Looking Over a Lawn of Clover

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 12.30.58 PMWithout consistent watering, does your lawn turn brown by August? Consider a less thirsty, weed resistant, Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 11.16.31 PMchemical-free lawn. Micro clover is a great alternative. It’s not grass, it’s clover – which makes it a terrific gift to the pollinators. We’ve lost 44% of our bees to illness and pesticides. Every person with a yard should plant some type of vegetation that supports pollinators. After all, without pollinators, our food supply is affected. One quarter of our diet is directly linked to honeybee crop pollination.

3 Main Reasons to consider microclovering your lawn:

FlowerIconTinyPersistent drought in North America, which is making thoughtful, cultivated vegetation choices more imperative than ever.

FlowerIconTinyConcerns about the use of herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and lawn mower emissions on our environment and personal health.

FlowerIconTinyCreating a low-maintenance yard that frees up time as well as being easier on the wallet!

Micro Clover

Micro Clover

How does clover replicate grass? Well, it doesn’t. It is lush and green however, and a better deterrent to weeds as it shades the ground more intensely, blocking the light weeds need to grow. It also fixes atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form of natural fertilizer for the grass. In other words, it requires NO fertilizer!

regular "Dutch" White Clover

regular “Dutch” White Clover

In addition to all this, it’s hardier. The County of Fairfield,  CT has a mixture of grass and clover in their public green spaces and parks. It turns out that it’s impervious to dogs, dog urine and foot traffic, and requires minimal maintenance and chemical treatment. Micro Clover does flower – most in it’s second year – but it flowers 90% less than regular “Dutch” white clover. The tiny white flowers are eliminated with regular mowing if desired.

Finally, the biggest advantage to a “clovered” lawn is that it requires considerably less water.

Before

Before

A dear friend in Ramsey, NJ had a dilemma. She couldn’t maintain a significant grassy plot of her yard. She’d already landscaped and minimized the amount of grass on her property. Her neighbors told her to fall in line and install a sprinkler system just as they all had.

6 days later

6 days later

But, being a smart, environmentally savvy person, she couldn’t go that route because of her awareness to the water shortages in her area yearly. As you can see, her results were quick and impressive!

5 weeks after seeding

5 weeks after seeding

 

“Clover is not subject to the mildews and other blights that can affect the grasses of today. It stays green on a leaner ration of water than grass. It’s dark-green leaves remain attractive in hot weather.”

– Allen Lacy, NY Times

Regular clover vs. micro clover

Regular clover vs. micro clover

Most natural lawn companies advise to seed with a mixture of micro clover and grass if you’re addressing a bare patch or replacing turf. If you are just trying to augment the turf, overseeding has proven to be sufficient. The micro clover can be seeded exclusively in bare patches or when starting a turf from scratch, but since clover recedes in the winter, your clover-only areas may appear muddy. It does well mixed with almost any type of grass and can thrive anywhere you might find clover from California to Florida. Inquire at your local nursery for clover/grass blends that they recommend. My NJ friend ordered from Good Nature Organic Lawn Care. And according to CloverLawn.orgEarth Turf offers some of the best and most improved lawn and overseed mixes available.

I will be experimenting with micro clover on an area of my yard that was reduced to a muddy gultch after a deck addition and excavated walk-out basement entrance. I seeded with grass and it’s been 2 years now, with very poor results. Much of my yard is a mixture of weeds, grass & clover anyway. I’d love for the micro clover to just take over. I’m happy to have the bees & butterflies. I’ve never fertilized – or watered as a regular practice.

I will keep you posted!

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About the Author

Here at Jenny Green Jeans, by sharing success stories and easy-to- implement tips, I hope to inspire and empower you to continue to make sustainable choices in your life and watch how far the impact goes. Contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have.

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