Melilotus (lat.Melilotus) - a genus of herbaceous juveniles of the Legume family. These are valuable forage and green manure plants that have been cultivated for more than 2000 years. Some species are grown as medicinal plants. In everyday life, sweet clover is also called bottom grass, burkun and sweet clover.
Representatives of the genus grow in meadows, wastelands and fallow lands in Asia and Europe and have a peculiar aroma.
Read more about the cultivation of sweet clover below.
The sweet clover plant has a taproot, a branched stem, reaching a height of 50 cm to 2 m. On its shoots, trifoliate, like clover, leaves with serrated leaves grow. Small white or yellow flowers of sweet clover are collected in loose apical elongated racemose inflorescences. Fruits are bare oval beans 3-4 cm long. Melilot seeds remain viable for up to 14 years.
As a green manure, sweet clover improves the structure of the soil and saturates it with nitrogen, and when grown as fodder, it forms a nutritious biomass saturated with vitamins, which has a milk-producing and fattening effect.
The herb is used sweet clover, which has a pleasant aroma of fresh hay, for flavoring tobacco, aromatizing soap and for fixing the smell in the perfumery industry.
Melilot is a honey plant, and one of the best: amber or white honey of this plant smells of vanilla.
In culture, not many types of sweet clover are grown, and more often than others, sweet clover is yellow and white clover. These plants reproduce mainly generatively. Melilot plants do not impose special requirements on the composition of the soil: they grow well on alkaline soils, chernozems, carbonate and slightly podzolic soils, but they all do not tolerate acidic soils and swampy areas with a high occurrence of groundwater. The ability of these plants to accumulate nitrogen and extract nutrients from poorly soluble soil compounds allows them to thrive even on marginal soils. You should know that of all legumes, sweet clover is the most photophilous crop.
Before sowing, the area under the sweet clover is dug up with the introduction of potash and phosphorus fertilizers - 20 g of potassium salt and 50 g of superphosphate for each m².
The hard-stone seeds of sweet clover must be scarified 3-4 weeks before sowing. To do this, use clover graters, passing the seed through them 2-3 times, or special scarifiers. Melilot seeds are sown in April or May in small grooves made in moist soil at a distance of 45-60 cm, then the grooves are lightly sprinkled with earth and compact the surface.
Sowing of uncalified seeds is carried out scattered into the ground or into the snow in February or even in January: melt water and spring rains will soften the hard shell of the seeds, and they will sprout already at a temperature of 2-4 ºC. In the southern regions, sweet clover can be sown in August.
When sowing in spring, seedlings appear in two weeks. At the stage of development of two true leaves, it is necessary to thin out the seedlings and weed the area, carefully loosening the soil in the aisles. Ideally, the plants should be in a row at a distance of 30 cm from each other, unless you sow sweet clover as a siderat.
The plant does not need constant watering - it is drought-resistant, but the introduction of potash and phosphorus fertilizers into the soil is necessary. In the first year of life, the plant does not form fruit, since it actively develops the root system, and its root collar remains to winter in the ground, therefore it is important that the site is not flooded with melt water next spring. And when sweet clover blooms, bees flock to it, collecting nectar for honey, wonderful in its taste and healing qualities.
Like any agricultural crop, sweet clover is affected by diseases and damaged by pests. The most common diseases are powdery mildew, ascochitis, peronosporosis, bacteriosis of roots, septoria and yellow mosaic. Fungal diseases that infect a plant in unfavorable conditions can be fought with solutions of fungicidal drugs, for example, Bordeaux mixture, Fundazol, Abiga-Peak, Maxim and other drugs of a similar action, and as for mosaic, there is no cure for it, so sick specimens need remove from the site as soon as possible and be sure to burn.
Among the pests, the enemies of sweet clover are mainly all sorts of bugs and weevils: clover, red alfalfa and yellow seed-eaters; leafy, nodular and large alfalfa weevils; melilot and bristly nodule weevils; palomen green; cabbage, rapeseed, herbal, alfalfa and mustard bugs; edge and camptopus bordered; wingless redbird; stenodema prickly; ruled, berry and spring cormorants. They destroy insects with systemic insecticides, for example, Aktara, Aktellik, Karbofos and other drugs of a similar effect. However, subject to crop rotation, regular weeding, seed and soil treatment before sowing and preventive spring and autumn spraying of the site with insecticides, you are unlikely to have to face this army of pests.
