Birdsfoot Trefoil: Established Stand Management
A soil test is the best guide for sound fertilization. In the absence of a soil test, refer to the typical plant nutrient recommendations listed in Table 1.2-5. For mixtures with grass having 30 percent or less birds- foot trefoil, use perennial grass maintenance fertilization, as described in the table.
Make the first cutting of established stands at early bloom and later cuttings at half bloom (Table 1.8-2). Maintain a cutting height of not less than 3 inches to ensure maximum yields and persistence. Cutting lower reduces the number of axillary buds from which regrowth originates and removes the leaf area needed to produce carbohydrates for regrowth. It is important to allow trefoil a long recovery period in fall to restore its root reserves. Allow 4 to 5 weeks before the average hard frost date.
For further information, refer to Agronomy Facts 7: Cutting Management of Alfalfa, Red Clover, and Birdsfoot Trefoil, available from your local Penn State Cooperative Extension office.