The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

The bacteria in the nodules first see to their own nitrogen needs and then give up what little extra it can produce to the plant. As you have pulled it out, let it dry (or drown), then huck it in the pile. The plant is no longer supplying the the transpired nitrogen for the bacteria, the colony starves and dies, and releases IT'S inherent nitrogen, and other bacteria in the rhizosphere of the deceased clover do the same. It is dying clover plants that release the nitrogen, by no longer holding up their end of the symbiotic deal...

Grass eventually responds to a more nitrogen rich soil by out competing the clover (which actually prefers low nitrogen soils), assuming you are not butching it to one or two inches, which our northern turf grasses hate. Even some of the shorter grasses like Bermuda or St. Augustine can get happier a little longer; more shade on roots means cooler soil temps, means less competition from C4 tropical weeds like crabgrass, and better water retention, therefore better soil biologies, so more nitrogen and phosphorus, and better soil tilth...

Or you can go chemical and screw that all up, and cut at two inches and fight the summer weeds (or use more chemicals), increasing your thatch layer, which encourages chinch and sod web worm (I saw a few in my lawn this season already, but the robin's are in my lawn in force and I trust their god-given abilities) so you'd have NEW chemicals to put down... :roll:

So AS, toss that pulled clover in the pile for best effect. And Haesuse, me too in the worst way. Negotiations are back on, but not going well. I miss my angelfish...and the tank water. That was my houseplant regimen...


Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”