The collection of medicinal raw materials is carried out during the flowering of the sweet clover: with shears or scissors, the apical brushes and lateral shoots are cut off, tied into bundles and suspended for drying from the ceiling in a well-ventilated dry room. You can use an electric dryer with a temperature of 40 ºC. Once the stems are dry, the melilot is threshed and the resulting mass is sieved through a wire sieve to separate the large stems. Medicinal raw materials are coumarin-smelling and salty-bitter-tasting fruits, leaves, flowers and small shoots of sweet clover.
Store the sweet clover in closed glass or ceramic containers in a dry, dark place.
In culture, two types of sweet clover are most often grown.
or burkun, gunba, gunoba, male sweet clover, verkin grass - a biennial plant with a height of 30 to 150 cm, silage and pasture culture with feathery leaves, styloid stipules and axillary inflorescences of white moth-type flowers. Unlike other honey plants, white sweet clover produces nectar even in drought, attracting bees with the smell of hay. Under natural conditions, white sweet clover is found in ravines, on slopes and dry wastelands, along the edges of roads and fields in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Siberia and the Caucasus. The following varieties of white sweet clover are grown in culture:
In addition to those described, such varieties of white melilot are grown as Lucerne-shaped 6, Srednevolzhsky, Povolzhsky, Obsky giant, Om, Sayansky, Sretensky, Meshchersky 99, Rybinsky, Nemyugunsky, Bulat, Diomid and others.
or medicinal sweet clover, or medicinal sweet clover, which is popularly called burkovina, vargun, wild hop, wild buckwheat, bottom, hare chill, sticky, wild rose and molar grass, is widespread in nature in Ukraine, Belarus, Central Asia, Western Siberia and the Caucasus. It grows along roads and fields, among bushes, in ravines, on forest edges, in meadows and in young plantings. This is a biennial herb with a taproot having numerous branches, with a straight, lignified stem 1.5-2 m high in the lower part, alternate long-petiolate trifoliate leaves, bluish-green and serrate-toothed along the edge of the leaves of which have an oblong-ovoid shape. Yellow flowers make up multi-flowered brushes 5-7 cm long. The fruits of the plant are transversely wrinkled brown beans containing smooth, oval, yellow or yellow-brown seeds, ripening in August-September. Most often, the following varieties of yellow melilot are grown:
Sweet clover herb contains cymarine, tannins and fat-like substances, essential oil, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, carotene, tocopherol, sugars, mucus and glycosides, the cleavage of which forms coumarin - a colorless crystalline substance with a hay smell.
The medicinal properties of sweet clover have been known since antiquity: it has expectorant, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anticoagulant, fibrinolytic, emollient, diaphoretic, carminative, anticonvulsant, wound healing and soothing properties. The use of sweet clover preparations is effective in the treatment of cough, bronchitis, dropsy, hypertension, atherosclerosis, constipation, flatulence, hysteria, neurasthenia, migraine, increased nervous excitability, insomnia, diffuse toxic goiter, gouty and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in abscesses, purulent wounds, boils and inflammation of the female genital organs.
The properties of sweet clover honey make it an indispensable remedy for insomnia, upper respiratory tract diseases, high blood pressure, neuroses and headaches, varicose veins and joint diseases. It is also prescribed to stimulate lactation. Melilot honey also justifies itself as a mild diuretic and laxative.
Melilot is contraindicated in case of sick kidneys and pregnancy. Do not forget that the plant is poisonous, so the dosage should be strictly observed: in large quantities, sweet clover has a bad effect on smooth muscles and depresses the nervous system, and with prolonged use it can cause headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and in some cases - defeat liver, subcutaneous internal hemorrhage and even paralysis of the central nervous system. Therefore, take melilot preparations only as directed by a doctor and in strictly prescribed doses.
Sections: Garden plants Herbaceous Flowering Medicinal Weed Honey plants Plants for D Legumes (Moths)
Many in our country have a summer cottage, a garden or a vegetable garden. They grow excellent harvests of vegetables, fruits, berries.
For them, my useful advice on how to grow a crop
Get rid of pests without chemicals
How and what to feed your plants, ideas, ideas and suggestions for the improvement of your summer cottage
What work and how to carry out in the garden and vegetable garden in winter, spring, summer, autumn, planting calendar.
Notes about gardeners and summer residents.
