Melilot: Growing From Seeds, Planting And Care, Useful Properties

The herbaceous small herb Melilotus is a member of the legume family. Melilotus is a valuable herb and fodder plant and has been cultivated for more than two thousand years.  Some species of this crop are grown as medicinal plants. This plant is commonly referred to as boletus, groundsel, and sweet clover. In the wild, sweet clover is found in Asia and Europe, and it prefers to grow in wastelands, meadows, and fallow land.

This herb has a specific odor.

Peculiarities of the sweet clover

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

The branching stem of the sweet clover can vary from 0.5 to 2 meters in height. The root is taprooted. The leaf laminae are ternate (which is similar to clover), they consist of toothed leaflets.

The apical, loose, elongated tassels consist of small yellow or white flowers. The fruit is a naked pod which is rounded and 30 to 40 millimeters long. The seeds remain germinating for a comparatively long time, more precisely for 14 years.

Sedar bean sprouts are grown as grass seed because they improve the structure of the soil and saturate it with substances such as nitrogen. It is also grown as a fodder plant because it forms a nutritious biomass that is very rich in vitamins.

This biomass is characterized by its larding and dairy effect. Also this herb, which has a pleasant smell of fresh hay, is widely used for scenting soap, for scenting tobacco, and in the perfume industry it is used to fix the fragrance. This plant is among the best mellifers. The nectar gathered from its flowers produces white or amber honey with a very pleasant vanilla flavor.

Yellow cloverleaf clover || Its health benefits and uses

Growing cloverleaf

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

Potting in the open field

A few cloverleaf types are cultivated but the most popular ones among gardeners are white cloverleaf as well as yellow cloverleaf.

As a rule, this crop is propagated by seed (generative) method. Melilot is not very demanding to the composition of the soil. This herbaceous plant grows perfectly on chernozem, solonetz, weak-podzolic and carbonate soil. But it should not be planted on acidic soils and also in boggy areas with ground waters rather close to the soil surface. When choosing a site for planting it is necessary to take into account that among many legumes this crop is the most photophilic, so the site should be open and sunny.

For this purpose, it is obligatory to make it recultivate with the introduction of phosphorus, as well as potash fertilizers, so, for one square meter take 50 grams of superphosphate and 20 grams of potassium salt.

Seeds of this plant are hard stone, which significantly complicates the appearance of seedlings. Therefore it is necessary to scarify them 20-30 days before sowing. To do this you need to pass the seeds two or three times through a cloverleaf mound. Special scarifiers can also be used for this purpose.

Sowing seeds into open soil is recommended in April or May. In the moist soil not very deep furrows should be made beforehand with a distance of 0.45 to 0.6 m between the furrows. Once the seeds have been sown into the open field the furrows should be covered with a lightly heavy layer of soil and the field surface should be thoroughly compacted.

Sowing seeds which have not been scarified beforehand, experienced gardeners advise to do in winter, in February or January, they are simply scattered on the surface of the ground or snow cover. Spring rains and melt water soften the hard seed coat, resulting in the appearance of seedlings on the soil surface when the temperature rises to 2-4 degrees. In southern regions, seeds of clovergrass are usually sown in August.

Garden care for sweet clover

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

If seeds are sown in the garden during the spring, the first seedlings will appear about half a month later. During the formation of a couple of true leaves, the plants should be thinned and weeding should be done by removing all weeds, while gently loosening the soil surface between the rows.

The recommended distance to be left between bushes in a row is 0.3 m, but this does not apply if this plant is grown as a green manure.

Melon grass is very drought-resistant and therefore does not need systematic watering. However, it must be timely fertilized by adding phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.

Fruit does not form on clumps of clover in the first year of growth, this is because they have an intensive development and growth of the root system.

Donnets have their root neck in the open soil in winter, and you should make sure in spring that the ground is not flooded by melt water when the snow melts. During flowering, the crop attracts a large number of bees which collect its nectar. It produces superior honey that is very tasty and curative.

Diseases and Pests

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

Melonica, like virtually all crops, is subject to many diseases and may be infested by various pests that damage the plant. The most frequent pests are powdery mildew, ascochitosis, peronosporosis, root bacteriosis, septoriosis and yellow mosaic.

As a rule, bushes are affected by fungal diseases only when they are grown in conditions not quite suitable for the culture. It is recommended to treat diseased plants as soon as possible with a fungicide solution, for example, Fondazol, Maxim, Bordeaux liquid, Abiga-Pic, etc. If the donut is affected by mosaic, its bushes should be removed from the soil as soon as possible and must be destroyed, so that this disease does not continue to spread throughout the garden plot. The fact is that such a disease is currently not treatable.

