Medicago Sativa (Shamrock / Clover)

Ecological Properties
This specie of grass is best developed in loamy, sandy-loamy soils, where there is not too much of sand but containing adequate amount of lime.  Ground water must be low and its pH should not be less than 6.5. In order for clover to produce regularly; its soil must contain good amount of phosphor and potash. 
Development Technique 
It can be harvested during spring and fall. It requires a type of soil that has high levels of potash and has been enriched by usage of artificial fertilizer many times.  In order to remove the weeds and herbs from the field, oat or barley is used for example in its production as a pre-product or herbicide.   The issue of tolerance to herbicides has brought the planting of genetically changed alfalfa, which has been introduced to market, into the agenda and the discussions borne about the bio-safety of the subject are still continuing.  
It is one of the rare plants that have auto-toxicity quality.  Therefore, its new seeds will not grow in current beds.  The ground should be cleaned before planting new seeds.  

Preparation of Ground
Due to the fact that Clover is a deep rooted plant; the ground needs to be plowed deep during fall.  A good seed bed needs to be prepared after the ground is processed with cultivator and disc harrow and harrow.   

It is planted in the first half of April, when there is still good moisture is present in the ground.   If the planting is going to be done by sprinkling the seeds to the ground by hand the sufficient amount of seeds to be would be 5-5.5 kg per decare and if it is going to be done by a seed planting machine the amount would be 3.5–4 kg per decare. In planting by hand, the seeds must be mixed in with fine sifted soil in in the proportion of 1/1 and the most suitable time for plantion would be the fall season in regions where the winters are not too cold.   
Clover needs to receive 4 kg of N and 23 kg of P2O5 together with planting.  In other words, 15 kg of ammonium nitrate(%26),  or  20 kg of ammonium sulphate (%21) and  50 kg of triple super phosphate (%42-44) must be sprinkled to the ground before going over with a disc harrow. Nitrogenous fertilizer is only used for the first year.  Phosphor fertilizer on the other hand, should be mixed in with the soil by hoe after applied in between each row every year.   

Harvesting can be done for 6-8 times in one year and annual water consumption rises up to 2500mm in hot areas.  It must be watered once every 15 days during the months of April, May and September and it should be watered once every 10 days during the months of June, July and August.  It must be watered in way so that the capacity of soil is brought up to 0-120 cm of field.   The other thing to take into consideration about watering the clover field is that it must be watered after each harvesting.  Irrigations/watering must be done with method of long-pan or sprinkler system.  

The best way of having a clean clover field is to plan clean and dodder-free seeds or clean the land free of weeds.  First year, the clover must be hoed when necessary in order for clover to develop well.   Other years, a good consideration must be put into keeping the land free of weeds.  The most important disease factor of clover is virus.  And the most affective measure to take in order to stay away from a virus is to use certified seeds, virus-free field and fresh irrigation water.  The most important two pests of Clover are aphids (also known as “plant lice”) and hypera variabilis insect.   The biggest enemy of Clover is the dodder weed.  Dodder with its fine yellow crawlers, wraps around the body of clover and takes away all the nutrition from the body of clover and leads clover to weaken.  When dodder is seen, the clover must be cut from the bottom, before dodder starts seeding or the dodder must be cleaned out by hand, if not too much, and burned.  

Harvesting, Threshing and Storage
The most appropriate time of harvesting clover is the time when 10% of clover has bloomed.   Harvesting height must be 8-10 cm.  Final harvesting must be higher.   In order to prevent bloating in animals; clover must be wilted 1-2 days under the sun before served to animals.  If Clover is going to be stored, in needs to be baled without drying much and then stored.  If Clover is left to dry more than necessary, it loses its leaves and vitamin A.  It can be stored as Clover silage as well. It needs to be harvested at %25-50 blooming period and stored in silos. 
Healing Properties
Dried clover leaves are widely used as supplemental diet additives standardized as capsules, powder or tisane.  Due to its high fiber level, the findings found in scientific literature show that it has a stabilizing affect on the cholesterol level and it lowers the bad cholesterol.  
Such as the other plants in legumes familia, due to its generally high nutrition value that is enriched by proteins, vitamins and minerals; it is emphasized that it prevents energy loss in addition to having detoxifying qualities for blood and liver.   It is also good for people who are suffering from anemia since it’s a food with high level of nutrition. 
Especially in USA and Australian cosines; it is a plant that has a place on salads.   In some countries, its young leaves are consumed raw.  Consumption of more mature clover is restricted due to high content of dietary fiber.