Without transplantation, cultivated species of motherwort can grow for about 5 years in one area. The grass is not picky about the composition of the soil and calmly tolerates prolonged drought. Freshly harvested seeds give poor germination, so the planting material is left to ripen for two months. During this time, the seeds will be able to get stronger. If sowing in moist soil at 4 to 6 ºC, green shoots will most likely appear on the fourth or fifth day after planting.
Sowing is best done in winter or at the very beginning of spring. Before spring sowing, seeds need to go through a stratification period of 1.5 months in a cold place, for example, in a refrigerator. They are sprinkled with sand, sprinkled with water and placed in a plastic box or bag. Autumn sowing into the ground is performed shortly before the onset of frost. The seeds are buried in the soil by 1.5 cm, keeping the gaps between the rows at least 45 cm. The material consumption for winter sowing exceeds the spring planting of the crop.
Depending on the method of reproduction, the timing of planting and the subsequent care of young bryophyte saxifrage have some differences. But at the same time, there are a number of features that should be taken into account in order for the plant to take root well.
Planting mossy saxifrage in open ground should be done in the spring. Usually, seedlings are planted in a permanent place at the end of May and beginning of June, when the air temperature reaches + 18-20 o C.
If direct sowing of bryophyte saxifrage seeds to a permanent place is assumed, then it is performed from March to April. At the same time, before the first shoots appear, they must build a kind of greenhouse, covering the area with a film. In the fall, before the onset of frost, seeds are sown for the winter without prior germination.
In the summer (June-July), the rooted cuttings of the saxifrage are transplanted, separating them from the mother bush.
Mossy saxifrage is a non-capricious plant, but when choosing a place for planting, you should still rely on its natural preferences. It is best to highlight the area where diffused light predominates. Of course, saxifrage can grow in the open sun, but subject to all the rules for care and frequent watering.
The plant also does not have special requirements for soil, but it grows best on medium-fertile soil with weak or neutral acidity. If the soil on the site is heavy and does not have the required looseness, then peat and sand should be added to it. With increased acidity, lime must be added to the soil.
Saxifrage prefers soil with a high salt and limestone content
Basically, the process of planting bryophyte saxifrage itself has little difference from other horticultural crops. Algorithm of actions:
The bryophyte saxifrage is adapted to grow in harsh conditions, and excessive care can adversely affect its well-being. The plant does not like waterlogging, so watering must be carried out as the soil dries out. It is best to mulch the root zone, which will maintain a moderate soil moisture and minimize the frequency of watering.
As for fertilizers, bryophyte saxifrage practically does not need them. It is enough to make 1-2 top dressing per season. To do this, you should use superphosphate or bone meal. But it is better to refuse nitrogen-containing complexes, since their excess can lead to an abundant increase in green mass and the saxifrage simply will not bloom.
The adult mossy saxifrage calmly tolerates frosts, so it does not need special shelter for the winter. But young plants must be insulated. Sawdust, dry leaves or spruce branches are suitable as a covering material.
Adapted to harsh conditions, bryophyte saxifrage also has a high immunity to diseases and pests. However, if you do not follow the care recommendations, then the plant becomes vulnerable. For example, over-watering can cause root rot or powdery mildew. To combat such ailments, the affected parts of the plant are removed, and as a preventive measure they are treated with fungicides.
Among pests, bryophyte saxifrage mainly affects aphids and spider mites. If they are found, you can resort to treating the plant with soapy water. Such drugs as Fitovern, Aktara, Tanrek are also effective against these parasites.
Useful for those who want to lose weight
Another option for eating goji berries is making tea, which will be useful for the general strengthening of the body. It is especially suitable for those who want to lose weight.
For consumption, the drink is not sweetened with anything, not even honey. Other ingredients may be added, such as dried raspberries, cranberries or blueberries. This will only enrich the tea with amino acids, which will help in getting rid of excess body fat. After brewing, the berries are thrown away, because they no longer have anything useful.
Despite its exotic origin, in order to enjoy the goji - its beauty in its territory and healing fruits for health, harvested independently for the winter - you do not need to visit distant countries and spend a lot of money on its purchase. Compliance with the basic points of planting and care will give everyone the opportunity to have this beautiful plant in their garden and achieve good yields from it.
Goji - Eastern miracle in our garden: planting and care in the open field in the Moscow region and Siberia. Useful properties | (Photo and video)
Goji - Eastern miracle in our garden: planting and care in the open field in the Moscow region and Siberia. Useful properties | (Photo and video)
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