White Clover – a lawn alternative with pros and cons

March 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm 1 comment

Are you dreading the spring thaw because it means you will have to fight with that ugly lawn again this year? Let me ask you a few questions: Do you like to save money? What about time? Is water efficiency important to you?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may want to consider over seeding with White Clover. Commonly mistaken as a weed, White Clover has more cultural qualities than any blade of grass.

Before the days of pesticides and manicured lawns and white picket fences, clover was considered a horticultural standard in healthy and aesthetic lawn care. Now, as less and less of us want to or are even able to use pesticides, Clover has been making a slow comeback to our residential yards.

Let us discuss the benefits of White Clover:

  • Drought Tolerant

o   Once establish clover will grow well with no extra watering

  • Stays green all season long

o   In times of drought and water bans, clover will stay green while grass will go dormant or die

  • Needs little to no cutting

o   Clover spreads wide and will grow anywhere from 2 to 8 inches high.

o   Weekly cutting is not necessary to promote health

o   Cutting at 2 inches will promote reseeding and new growth

o   Possibly may want to cut during flowering (see* concerns)

  • Softer sponge like feeling under bare feet

o   The dense mat like format of clover is thick and soft

  • Weed resistant

o   Clover is a strong competitor to most weeds

o   The root structure is dense

  • Immune to dog urine

o   Clover will not discolour from dog pee

  • No need to fertilize

o   Not only is it a self fertilizer, it can fertilize other plants near by

  • Aromatic

o   Sweet scent

  • Grows in almost any soil condition

o   Clover can be established in most soil but like all plants, the better the conditions, the stronger the plant

  • Inexpensive

o   It is less expensive to seed with Clover than most grass seeds

o   Cheaper than lawn rolls

  • Works with other growing mediums

o   Clover is a great plant to introduce into an existing struggling lawn

Concerns about White Clover

  • Allergies

o   Don’t plant if you or any one in your family are allergic

  • Flowering and Bees

o   Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem and should be encouraged more

o   Consider creating a clover patch bordering or in gardens to promote bee pollination

o   Regular cutting and removal of flower heads will keep the bees away

  • Clover may stain your clothes  more than grass does

o   Do not use in an area where this may be a concern

  • It may require more over seeding than grass over time

o   Clover is considered a “short term” perennial, but if kept mixed with regular lawn, it will most likely take care of itself

o   As recommended for grass lawns, re-seed with clover every few years to promote strength and health

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Entry filed under: Drought Tolerant, Ground cover, Lawns/Grass. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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