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Dutch white clover for tropics

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Hi All,

I have been doing natural farming for the last 6-7 years in Kerala,India. Temperature in Kerala normally ranges from 28° to 40 degree centigrade and rains about 2500mm.

I was using covercrops sunhemp,velvet beans and tropical kudzu. But none of them is suitable for grain crops, so was looking for Dutch white clover. I am seeing contradicting information (or my interpretation is wrong) about its suitability. There are some reports it grows in tropical climate, for e.g Hawai. I tried it once and it didn't even germinate. I had seen it growing it 200KMs away from my place, but it is a much cooler place.

Does any one have any experience with Dutch white clover in tropical climate? If it does not grow any similar cover crop which grow upto 8-10 inches tall ,can tollerate shading and crowd out weeds.

Posts: 1808
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I live in Hawaii where we get around 60" annual rain. Temperatures vary from 55° to 80°F. While I do have some Dutch white clover growing here and there on my farm, it is not thriving. I seeded it years ago and tended it closely, getting quite good germination. But most of it died out within the first year. What survived stays rather small, not sending out long runners. The runners are short. The flowering is spotty.

Years ago I use to live in New Jersey where the winter temperatures routinely were in the 20's°F at night and usually below freezing or slightly above during the day, and it was not usual for winter nights of 0°F from time to time. Summer highs were always on the 90's. Hot and humid. But the clover thrived there. It grew aggressively. It spread. It heavily bloomed each year. The soil was sandy there, which may be a contributing difference.

I don't know why it doesn't do well on my farm. I've never investigated to find the answer.
Nandakumar Palaparambil
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Thanks Su Ba. There are suggestions that Berceem clover does well for tropics, has to try that. Never saw Berceem clover growing in this region, may have to introduce it.

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