Is Clover Good For Lawns
Excerpted from: Advantages and Disadvantages of Clover Lawns
The short answer is YES!
In fact, clover might be good for your lawn, since it requires less water,
fertilizer, compost, herbicide, and weeding. In addition, it is a legume so it adds nitrogen to the soil.
Today, the current grassy monoculture is the ideal of most homeowners. But as water and energy
costs rise, many are seeking alternatives to the traditional thirsty, labor-intensive American lawn.
One of the most popular lawn alternatives is white clover, Trifolium
repens, also known as Dutch clover or Dutch white clover. Although many people
consider it a weed, a healthy patch of it was considered a standard of excellence in lawn care
until the 1950s, when people started using broadleaf herbicides to kill clover and other more
In recent years, however, clover lawns have been experiencing a revival due to their many
benefits and charms. There are two types: pure clover lawns, which are best for areas with
low or moderate traffic, and mixed grass-clover lawns, which are best for playing fields and
other high traffic areas
Red clover is widely used throughout eastern North America. It is adapted to a wide range of
soil types. It is a short-lived perennial that usually persists only 2 or 3 years due to susceptibility
to a number of root diseases. Newer varieties may last longer than this.
Red clover has an erect growth slightly taller than white clover. It has a shallow, highly branched
root system, so it grows poorly on sandy soils without adequate rainfall.
The white clover in your lawn supports native bees, especially bumble bees, while also feeding your
lawn a steady dose of nitrogen!
Clover honey is a thick, sweet syrup made by honey bees that collect the nectar of clover
plants. It’s mild in taste and light in color, making it a popular choice among honey enthusiasts.
Clover lawns have many advantages over traditional bluegrass or Bermuda grass lawns. Here
are 10 reasons to stop pulling the white clover in your lawn:
It attracts beneficial bees, especially bumble bees, to your yard. This, in turn,
help pollinate your garden. It also attracts parasitoid wasps which feed on aphids,
scales, and whiteflies. These wasps are tiny, harmless to humans, and will be your
enthusiastic allies in controlling insect pests in your garden.
It stays green all summer, with little or no watering, in most regions of the US.
It is relatively drought-tolerant and it greens up early in spring and remains green
until the first frost. In the South, it may remain green all winter.
It requires little or no mowing. White clover grows just 2-8 inches tall and requires
little or no mowing to keep it looking tidy. However, some homeowners may prefer to mow
in midsummer in order to deadhead old blooms, neaten the appearance of the lawn, or to
prevent from blooming.
It never needs fertilizer. Cover is a nitrogen-fixing legume, a plant that essentially
creates its own fertilizer and fertilizes nearby plants, as well! Grass that is intermixed with
clover will be healthier and greener and require less care than grass planted alone.
It never needs herbicides. In fact, most herbicides kill it.
It out-competes other weeds. Anyone who has struggled to eradicate clover from
a grass lawn can tell you how persistent it can be. It has a dense root structure that allows
it to easily out-compete most other weeds and reduce the need for weeding and expensive
Clover grows well in poor soil. It tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions, including
the poor-quality subsoil common around many new homes.
It feels great on bare feet. Soft, lush, and cool, walking barefoot on a clover
lawn is a luxurious treat. Those leaves and blossoms also have a mild, pleasant smell.
It is immune to "dog patches." Dog urine discolors lawn grasses, but it stays
as green and lush as ever.
Clover seed is extremely inexpensive. The average cost is about $4 per 4000 square feet.
Homeowners who have been fighting it as a weed get it for free if they decide to stop fighting
and let it grow.
It stains clothing more easily than grass.
It is not durable enough for playing fields or high traffic areas, unless mixed
It is a short-lived perennial and may require reseeding every 2-3 years to
maintain an even stand in pure clover lawns. In mixed grass-clover lawns, clover
will reseed itself adequately to maintain a consistent presence.
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