Clover is good for your lawn, since it requires less water, fertilizer, compost, herbicide, and weeding.
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.
Clover lawns have many advantages over traditional bluegrass or Bermuda grass lawns.
- 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 attracts beneficial insects (like bees) to your yard which, 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 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. Fortunately…
- 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 herbicides.
- 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.
- It’s inexpensive. 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.