Clover lawns are a low-maintenance, carbon-neutral option to conventional grass lawns. Clover, which requires less watering, fertilizing, and mowing than grass does, is a popular lawn grass. Clover may enhance the appearance and performance of your front or backyard lawn, rather than being a pest lawn weed.
White clover and microclover are the two most common varieties of clover used in lawns. Dutch clover, shamrock, and Irish clover are some of the names for white clover (Trifolium repens). The pea family, Fabaceae, includes this wide leaf clover, which is a blooming creeping perennial. Trifolium repens var. microclover A small clover with tiny leaves (Pipolina) is a type of tiny clover. To avoid weeds, microclover mixes well with grass and helps to keep the grass thick.
White clover reaches a height of 3 to 6 inches (7 to 15 cm). Clover plants that form mats spread rapidly and cover large amounts of land. Clover, which thrives in zones 3 through 10, is a cold-hardy semi-evergreen plant.
Clover As a Lawn Alternative
The look of a house is greatly influenced by lush green lawns. Natural ground cover makes bare ground more appealing by turning it green. Unwanted plants and weeds are kept away by lawns. Grass lawns, on the other hand, are difficult to keep up with. Water, fertilizer, and hard work are all required in large quantities.
The difficulties of keeping gorgeous green lawns may be solved with a clover lawn. Clover was once one of the most popular lawn plants in gardens. Without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, the spreading ground cover plant was simple to maintain. In addition, it survives drought better than grass.
Everything you need to know about growing clover lawns is in this article. Clover can be used in your existing lawn or replaced entirely with clover, and you’ll learn how to do it.
The Benefits of Having Clover Mixed in a Grass Lawn
A grass seed mixture containing a mix of grass and clover helps nitrogen levels in the lawn while suppressing weeds. One of the numerous benefits of adding clover to your grass lawn is making it more sustainable. Clover is used by many gardeners to keep and develop existing lawns.
Clover-covered lawns generally outperform turfgrass-only lawns in terms of health and beauty. Mixed clover lawns are also easier to care for and fertilize. Clover in the lawn provides the following benefits:
- Clover adds nitrogen to your grass lawn. Clover has the ability to increase lawn nitrogen levels naturally, thanks to its need for nitrogen. Nitrogen-producing bacteria are found in Clover’s root system. The fixed nitrogen in the Clover is released back to the earth when it dies, making it available for new plants.
- Clover growing in lawn reduces the need for fertilizing. Clover helps grass thrive healthful, disease-resistant, and rich by adding minerals to lawn soil while decomposing.
- Clover stays green throughout the summer. Scorching summer heat won’t scorch clover leaves, unlike turfgrass.
- Clover suppresses weeds in lawn. Traditional lawn weeds like dandelions are crowded out by clover, which is a broadleaf plant.
What Is Clover and Why It Went Out of Style?
Clover wasn’t considered a weed in the 1950s, so it was commonly used in lawn seed mixes. To flourish lush lawns, lawn seed mixtures included a blend of grass seed and white clover seed. Clover is a hardy, low-growth plant that assists grass to grow without fertilizers, so it was formerly widespread in lawns.
A white clover leaf consists of three or four small oval leaves. On the ends of stems, clover blooms produce tiny white or pinkish flowers. Clover creates a lush green carpet of foliage. The root system of this perennial ground cover plant is strong and extensive. Clover, which aids in soil fertilization, thrives in poor soil, and resists drought conditions, is the ideal grass seed companion. As a result, most lawns in the 1950s included grass and clover in some form.
Since it is regarded an unwanted plant that ruins the manicured look of the yard, many gardeners consider clover a weed. Clover was classified as a broadleaf weed in the 1950s. To assist homeowners in achieving the optimal manicured lawn, several herbicides were marketed.
Dandelions, crabgrass, chickweed, and other lawn “weeds” were all killed by the chemicals that targeted them. Clover became out of favor as a result of this. Clover lawns, on the other hand, are experiencing a comeback. Clover is used in lawns by many environmentalists and lawn experts, either in pure clover or mixed grass-clover lawns.
Advantages of Clover Lawn
Pure clover lawn is more sustainable than turfgrass and requires less upkeep than grass, which is why so many people choose it. They do it primarily to save money and time spent on lawn care. In comparison to traditional turfgrass lawns, clover lawns offer a variety of advantages.
Clover lawn has the following important characteristics:
- Clover lawns require less watering than grass lawn. Clover is a drought-tolerant plant, according to the list.
- Clover lawns don’t require fertilization. Clover, for example, adds nitrogen to the soil naturally. Other plants and grasses growing nearby benefit from this “self-fertilization” process.
- Clover lawns rarely need mowing. Clover is a little-growing ground cover that only grows to be a few inches tall. In the summer, mowing clover lawns is normally required to avoid blooming or to maintain their look.
- Clover lawns require minimal maintenance. Common lawn pests are controlled by Clover. Since you don’t need to pay for herbicides or fertilizers, a clover lawn is also more cost-effective to maintain.
- Clover lawns stay greener for longer. From spring through autumn, clover lawns are lush and green. Clover lawns in the south, such as Florida, keep their color all winter.
- Clover lawns tolerate most soil conditions. In poor soil, clover may flourish.
Homeowners see the benefits of a clover lawn once it has been established. Walking on a soft, lush carpet feels like walking on a mat-forming clover. In addition, some individuals prefer the summer-attracting blooms. And dog urine doesn’t stain clover the same way it does regular grass lawns, which pet owners find out quickly.
Disadvantages of a Clover Lawn
Bees are drawn to the white clover, which can sting you if you tread on it barefoot. Turfgrass is better than clover lawns when it comes to durability. Clover lawn is destroyed by heavy foot traffic. Another negative aspect is Clover’s blooms, which attract insects and may sting you. This might be a issue since you may get stung if you want to go barefoot on the lawn.
