Clover is essential in sustaining the protein richness of grass at low nitrogen fertilisation rates. Clover is increasingly being used in current grassland management to insert more protein into grassland. The free nitrogen supplied by clover is an ideal substitute for expensive fertilisers. Moreover, a grass/clover meadow produces protein-rich roughage and a high percentage of dry matter even though nitrogen fertilisation rates are low.
There are various ways of mixing clover into grassland: sowing clover between existing grass or re-sowing grassland with grass/clover mixtures. The latter has a higher success rate in producing a sward with a more equal establishment of both components.
Barenbrug has developed specific readymade mixtures for re-sowing: Quartet and Duet.
Quartet vs. Duet
The white clover mixture Quartet consists of four different kinds of clover with different leaf sizes. Especially during the first few years, big-leaved clovers grow best. During the following years, small-leaved clover varieties gradually take over. Therefore, varieties such as Alice, Menna, Triffid and Barbian complement each other very well. Quartet has been composed for permanent grassland that will be both mown and grazed.
For meadows that are only mown, the clover mixture Duet is excellent. It consists of the diploid red clover Tempus and the large leaved wide clover Alice. This clover mixture fits perfectly well with short term grass mixtures such as Green Spirit because red clover grows just as fast as other fast growing grasses. The white clover creates good groundcover. Together they provide highly productive grasslands with high levels of protein.