Using clover as a fertiliser

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Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by DarcyDog on Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:58 pm

We are thinking of organic green fertilisers and have been thinking of sowing clover this winter under the olive trees. We have one area of land that is exeptionally dry however and I wondered if anyone has any other suggestions? It is alkaline soil.

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Can't see why clover wont do it...

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:47 pm

DarcyDog wrote:We are thinking of organic green fertilisers and have been thinking of sowing clover this winter under the olive trees. We have one area of land that is exeptionally dry however and I wondered if anyone has any other suggestions? It is alkaline soil.

 Can't see why clover wont grow there.

I just can't believe how many (well what seems to be) clovers grow here that I've never seen. Since cutting one of our large areas with the lawn mower the large weeds have been replaced by lots of clover and it looks lovely and is full of bees, hawk moths and butterflies.

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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:21 pm

I think that it is a good idea. Clover prefers alkaline soils and it is drought resistant. We planted it once in an are that it was difficult to mow and it did very well (this was some years ago in France, not in Italy, though....)
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:08 am

Would you be digging clover into the soil (like you do with most green manure crops Penny to fertilise the land ? )When I was working in the bio-dynamic vineyard we planted all sorts of wild flowers to enrich the soil and retain moisture, little machnery was used so as not to compact it and animals encouraged to fertilise it....
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:16 pm

Just another thought on the topic of green manure for olive trees. In Spain lupins are used for that purpose and they work very well. And when they are in flower... they look gorgeous!
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by The Original Relaxed on Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:33 pm

I suppose clover would look fairly nice while growing, tidier than something which grew taller, but I thought that the most efficient green manures (for digging in) were plants of the pea family, vetches (or lupins) etc. 

They fix nitrogen in their root nodules making them very useful, and the seeds are cheap.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:54 pm

Unsure whether Penny was intending to dig it in or just use it as ground cover....will wait for her reply
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:17 pm

I think digging in would be too big a job. My ideas was more to use the strimmed clover as a mulch or compost to spread on the uncovered area around the trees.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:29 pm

Agree Penny, without a 'Grillo' it would be alot of work....Clover would be low growing and need little or no maintanance so a good choice....
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:17 pm

In that case, clover is the right choice. I suggested Lupin because of the reasons stated by Lax (nitrogen), but I agree with Angela, it would mean a lot of work.... Go for the simple life!!!!
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:17 pm

Think you will find clover is a nitrogen fixer also...

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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:00 pm

Yes, basically all green manure crops improve nitrogen, but actually I was wrong as lupin prefers an acidic soil and this one is alkaline. In any case, here is a good guide to green manure crops: http://www.greenmanure.co.uk/advice/choosing-the-right-green-manure/
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by DarcyDog on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:02 pm

Thanks Gala. That is a great link. It is white clover that was recommended in one of my olive books. It seems to have a long growing period so that is even better.

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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Angela Fuller on Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:19 am

Talking organics.  To label a product as being 'Organic', you have to be registered after all the appropriate testing has been done by law in the uk.  It seems that here, apart from olive oil, you can call your wine, veg etc organic / Bio without obtaining any official certification....is this correct ?


Last edited by Angela Fuller on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Usual bad spelling)
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Flip on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:02 pm

Not sure on the official Classification body, not like Soil Association in UK. Many products are classed 'Bio', which seems to be a catch all for Organic, but not sure what constitutes organic status here, and what form of monitoring there is.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Angela Fuller on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:16 pm

Just would be interesting to know......

What is a Bio product and what regulations does it need to be classified as one....if any ?   The word Bio is misleading if anyone can use it and at the same time use chemicals to produce food......I just wonder what Italians have to do to call their product Bio......
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:58 pm

Words such as "bio" and "organic" are being used and abused throughout the world. I tend not to trust what I read on labels and favour those products where I can trace the origin. Technically, not to respect the parameters expected for that type of products is plain fraud. Also, I feel that much of that fraud is the fault of distributors and honest producers have very little control over this.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:02 pm

Grow it your self and you know if it is organic... Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:19 pm

I guess that would be the safest bet Razz
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:56 am

I agree with you Steve and I do grow alot of veg, but there are things for exp like flour, easy to grow but not easy to process...so it is not easy to be totally self sufficient.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:45 am

Angela Fuller wrote:I agree with you Steve and I do grow alot of veg, but there are things for exp like flour, easy to grow but not easy to process...so it is not easy to be totally self sufficient.

 Yes I agree with you, I doubt we would ever go that far to be organic... But I did read an article about some guy that was sure it was easy and he told you exactly how to. Unfortunately I can't locate the site/article, but here is just one of the many... Grow bread...  Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:11 pm

It is very strictly controlled and it is not just olive oil. You have to belong to one of the authorised Biologica licensing bodies here in Italy. They are regulated by SINAB.

This is their list of licencing bodies: [url=http://www.sinab.it/index.php?mod=regioni&smod=organismi_controllo&m2id=190&navId=205&q_regione=]Licencing Bodies[/url]

We are 'in conversione' with ICEA but you can choose whoever you wish.

The SINAB site has all the info about rules and regulations. They are sector specific and each Region may impose it's own rules in addition to the national ones listed on SINAB.

I don't know who told you you can call your products BIO without jumping through all the hoops and paying lots of money Angie but they are very, very mistaken. The fines can be very large to anyone caught calling their product BIO when it is not.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:27 pm

Sorry, but there has been fraud in the not so distant past and nobody can guarantee that it will not happen again in the future. And the ones to blame are not the individual producers who will comply with all rules and regulations but large corporations involved in the distribution of fraudulent products. Yes, they may get caught in the long run, but meanwhile, they make lots of money bringing discredit to honest producers
http://www.organic-market.info/web/News_in_brief/Food_Quality/Italy/176/187/0/11524.html
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:25 pm

It sadly happens in every country Gala. It's not unique to Italy. My point was that if you want to call your produce 'Biologica' you do have to be certified as an organic producer just like you do in the UK and that it is backed by laws to govern it.

Food fraud is big business the world over. Just look at the recent horse-meat scandal.
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Re: Using clover as a fertiliser

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:32 pm

Yes, I totally agree, Penny. This type of fraud happens in many countries and Italy is no exception. Perhaps stricter controls from the EU may help in the fight against these criminal activities; however, the EU is increasingly looking like a toothless tiger...
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