Micro Clover Lawn Pros And Cons
Before getting into a project, researching your options is key. Thats why Ive curated my research to provide you with micro clover lawn pros and cons . What Ive come to find is that micro clover is a much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly option over grass. This is particularly true with so many droughts happening nowadays I wouldnt be surprised if everyone switched to micro clover as a result.
So, without further adieu, here are some reasons why you might want to grow a micro clover lawn.
Using Chamomile For The Lawn
One option is to replace your grass with chamomile. Chamomile is an aromatic herb that is quite pretty to look at. Chamomile has feathery leaves and during the summer it has a white and daisy-like flower. For centuries, Chamomile has been used all around the world as a ground cover. It can take a medium amount of wear and when you walk on the chamomile it releases a lovely smell. Chamomile is best used in lawns that are not high-traffic areas.
Why Some People Might Not Want Clover Lawns
The benefits of growing a micro clover lawn far outweigh the negatives. But there are still a couple reasons why people might not want a full clover lawn :
1) Clover stains clothing more easily than grass. However, this is more so for regular white clover than micro clover.
2) Clover might have to be reseeded every 2-3 years to maintain even stand in pure clover lawns .
3) Clover is not durable enough for high-traffic areas. So if you make a lot of use out of your backyard, playing sports and roughing around on the lawn, you might want to consider grass instead.
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Why You May Want To Keep Clover In Your Lawn
You may not like the look of clover, but it can actually benefit your lawn.
- Natural Fertilizer: Clovers symbiotic relationship with beneficial bacteria allows it to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere. Ultimately, it can make your lawn greener and more lush. However, this will keep it growing and outcompeting your grass.
- Weed Prevention: Mowing your lawn high will prevent weeds from growing, including clover. But if you like short, neat grass thats under 3 inches, letting clover flourish is a solid option. Clovers leaves cast shade over the soil, making it hard for other weeds to take root and grow and compete with your grass.
How To Get Rid Of Clover In Your Lawn Naturally
If you dont want clover taking over your lawn, there are several natural and organic ways to get rid of itno harsh chemicals needed.
Some homeowners like clover in their lawn, but many dont. If white clover is springing up and creeping out in patches in your yard, there are several ways you can get rid of it. If youre interested in going green, theres good newsyou dont have to use harsh chemicals. There are a number of simple ways to get rid of clover in your lawn naturally.
This Old House has rounded up the best methods for getting rid of clover in your lawn naturally, some of which wont even harm your grass. Once youve eradicated your clover problem, The This Old House Reviews Team recommends hiring a professional lawn care company to keep your lawn healthy, hardy, and robustmuch less likely to attract clover. We recommend TruGreen, an industry leader that offers five annual programs and a la carte services.
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How To Grow A Clover Lawn
At one time, most yards had at least some white clover growing in them. It was a world before chemicals, and clover was part of seed blends because it improved the soiland the condition of the lawn. Gardeners are returning to recognizing the benefits of clover in lawn grass mixturesor even as a replacement for grass. Learn more.
Move on from the quest for a perfect lawn of just turf grass. Its not natural and ends up requiring chemicals. Before World War II and the advent of chemicals, clover was used as a great companion with turf grass. It was added to seed blends, along with fescues, ryegrasses and Kentucky bluegrass, because it helped grass thrive.
See the incredible benefits of clover below and youll wonder why you dont grow clover!
Cornmeal Gluten For Getting Rid Of Clover
Cornmeal gluten is a by-product of wet corn milling. It was originally used to feed domestic animals such as cattle, poultry, fish, and is even incorporated into dog food.
However, corn gluten meal is also well-known as a natural substitute for pre-emergent herbicides those that target the weed seeds.
How does corn gluten work?
When you apply corn meal gluten to your lawn, as it degrades, it releases compounds called dipeptides. These organic dipeptides cause seeds to dry out, preventing them from sprouting or developing normally.
It means that it will affect the weeds that are yet to sprout but wont damage the already established grass. However, it will also affect the seeds of any established weeds, preventing them from reappearing the next year.
Cornmeal gluten is a natural clover killer but is also effective against sprouting other well-known weeds such as crabgrass, chickweed, and dandelion. Additionally, it provides some nitrogen, which clover hates.
How to apply corn gluten?
About 20 pounds of corn gluten meal per 1000 square feet of the lawn should do the trick. Spread it over the lawn, water generously, and allow it to dry. The amount will also deliver about 2 pounds of nitrogen.
