AKA Big Flower Clover
Balansa clover comes from the southern Mediterranean and it makes an excellent winter -through-spring cover crop with lots of biomass and abundant nitrogen fixed into the soil. It tolerates a wide range of soil textures from clay to sandy, moderate salinity and a pH range from 4.5 to 8.0. Their taproots grow to around 30 inches deep and help to break up heavy soils and improve water infiltration, as well as pulling moisture and nutrients from subsoils. If allowed to flower and set seed, Balansa will self sow and you will have a clover cover crop starting again in the fall.
A great, high-protein forage for grazing ruminant animals that doesn’t cause bloat. Great supplemental greens for chickens and other poultry. Honeybees forage heavily on the large flower heads throughout the bloom period, late April through June. The pollen provides the full nutritional requirement to European honeybees, and imparts a light color and distinct and pleasant flavor to honey.
Individual plants can cover several square feet of ground with hollow stems growing up to 12 feet long, making this an excellent choice for weed suppression. A relatively small number of plants can provide good cover for a small garden plot. The plants can grow up to 3 feet tall and are topped by 1 to 2 ½ inch long flower heads of white to pink flowers. Balansa clover is the most cold hardy of annual clovers in common usage, tolerating temperatures down to -14° Fahrenheit!
Inoculate with commercial group B or C rhizobia or inoculant for subterranean clover.
Sow the seeds shallowly onto prepared ground or into pasture in the late summer or early fall and the clover will develop a low rosette of growth that tolerates grazing well. The plant will develop its roots over the winter and, in the spring after frosts, will explode into growth and create a thick sward of its large white and pink clover flowers in late spring. Establishment will be slow in cold conditions.
Packet: 1000 seeds