Clover-planting some by our mountain home Edwards Colorado zip code 81632

Asked November 5, 2018, 12:00 PM EST

Want to plant some clover. Elevation is 7,400. Lots of sun, poor soils (clay?) as area is reclaimed gravel pit. No irrigation, so dependent on rain/snowfall, so needs to be drought resistant. Purpose would to bolster somewhat sparse native(?) grasses coverage (to make a more attractive view-shed from home); add nitrogen to the soil; help bees; deer forage. Question: which type clover would you recommend?
Thanks!!!

Eagle County Colorado groundcovers clover mountain gardening ground cover xeric groundcover high elevation plants xeric gardening

1 Response

Thank you for using the Ask an Expert Service!

For a detailed list of mountain ground covers (including clover), their planting recommendations, and the benefits of each, please take a look at Utah State University's Intermountain Planting Guide:
https://extension.usu.edu/agribusiness/ou-files/pdfs/ARS%20planting%20guide.pdf

You can learn more about suitable ground covers for mountain elevations here:
http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/07413.pdf
(Although this guide does not specifically include clover, it does contain some excellent pollinator-friendly ground covers like Thyme).

The irrigation will be the most challenging aspect of establishing a ground cover- and supplemental watering is often recommended , even for drought-tolerant plant varieties (at least until they become established).
Here is a ground cover establishment guide for elevations above 6000:
https://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1286.pdf

We also have a great fact sheet on Xeric ground covers through CSU Extension:
http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/07230.pdf

As for any plant, the best way to ensure success is that you get hardy seeds from local nurseries (because those plants are adapted to the area that you are planning to propagate them in).

Thanks,