You can purchase cornmeal in garden centers.
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Is Clover The Enemy Of Lawn Maintenance
As the history of lawns teaches us, clover and other subtle weeds that take mowing well used to be a regular part of yards for a long time.
Homeowners and managers didnt consider clover a problem until the 1950s. Due to their useful properties, clovers were a regular part of old-time lawn seed mixes.
However, the invention of herbicides brought the possibility of growing tidy monoculture all-turf lawns. Suddenly, clover was represented as an enemy of lawns, along with dandelions, bindweed, and other broad-leaved flowering plants.
And it was precisely the companies that created and sold the weed killers that were in the front lines of the new war against clover. Coincidence? I dont think so.
Removing Your Old Lawn
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Benefits Of A Clover Lawn
- Clover is affordable and easy to grow.
- A nitrogen-fixing plant, clover brings nutrients to your soil and requires no fertilization. When mixed with other grasses, clover can reduce or eliminate the need for regular fertilizing.
- Clover is drought tolerant and grows despite lack of water once established. This contrasts starkly with traditional lawn grasses, which usually need watering all season long.
- Full sun or partial shade? Clover is tolerant of many conditions and outcompetes other weeds. Some of the newer micro-clovers are even more tolerant of shade and can grow in high-traffic areas.
- Clover is versatile. Add to a regular lawn to help invigorate tired turf or plant a full clover lawn on its own for lush, year-round greenery .
- Wildlife such as bees and deer love clover. If youd rather not have bees visiting, simply mow your clover before it blooms.
- Say good-bye to burn marksclover will not turn yellow as quickly as a regular lawn when pets are around.
Clover As A Lawn Alternative
Lush green lawns are a vital aspect of a homes visual appeal. Green, natural ground cover turns bare ground into an attractive landscape. Lawns help to keep away unwanted plants and weeds. But grass lawns can be expensive to maintain. They require copious amounts of water, fertilizer, and plenty of hard work.
A clover lawn could be the solution to the problems of maintaining attractive green lawns. In years gone by, clover was one of the primary lawn plants in backyards. The spreading ground cover plant was easy to maintain without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. It also tolerates drought better than turfgrass.
This article is a complete guide to grow clover lawns. Youll find out how to incorporate clover in your current lawn or completely replace lawn grass with clover.
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Planting And Maintaining A Clover Lawn
- Clover lawns can be established by encouraging already-existing clover patches in your landscape, by seeding, or a combination of both.
- It is best seeded in early spring from mid-March to mid-April. It can also be seeded in fall. Tiny clover seeds are difficult to sow evenlyone way to improve your chances is to mix the seed in with some soil, sawdust, or sand. If you don’t have any in your lawn or nearby, you may need to add a bacterial inoculant to promote the best growth if you do already have it in your lawn, however, the inoculant is probably already present in the soil.
- After planting, use a misting attachment to water daily until you can see the seedlings.
- Existing clover patches can be encouraged by mowing with the blades set at 1.52 inches, which favors clover over most traditional turf grasses.
- In the middle of summer, stop mowing to encourage clover to flower and seed.
- Once established, most clovers are low-growing and require little or no mowing, unless you wish to discourage bees by mowing to prevent summer blooms.
- Never apply herbicides to a clover lawn.
- It is a short-lived perennial and may require reseeding approximately once every three years to maintain consistent coverage. It may successfully reseed naturally, however, or wild clovers may move in and take over aging stands.
A Victim Of Bad Branding
Heres the short answer: Clover wasnt always considered a weed. It just got branded as one.
Clovers specifically Trifolium repens have for centuries been domesticated ground cover plants or livestock forage plants. Clover is a legume, in the same plant family as peas, beans, and peanuts. Its common names include white clover, white Dutch clover, Dutch clover and ladino clover. While it is native to the Mediterranean, it was introduced into the United States early in the colonial days. By 1747, it was common enough that Benjamin Franklin noted red clovers value in improving pastures. Today, it grows readily from Canada to Texas, from Florida to Alaska.
Unfortunately, most homeowners dont know this fact. Most wont see a useful plant as we might see in its close relatives the same goes for red clover, Trifolium pratense, white clovers bushier cousin.
Still think clover is useless or ugly? Lets ask a professional.
Melissa Sharapova is an expert on permaculture and landscaping, with two degrees and three Permacultural Design certifications, plus over 25 years in the horticultural industry. Says Sharapova, In addition to being beautiful with small, round, cool green leaves and white flowers, clover provides many ecological services.