Pests such as: various kinds of bedbugs and weevils can settle on this plant: clover, red alfalfa and yellow seed weevils; leaf, strawberry and large alfalfa weevils; clover and bristle straw weevils; green palomena; cabbage, rapeseed, grass, alfalfa and mustard bugs; marigold and Camptopus fringed; wingless redshank; stenodema spiny; ruler, berry and spring shields.

To get rid of such harmful insects, experts advise using systemic insecticides, for example, such as: Aktellik, Aktara, Karbofos or other means that have similar action. In order to prevent it, it is necessary to follow the rules of crop rotation, don't forget to weed in time, and don't be lazy to treat soil and seeds just before sowing. Also in the spring and autumn time you should prevent the treatment of the site with insecticides. If everything is done correctly, the pests will bypass the clovergrass and will not be able to harm it.

Growing such a crop on your garden plot will be possible not only for an experienced, but also for a beginner gardener.

If you follow all the rules of agrotechnics of this crop and take care of it properly, there should be no problems with the sweet clover at all.

Gathering and storing sweet clover

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

Collecting sweet clover is recommended by experts during its flowering. Use scissors or secateurs to cut off all lateral shoots and cotyledonous apical inflorescences. The resulting medicinal raw materials should be tied into not very large bundles, which should be hung from the ceiling in a dry and well-ventilated room where they can very well dry. An electric dryer can also be used for this purpose, and the temperature should be set at 40 degrees, no more and no less.

After the shoots are completely dry, they need to be well threshed. Then the resulting mass of medicinal raw materials should be sifted, using a sieve made of wire, which will allow you to remove large pieces of stems, which should be thrown out. Donnellum leaves, small shoots, fruits and flowers have medicinal properties; they have a coumarin aroma and a bitter-salty taste. Stored dried clover is used in tightly closed containers made of ceramic or glass. Judicious sweet clover should be stored in a dark, dry place.

Sorts and varieties of clover with pictures and names

One of the most popular gardening remedies are two kinds of clover. Their detailed descriptions will be given below. Some of their varieties, which are also often grown in garden plots in various regions, will also be described.

Donberry white (Melilotus albus), or burcun, gunba, gunba, male donnet, verkin grass

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

This biennial plant can vary in height from 0.3 to 1.

5 meters. This pasture and silage crop has pinnate leaf plates, spike-shaped leaflets, and axillary inflorescences consisting of white moth-colored flowers. This honey bee is different from others in that it produces nectar even during a long dry spell, and bees fly to the sweet clover because they are attracted by the rather pleasant aroma of the hay. In the wild, this crop can be found in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Siberia, Ukraine, Moldova, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It prefers to grow on slopes, at the edges of fields and roads, in ravines and dry wastelands.

Gardeners cultivate the following varieties of white wonka:

  1. Medet. This early maturing plant is related to the Siberian ecotype. The bush can vary in height from 1.1 to 1.2 meters.

    The medium-thick shoots are rather coarse. The long, narrow, brush-like inflorescence consists of large white flowers. This variety is highly resistant to drought and frost, it is also salt-tolerant, and it is not afraid of any diseases and pests, so there will be no problems with its cultivation.

  2. Frost. This plant has a good bushiness.

    The bare shoots, which have medium coarseness, are colored green. Bare trifoliate leaflets are green in color and have a slightly jagged edge. The elongated, loose tassel-shaped inflorescence is multifloral and consists of white flowers. The beans are elliptical in shape. They are very resistant to mildew but are attacked by weevils.

  3. Chermasan. This precocious plant is about 200 centimeters tall. The shoots are coarse and lack pubescence on their surface. The medium-sized inflorescences are about 18 centimeters long and include white-colored flowers. The dark gray beans have an elliptical shape.

  4. Stepnoi. This early maturing variety is highly drought tolerant and yielding. The coarse, straight shoots are shortly pubescent at the top and glabrous at the bottom. The stem height can vary from 1.45 to 1.

    7 meters. The trifoliate leaf plates are rounded and have a serrated edge. They are greenish glabrous and have a thin waxy patina on their surface. The axillary cyst-shaped inflorescence is loose. The fruit is a two-seeded or one-seeded elliptical pod with a straw-yellow color.

