Garden Clover

  • Experiment Code: R/GC/8
  • Experiment Site: Rothamsted
  • Objectives: 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.
  • Date Start: 1854
  • Date End: Ongoing

Funding

Experimental Design

Design

  • Period: 1854 - 1956
  • Number of Blocks: 1

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Red Clover

Design

  • Period: 1956 - 1972

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.

Design

  • Period: 1976 - 1978
  • Number of Blocks: 4

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Red Clover

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Variety

Application: Whole Plot

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Hungaropoly -
S. 123 -

Fungicide Exposure

Application: Whole Plot

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Control Exposure -
Aldicarb 10 kg/ha - broadcast application method applied to seedbed

Design

  • Period: 1980 - 1990
  • Number of Blocks: 4

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Fungicide Exposure

Application: Whole Plot

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes
Control Exposure -
Benomyl 1980 - 1989 Applied in winter foliar application

Description

  • The experiment now tests the residual effects of fungicides applied in the previous design period.

Design

  • Period: 1991 - Now
  • Number of Blocks: 4

Crops

Crop Years Grown
Red Clover

Factors

Factors are the interventions or treatments which vary across the experiment.

Fungicide Exposure

Application: Whole Plot

Levels
Level Name Amount Years Frequency Crop Method Chemical Form Notes

Site: Rothamsted Manor Garden - Rothamsted

Soil

There are currently no prepared datasets online for this experiment. However, there may still be data available but requiring curation. For more information please contact the e-RA curators.

Key References

1984

  • Mcewen, J. , Johnston, A. E. , Poulton, P. R. and Yeoman, D. P. (1984) "Rothamsted Garden Clover - Red clover grown continuously since 1854. Yields, crop and soil analyses", Rothamsted Experimental Station Report for 1983 , Part 2
    Get from eRAdoc: ResReport1983p1andp2-227-239

For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: era@rothamsted.ac.uk