There are numerous benefits to planting clovers in your lawn. It may not look as sculpted as perfectly manicured grass, but it is a lot less work and better for the environment.
Why You Should Have a Clover Lawn
Resistant to Dog Urine
It is remarkably resistant to damage caused by pet urine due to its deeper roots. It will not turn brown like grass.
Nitrogen is “fixed” in the roots of plants via a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium bacteria. The plant provides energy to the bacteria, while the bacteria provide a way to transform atmospheric nitrogen into a form that plants can use.
A strong stand of white clover may fix 100 to 150 pounds of nitrogen each year, depending on the soil and growing conditions.
Clover is drought tolerant, and once planted, it will continue to thrive even if there is insufficient water. This is in stark contrast to regular lawn grasses, which require continuous irrigation throughout the season.
Grows in Multiple Types of Soil
Clover is a plant that may thrive in infertile soil. Because it outperforms grasses, clover on a lawn is usually an indication of low nitrogen levels in the soil. Because it is nitrogen fixating, it can provide its own sustenance.
Great for Pollinators
It draws honeybees, bumblebees, and other beneficial insects, making it an excellent pollinator. Gardeners may like the bee activity, but others who are allergic to bee stings may be concerned. Mow more frequently during the growing season to reduce blossoms and alleviate these issues.
4 Types of Cultivars
1. Dutch White Clover
The stems of Dutch or common white clover are much shorter than those of larger varieties; it is classified as a small variety. It is also commonly referred to as “wild white.”
It grows best in cold, moist climates on well-drained, rich soil with a pH of 6 to 7. It cultivates high-quality pastures in a grass mixture and fixes nitrogen for companion crops to use.
It can be found in hardiness zones 4–9. It can be grown as a perennial in the north, although it is usually planted as a winter annual in the southern parts of the US (where disease and drought tend to weaken it).
When completely developed, the Dutch White cultivar typically grows to a height of 4 to 8 inches. It is cold-resistant, wet tolerant, mildly drought tolerant, shade tolerant, and suitable for high traffic areas such as permanent paths and turf grass blends.
It can be frost seeded or sown in late autumn or early spring. Once grown, it provides long-term cover.
Microclover (Trifolium repens var. ‘Pirouette’ and ‘Pipolina’) is a type of white clover. These varieties have smaller leaves, fewer blooms, and a slower development rate.
They also have a less aggressive proclivity to form clumps. Because of these qualities and nitrogen-fixing capacities, microclover is utilized in lawns to increase turfgrass growth and reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizer.
When mowed, its leaves grow smaller and more numerous, with fewer blossoms than regular clovers. It is durable enough for children and dogs to play on, and it may be mowed shorter than traditional lawn grasses. It also takes less time than grass to establish.
It thrives in full sun to partial shade and is hardy to zone 3.
Plant seeds two weeks before the last frost date and four weeks before the first average frost date. Planting should be avoided during times of high heat.
3. Red Clover
Red clover, the official state flower of Vermont, is a short-lived perennial. It grows quickly in the spring.
It’s a tough, low-cost plant that can weather the winter in most of the United States (hardiness zone 4 and warmer). It provides loamy topsoil, adds a modest quantity of nitrogen, suppresses weeds, and breaks up heavy soil. It is easily overseeded or frost seeded into standing crops.
Interestingly, red clover is well-known for its ability to clear mucus and relieve bronchial spasms. It was used to treat Whooping Cough in the past. It is also being studied as a menopausal woman’s alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
4. Strawberry Clover
Strawberry clover thrives in moist meadows, streams, and seeps and is well-known for its ability to grow and thrive in saline and alkaline soils. It is the most saline-tolerant clover available.
It can grow in a wide range of soil textures, from loam to clay, and its pH ranges from 5.3 to 8.2.
Strawberry clover is tougher than white clover and can tolerate harsher conditions.