    This variety is salt-tolerant, yielding and drought-resistant. It is mildew-resistant and tolerant of spring return frosts. The bush is upright, non-legal. Average height of medium branched shoots may vary from 1.65 to 2.

    5 meters. The fruits are one-seeded or two-seeded, dark gray beans. The yellow seeds are oval in shape.

Horticulturists also quite often cultivate the following varieties of this kind of clover, namely: Lucerne 6, Mid-Volga, Volga, Ob Giant, Om, Sayan, Sretensky, Meshchersky 99, Rybinsky, Nemugyunsky, Bulat, Diomid, etc.

Donberry yellow (Melilotus officinalis), or medicinal or medicinal donnuts

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

In the people this species is also quite often called burberry, wargoon, wild hops, wild buckwheat, donnet, hare's cold, sticky, crestnut and mole grass.

In the wild, this species of clovergrass can be found in Belarus, Western Siberia, Ukraine, Central Asia and the Caucasus. It prefers to grow among shrubs, on forest edges, in young plantings, along fields and roads, in ravines, and in meadows. This herbaceous plant, which is a biennial, has a tap root that has a very large number of offshoots. The height of a straight stem varies from 150 to 200 centimeters, in the lower part it becomes woody. The trifoliate, alternating leaves have long petioles and green-blue serrated-edged leaves with oblong ovate edges.

The multi-flowered, brush-like inflorescences, which grow to 50 to 70 millimeters in length, are yellow in color. The fruit of this species of clover-grass is a cross-wrinkled pod colored brown. It consists of smooth seeds which are oval and either brown-yellow or yellow in color and ripen in August or September. The most popular varieties of cloverleaf are

  1. Sarbas . This variety is medium-ripening and has high yields as well as resistance to drought and frost.

    This variety has an active growth and development during the springtime. After it is cut, it will grow back relatively quickly. It is extremely resistant to mildew, and is also resistant to seed-damaging insects. This variety is drought-resistant. Its clump is weakly prostrate.

    Its shoots are fairly rugged and may vary in height from 0.8 to 1.2 meters. The seeds are relatively small in size. This variety is among the best honeybees.

  2. Ishimsky early. This frost-resistant plant is salt and drought tolerant. It is early maturing and has a high yield. This grass is resistant to powdery mildew and also to all seed-damaging pests. This upright shrub reaches a height of about 0.

    8 meters with medium bushiness.

  3. Kokshetau. This drought- and salt-tolerant plant is frost-resistant and is capable of producing a rich crop of green mass. Its nectar yields honey of the highest quality.
  4. Omskiy.

    This early maturing plant has yellow colored flowers. The double-seeded beans are relatively large in size.

Donberry properties: Harms and Benefits

Melilot: growing from seeds, planting and care, useful properties

Beneficial properties of cloverleaf

The herbaceous plant of cloverleaf includes cymarin, tannins and fat-like substances, essential oil, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, carotene, tocopherol, sugars, mucus and glycosides; their breakdown produces coumarin, which is a crystal substance that has a rather pleasant hay aroma.

That this herb has medicinal properties has been known to people for a very long time, since ancient times. This herb is characterized by expectorant, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticoagulative, fibrinolytic, soothing, diaphoretic, antiseptic, anticonvulsant, wound healing and sedative effects.

Preparations based on cloverleaf are used to treat bronchitis, hypertension, constipation, hysteria, migraine, insomnia, rheumatoid and gouty arthritis, cough, dropsy, atherosclerosis, flatulence, neurasthenia, nervous excitability, diffuse toxic goiter, and are also used for purulent wounds, genital inflammation in women, boils and furuncles.

Honey, which has been obtained from the nectar of the sweet clover, also has medicinal properties. It is quite widely used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, insomnia, neurosis, high blood pressure, painful headaches, and also for joint diseases and varicose veins. This very tasty and incredibly useful honey also helps stimulate lactation. This honey also has a mild loosening and diuretic effect.

Who shouldn't use clover extract

Melon extract as well as all its preparations should not be used by pregnant women or people suffering from kidney disease. It is very important to remember that this plant contains poisonous substances, therefore the dosage should be strictly observed. If the Donnica is used in very large quantities, it has an extremely negative effect on the smooth muscles, and also contributes to the depression of the nervous system. If such preparations are used for quite a long time, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, vertigo and vomiting can develop because of it. In some cases there is subcutaneous internal hemorrhage, liver damage, as well as paralysis of the central nervous system.

Therefore, the use of such drugs should only be prescribed by your doctor, who will select the required dosage. And do not forget to strictly comply with this dosage.

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