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What Is A Clover
When we say Clover we are not talking about a single species but about an entire genus called Trifolium. It includes about 300 annual and perennial species. In the broader classification, the genus Trifolium belongs to the pea family . As we will discover shortly, that gives clovers some superpowers.
Side note: Wood sorrels are often mistaken for clovers hence they are also known by the common name false shamrock. Although they look alike, they belong to a completely different plant family and are more commonly garden weeds than lawn weeds.
Still, all of that doesnt say much about the purpose of clovers in our lawns, right?
Things To Know Before You Start
Clover does best when planted in clay or sandy loam soils with a pH between 6 and 7. To find out your soils pH, use a soil test kit or a pH meter. If your soil isnt in this desirable range, you can adjust the pH using lime , or peat moss .
The best time to plant clover is after the last frost in spring, when rains will help you establish new crop and competing grasses havent yet taken hold of available nutrients. Fall planting may also be a possibility if you live in an area with mild autumn weather. Temperatures should remain above 40F for the clover to take hold before winter.
As noted above, lawn specialists recommend using both clover and grass seed to establish the healthiest lawn possible. However, dont spread these different types of seeds together. Since clover seed is so small and dense, and usually clumps together at the bottom of the spreader or seed bag, spreading with grass seed usually results in uneven coverage. Instead, determine your desired ratio of clover to grass and spread separately.
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Is Clover Bad For Lawns
The short answer is no. In fact, clover might be 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.
One of the most popular lawn alternatives is white clover , also known as Dutch clover or Dutch white clover. Although many people consider it a weed, a healthy patch of it was considered a standard of excellence in lawn care until the 1950s, when people started using broadleaf herbicides to kill clover and other more harmful weeds.
In recent years, however, clover lawns have been experiencing a revival due to their many benefits and charms. There are two types: pure clover lawns, which are best for areas with low or moderate traffic, and mixed grass-clover lawns, which are best for playing fields and other high-traffic areas.
Advantages Of Clover Lawn
The main benefit of pure clover lawn is that it requires less maintenance than turfgrass and is more sustainable
Many homeowners choose to use pure clover lawn as an alternative to turfgrass rather than mixing clover and grass together. They do so mainly to save money and time on lawn care.
Clover lawns have several benefits compared to traditional turfgrass lawns.
Here are the main benefits of clover lawn:
- Clover lawns require less watering than grass lawn. Clover is on the list of drought-tolerant plants.
- Clover lawns dont require fertilization. Legumes such as clover add nitrogen naturally to the soil. This self-fertilization process also benefits other plants and grasses growing nearby.
- Clover lawns rarely need mowing. Clover is a low growing ground cover plant that only grows a few inches tall. Mowing clover lawns is usually only necessary to prevent blooming or to tidy their appearance in summer.
- Clover lawns require minimal maintenance. Clover suppresses common lawn weeds. A clover lawn is also cheaper to look after because you dont need to pay for herbicides, or fertilizers.
- Clover lawns stay greener for longer. Clover lawns are lush green from spring until fall. In southern states such as Florida, clover lawns stay green all winter.
- Clover lawns tolerate most soil conditions. Clover can grow in poor soil.
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Should I Get Rid Of Clover In My Lawn
There are several reasons you may want to keep clover in your lawn. Due to its symbiotic relationship with bacteria, clover acts as a natural fertilizer. Clover gets its nitrogen from the air and releases it into the soil. Another benefit? Clover outcompetes other weeds. So instead of something unwanted and unsightly, you could have clover.
When The Natural Methods Fail Using Weed Killers For Clover
Now, we have covered how to get rid of clover in grass naturally. However, if all of these methods fail, you can resort to using commercial herbicides for broadleaf weeds. Those are the products that contain active compounds such as Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, Mecoprop, and Dicamba.
These chemicals cause deformed growth in broadleaf weeds but do not damage the grass. However, they are far from benign substances through constant exposure and accumulation, they can harm other creatures, including humans.
That is why it is better to spot-treat the problematic weeds than to apply the herbicides broadly. Since they do nothing to prevent the weeds from sprouting, there is no point in doing so anyway.
Green tip: Avoid Weed and Feed products. As Weed-and-Feed is applied non-selectively and broadly, you will introduce much more toxic materials than necessary. That can have a myriad of negative impacts on the environment, the wildlife, and eventually your health.
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