Another disadvantage is that clover leaves stains on clothes. Of course, to avoid clover lawns from blossoming before the “bee issue” arises, you could mow them. You can also grow pure clover lawns in areas where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic.
Clover Vs. Grass
If you want lush, green ground cover for your front or back yard, how do clover lawns and grass lawns compare? Between grass and clover, there are a few distinctions:
Clover is easier to care for than grass. Weeding will take less time because clover naturally chokes weeds. Clover lawns require significantly less maintenance than turfgrass lawns.
Clover tends to stay greener for longer. During hot, dry summers, clover is not burnt by the sun like grass. Clover is also resistant to dog urine, retaining its color and surviving. Clover lawns are generally less patchy than grass lawns.
Clover is cheaper to maintain than grass. Water isn’t as important on clover lawns, so you save time and money. Moreover, if you grow clover lawns, you don’t have to purchase fertilizers or pesticides for lawn care.
Grass is neater than clover. A neater appearance may be seen in bluegrass or Bermuda grass lawns. Clover lawns may occasionally look unkempt or untidy. The kind of garden landscape you desire determines whether or not to cultivate clover rather than grass.
Grass is more durable than clover. Most grass varieties tolerate foot traffic better than clover, as compared to clover. Nonetheless, certain microclover cultivars are more tolerant of pedestrian traffic than other lawn substitutes. In any event, grass is just as susceptible to heavy foot traffic as clover.
Clover can grow in poor soil, however grass needs soil that retains nutrients. Soil that is well-draining and allows air flow is also required for grass.
The Types of Clover Lawn
White clover (Trifolium repens), often known as Dutch or dwarf white clover, and microclover (Trifolium repens var. Pipolina is a genus of flowering plants in the family Pipoliniaceae. If you want to avoid planting grass, both clover types are excellent lawn substitutes.
What Is Microclover?
Microclover (Trifolium repens var. repens) is a popular lawn grass. Pipolina is a blooming semi-evergreen ground cover. Microclover, a cold-hardy perennial that develops as a thick, lush carpet to cover exposed ground or grow with grass, is becoming increasingly more popular in lawns.
Microclover has smaller leaves, fewer flowers, and a shorter height than typical white clover and is a clover cultivar that blends well with grass lawn. Microclover contains the following key characteristics:
- In full sun, Miniclover thrives, but it can also survive in shade.
- In comparison to white clover, microclover has fewer blooms.
- Foot traffic is more tolerant of microclover than white clover.
- Unlike typical white clover, Microclover is shorter.
- In the winter, microclover may turn brown.
You’ll need around 1 lb. of microclover to create a clover lawn. (0.45 kg for 27 to 55 square meters) Seeds cover 300 to 600 square feet.
What Is White Clover (Dutch Clover)?
Another name for white clover is Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens). As a lawn substitute, this spreading plant is gaining popularity. The tiny foliage has a spread of up to 2 feet (60 cm) and grows up to 6 inches (15 cm). With creamy-white flowers, Dutch clover is a prolific bloomer.
Honeysuckle grass, creeping clover, shamrock, and common clover are some of the other names for Dutch clover. The following are the key characteristics of Dutch clover:
- In warm climates, Dutch clover remains green all year.
- In full sun and partial shade, Dutch clover thrives.
- Summer heat is no match for Dutch clover.
- From spring through autumn, Dutch clover flowers.
- After a few years, Dutch clover may need reseeding; however, this varies depending on your location.
You’ll need about 1 lb. of Dutch clover or white clover for a clover lawn. For 1,000 square feet (0.45 kg per 92 square meters),
How to Add Clover to Existing Lawn
Seed clover onto your lawn in the spring, and it’ll start to grow alongside your other grass. Mow the grass close to the ground to prepare your lawn for clover seeding. Afterwards, the previous season’s thatch will be removed. To enable Clover to establish itself more effectively, aerate the turfgrass soil. Add sand to white clover seed or microclover seed. Using a lawn spreader on the finest setting, evenly distribute clover across the lawn.
Water every day for two weeks after you’ve planted clover seed on your lawn. Seeds germinate, root, and establish clover in your lawn when they are regularly watered. For partial shade or full sun, clover is a ground cover lawn plant. It’s ideal for Lawns on south-facing, east-facing, or west-facing gardens. Clover may also develop in the shade, although for shaded yards, seed a lawn with microclover instead.
How to Plant a Clover Lawn
By seeding bare soil with clover seed, you may create an easy-care, low-maintenance pure clover lawn. In the early spring, turn over your soil to remove stones, weeds, and other debris before preparing it. Wait a few days for weeds to sprout after watering the ground. Whenever they’re needed, remove them.
Clover seed is easier to spread when combined with fine soil, sand, or sawdust. For 1,000 square feet (92 square meters) of lawn, you’ll need approximately 2 oz. (57 g) of clover seed. Place a thin layer of clover seed over the ground. To smooth the soil and just cover the seeds, use a rake.
Water thoroughly when the clover seeds have been planted. Clover can stay in the soil and encourage germination by being watered soon after it is seeded. To encourage fast development, lightly water the soil every day.
How to Maintain a Clover Lawn
Once established, clover lawns are simple to keep up. Set the blades of your lawn mower to 2″ (5 cm) if you need to mow your white clover lawn. Clover clippings will breakdown and return nutrients to the soil, so you don’t need to gather them. During the summer, clover lawns only need minimal care, and flowers do not bloom if they are not constantly mowed.
But, if you want to discourage bees, then that is necessary. You may sit back and relax while enjoying your low-maintenance clover lawn if you’re happy with bees and flowers on your lawn.