Once considered a weed, clover is now becoming a substitute for easy to care for and drought resistant grass.The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
Recently, clover lawns have taken an important place on social media. This seems surprising considering that clover has long been considered one of the many lawn weeds. However, with climate change and the decrease in the number of pollinating insects, lawn grasses have begun to decline, replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives. I'm here to tell you that this much-criticized plant is actually one of the best lawn substitutes. This tough perennial plant has a long list of advantages, including that it doesn't require as much care as grass to look green and gorgeous. The following are the knowledge you need to know about planting and planting your own clover lawn.
Benefits of Clover on Lawn
Trifolium repens, especially white clover, is a perennial plant native to most parts of Western Europe and Central Asia. In the past, this plant was mainly regarded as a weed and dominated the lawn replacement movement. Why? "Because it's easy to grow and looks good, it also provides some other benefits.
The small, dark green leaves of clover can quickly cover a space. The stems are low off the ground, usually no more than 6 inches high, and are easily mixed with grass. Cutting grass is easy, but clover does not require frequent mowing. After pruning, the clover lawn will recover quickly and the "fuzz" will recover within a few hours to days. If not moved, the clover will bloom crazily, and the flowers will attract pollinators - there are several bees that particularly like the flowers of white clover. Of course, people who are allergic to bee and wasp stings should be careful when clover blooms.
Clover grass is very cold resistant and grows in areas 3-10 of the United States Department of Agriculture, rarely suffering from pests and diseases. This plant grows densely and can minimize weeds without using chemicals. Like most grasses, it can tolerate walking. It is also easy to re seed, helping to self renew and fill gaps.
Clover is a legume plant that can fix nitrogen in the air with the help of soil microorganisms. This means that this plant requires almost no fertilizer and can grow in a variety of soils. Clover lawns require much less water than grass, and they can tolerate more shade than any lawn grass.
If you want a completely untrimmed lawn, find a miniature clover called a mini clover. Its height is only 4-6 inches, while providing all the benefits of regular clover. If you want more color choices, you can also choose purple and mint green clover. If you have planted clover in your garden, you can let it continue to spread slowly along your existing grass.
How to plant a clover lawn
In many parts of the United States, white clover is often classified as a "weed" by homeowners' associations and local and state governments. Before you plant clover, check to see if there are any laws or restrictions in the area where you live. Sometimes, these regulations only restrict planting in the front yard, leaving more flexibility in the back yard.
Once you decide to plant clover in your yard, be sure to use only white clover, which is the best type of clover for lawns. In cold winter regions, it is planted in early spring. In temperate winter regions, autumn planting is usually preferred. The easiest way to plant a clover lawn is to start with seeds, which can usually be purchased at a hardware store or online.
Ideally, clover should be mixed with existing lawns. Pure clover tends to hibernate in cold winter regions, leaving bare patches before growing again in spring. Until then, mixed grass will help maintain a good appearance.
Before planting seeds, you will want to clean your lawn. Use a rake to remove any leaves, lawn trimmings, or other debris from the established lawn. This will expose the soil and prepare it for seed application. Next, grab a handful of clover seeds and gently sprinkle them on the prepared lawn. Manual seed spreaders can also work. There is no need to use clover seeds in large quantities, as they grow quickly and quickly fill gaps. Finally, sprinkle a little topsoil on the seeds. Be sure to add enough clover seeds, but don't add too much so that the grass is completely covered. Then, water well and keep it moist until a few weeks later you begin to see the seedlings sprout.
Taking care of your clover is easy, and once established, it requires little effort. In areas with regular annual precipitation, there is little need for watering. In dry summer areas, watering only once or twice a week is usually more than enough. Unlike lawns, clover never requires fertilizer. Due to the ability to obtain nitrogen from the air, clover can feed itself and improve the soil without your help.
During the first few years of growth, it is important to keep the clover lawn free of weeds. Datang grass, foxtail grass, spotted spittle grass, plantain, and purslane are several common weeds that do not produce flowers beneficial to pollinators and should be removed. Hand extraction is the best option. Many herbicides used on lawns are broadleaf herbicides, which do not kill grass, but they can kill other plants. If these products are used on bee lawns, they are likely to kill clover.