, for run-of-the-mill garden
weeds/grasses, just growing together with my vegetables, how much are
the weelds really depriving my guys of water/nutrients? They
certainly don't seem to bother the other weeds.
after the plant gets nodules formed on the
roots. when it is younger it doesn't do much
at all for neighboring plants besides a bit
there are many different types of clovers.
i have some which are quite small and act like
annuals, and then i have others that are quite
large and will come back like perennials. the
latter can smother almost any neighboring veggie
plant and can easily take over an area if i let
also, it is worth considering your plantings of
legumes in relation to water flows to make sure
there is some filtering of runoff to keep extra
nitrogen out of lakes and rivers. even a small
wetland can help a lot.
it depends upon the neighboring plant root structures.
some plants are more shallow rooted so will not do well
in competition with certain clovers. weeding sometimes
can be trouble as if you are pulling out weeds you can
also pull out the neighboring plants or disturb their
roots too much.
cutting back the clover and leaving it behind can be
a good source of nitrogen for the plants as it rots and
the worms break it down. if things look too crowded and
there isn't much rain or watering then thinning is likely
going to help give the veggies more of what they need.
after a certain point the veggies should be big enough
that they crowd out and limit the clover's growth (depends
upon the type of clover).
I've read that bermuda grass also releases something from the roots
that suppresses competition, but I don't recall the exact effects.
That may be a myth, but I am inclined to believe it, since I hate
the stuff with a huge, great hating.
Drew Lawson | I'd like to find your inner child
| and kick its little ass
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