Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2017 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Rolling in Clover

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Rolling in Clover

It used to be common to have clover in your lawn.  As a matter of fact, most lawn grass mixes contained it.  As a child you could always find a patch in your yard where you could sit down and look for that lucky four-leaf clover.

Then one day, petro-chemical weed-killers were introduced that killed everything that wasn’t a grass, including clover, so weed-killer manufacturers began listing clover as an undesirable weed.

But is clover an undesirable weed?  Actually---no!

Clover is hardier and more durable than is grass.  It takes nitrogen from the air and affixes it to its roots therefore it actually leaves the soil in better shape than before.  It tolerates heat and drought way better than tall-turf grasses do, so clover mixed in a lawn keeps it looking fresher and greener over the summer than a totally grass lawn.

It’s a very vigorous and hardy plant—meaning it can actually help keep down a weed population by simply out-competing them.  Clover is immune to most diseases, including lawn fungal diseases, and it’s not bothered by insect pests.

To people who have dogs, the good news is, it resists urine damage way better than does grass. 

To introduce clover into an existing lawn is easy.  Mow your lawn a little shorter than usual, then rake with a hard rake (or use a de-thatcher.)  Sow your clover seed (right over the grass) and water every day until you see that most of the seed has germinated (about 7 to 10 days).   Clover seed is very small so mixing with a little sand or compost makes it easier to spread.

My backyard is a hardy durable mixture of clover, wild violets and dandelions.  I never mow it, never fertilize it and never water it.  Right now, it’s pretty with fresh green clover, blue violets and bright yellow dandelions.  Yes, I’ve seen a few honeybees around the dandelions. 

The dictionary describes the expression “rolling in clover” as being “in a desirable place.”  I think that if you want to roll in clover, you have to plant it first….
Posted: 3/27/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 3 comment(s)
Comments
Bonnie
Regular white Dutch clover isn't usually invasive--not like the yellow-flowered wild clover is. However all clover is very shallow-rooted and easily pulled out. I would then use Preen, which is a pre-emergent weed-preventer, to keep any seeds from germinating.
3/31/2017 2:44:36 PM

Laurie
I wouldn't mind clover in my grass but now it has spread into my flower beds and have actually taken it over and I can't seem to get rid of it. Any suggestions on how to get rid of it in flower beds without killing the flowers?
3/30/2017 2:34:16 PM

Mary
I picked up on the value of clover (and dandelions!)from Doug at Weather In The Garden. And promptly bought a bag of clover seed to intermix with other grass seed in a bare backyard spot that had been dug up to repair part of a septic tank system. Now we're waiting for germination.
3/30/2017 9:56:03 AM

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