Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > June 2014 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - CLOVER...friend or weed - I SAY FRIEND !

GARDEN TALK with DOUG - CLOVER...friend or weed - I SAY FRIEND !

The old saying “what goes around comes around” is becoming true with clover.  More and more homeowners are re-learning the huge benefits that clover offers our lawns and allowing it to develop and flower in the yard.  I have to admit that I am one of those homeowners.  Now, I look at clover with admiration.

                I am old enough to remember growing up with clover in the yard and running around barefooted and being stung by the honeybees.   Unfortunately, for more reasons than one, those days are gone.

                Years ago, it was standard practice to have clover seed added to the grass seed mixture that our parents and grandparents used with seeding their lawns.  Then came the development of the herbicide 2-4-D which killed many broadleaf weeds.  Clover became an innocent victim to the herbicide.   So, big business decided to list clover as a broadleaf weed on its label.  Clover became unjustly listed as a weed and homeowners lost sight of the benefits of this beautiful plant.  Sadly, there are no broad leaf weed killer that excludes clover.

                Here is one good reason that clover should be appreciated.  Clover is a legume, which means it makes its own nitrogen and stores it in the root system – thus adding nitrogen to our soil for our grass to benefit.  Clover will stay evergreen in our yard.  So many of us are trying to be more environmentally conscious with our gardening, so having clover deliver free nitrogen to our yard is a great benefit, both environmentally and financially.

 Another benefit of clover is that it is an important pollen plant for honey bees.  The flower is very sweet and attractive for our bees.

                Did you know that 16 oz. of honey requires 1,152 bees to travel 112,000 miles to visit 4.5 million flowers.  We are losing our honey bee population.  It is predicted that in just a few years that our honey bee population will pass the point of no return.  We need our bees and the bees need our help by planting more flowers and cutting back on our herbicide and pesticide spraying.

                So, let’s learn to appreciate clover growing in our lawns once again.  And, just maybe, you will catch me running around my yard barefooted once again as I try to relive my childhood.

Posted: 6/14/2014 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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