Garden Clover

Local identifier
R/GC/8
Years operational
1854—
Objective
To test whether red clover could be grown continuously on a rich garden soil.
Description
The smallest and simplest of the Rothamsted Classical experiments, with (until 1956) only one, unmanured plot measuring 3m by 2.1m. Yields were very large for the first 10 years averaging about 10 t dry matter ha-1, probably because the soil was rich in nutrients and the soil-borne pests and diseases of clover were absent. Reasonable yields were obtained over the next 30 years but thereafter yields showed a marked decline and there were several complete failures. Between 1956 and 1972 the plot was sub-divided and a sequence of tests made of K, molybdenum (Mo), formalin, N and Mg, but the the crop was usually severely damaged during the winter by clover rot (Sclerotinia trifoliorum) and was resown each spring. Since 1973 basal N, P, K, Mg and chalk have been applied. Between 1976 and 1978 aldicarb was tested as a control for clover cyst nematode, Heterodera trifolii, which was known to be present, and the cultivar Hungaropoly, believed resistant to clover-rot, was compared with the standard susceptible variety S.123. The plot then grew Hungaropoly only, with basal aldicarb (until 1988), and tested the fungicide benomyl from 1980-90. The cultivar was changed to Merviot in 1996. Between 1979 and 2006 the experiment has been resown seven times. A mean yield of 13t ha-1 has been achieved in this period, with up to 20 t ha-1 in some years. In 2013 the clover variety was changed to Milvus Other than Park Grass, with its mixed herbage, this is the only Classical experiment where a non-graminaceous crop has been grown continuously. In terms of microbial diversity, its soil provides a potentially valuable contrast with those of Broadbalk and Hoosfield.
Farm operation data?
Sample archive?
Samples available?
 
Data Access Statement
Available to any researcher on request
Data license
CC BY
Data URL
http://www.era.rothamsted.ac.uk/Other#SEC3
Data policy
Yes (not online)
Organization
Rothamsted Research
research organisation
People

Site: Rothamsted Manor Kitchen Garden

Type
research station field
Location
Harpenden
Hertfordshire
United Kingdom
Geographic location
51.806624, -0.370152
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
130 Metres
Visits permitted?
Yes
Visiting arrangements
By arrangement with Dr Andy Macdonald
Climatic type
temperate oceanic climate

Design period: Single plot phase (1854—1956)

Number of plots
1
Crop
CropYears grown
red clover

Design period: Nutrient and formalin tests (1956—1972)

Crops
CropYears grown

Design period: Aldicarb tests (1976—1978)

Description
Aldicarb was tested as a control for clover cyst nematode, Heterodera trifolii, which was known to be present, and the cultivar Hungaropoly, believed resistant to clover-rot, was compared with the standard susceptible variety S.123.
Number of plots
4
Crop
CropYears grown
red clover
Factors
variety
Plot application: Whole plot
Hungaropoly
S.123
fungicide exposure
Plot application: Whole plot
Effect: Direct
control exposure
aldicarb  (10 kg/ha)
Application method: broadcast application method
applied to seedbed

Design period: Benomyl tests (1980—1990)

Number of plots
4
Crops
CropYears grown
Factor
fungicide exposure
Plot application: Whole plot
Effect: Direct
control exposure
benomyl
1980—1989
Application frequency: Applied in winter
Application method: foliar application

Design period: Residuals of fungicides (1991—)

Description
To study yields and pathogens of red clover grown continuously
Design description
The experiment now tests the residual effects of fungicides applied in the previous design period.
Number of plots
4
Crop
CropYears grown
red clover
Factor
fungicide exposure
Plot application: Whole plot
Effect: Residual

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