Crimson clover’s primary advantages are rapid growth during cool weather, shade tolerance and a positive reseeding potential. Thus, crimson clover can be planted early in spring or fall for weed control, or overseeded in corn at second cultivation or in soybeans at leaf drop.
Crimson Clover in Corn: Crimson clover’s higher than average shade tolerance means that seedlings survive in corn when planted at the V4 to V8 corn leaf stage. Until the canopy opens as the corn matures, there is little clover growth and, therefore, no significant competition with the growing corn plant. Clover growth following corn harvest can be rapid, and in a warm, moist year beautiful, bright red flowers may develop prior to first freeze.
Crimson Clover in Soybeans: In soybeans, overseeding by highboy at leaf drop is recommended.
Crimson Clover in Wheat: Unlike red clover, crimson does not do well frost-seeded into wheat or other already-established small grains. Instead, crimson clover does best when planted after wheat is harvested.
Crimson Clover in Short-Season Crops: Crimson clover has been used effectively to suppress weeds when planted in the early fall, following a short-season crop such as potatoes, snap beans, vegetables, or following winter wheat. Planting with a grass such as oats, which is also fast-growing, gives additional weed control in these situations.