What if I told you there were two things you could do that might eliminate forever the need to feed your yard? Would that get your attention? Good. So why don I share how easy it is to set your grass up so you can avoid hauling out the fertilizer spreader again.
Fact is you can get away with that if you have white clover covering as little as five percent of your lawn. That’s because just scattered patches of clover can produce as much as two pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn. Which might provide half of the nitrogen your yard needs each year. And you can almost have a self sustaining lawn if you’ll but mulch the clippings and leave them to break down in your lawn too.
So it’s almost shame on you for viewing clover as just another weed. Besides it wasn’t always that way. Actually it wasn’t until late into the 20th century that lawn enthusiasts started to regard clover as a less than desirable.
Just so you know clover is a member of the legume family. It is capable of capturing nitrogen from the air and storing it in its roots. That nitrogen is then released into the soil. Pretty much sounds like a natural fertilizer factory, don’t you think?
But don’t think that’s all cover can do for you.
Clover is attractive to beneficial bees and parasitic wasps.
During dry spells it can add a splash of green to your otherwise parched lawn.
The nitrogen produced by clover will not change the PH of soil like the chemically based fertilizers might. Not to mention that clover just smells better than a bag of fertilizer.
A lawn having a mix of grass and clover is also less susceptible to weeds as clover can help keep pesky weeds at bay by shading them out.
Then too clover is somewhat drought resistant. As such it can cut your lawn watering bills. It also tolerates mowing well and requires less of that compared to your cool grass varieties. So you might say it is basically a low maintenance grass alternative ideal for the lazy yardman.
One more plus? It readily adapts to low fertility soils and is somewhat shade tolerant. Okay that was two. Both of which suggest it’s a pleasantly flexible plant.
Now the one disadvantage is a previously mentioned advantage. Clover attract bees. But if the clover is mowed often enough it won’t flower eliminating any concern you may have about being barefoot in the back yard and getting stung.
Another drawback is the fact it doesn’t stand up well to heavy foot traffic. But when nestled in among blades of grass that does you’ve got a reasonable compromise going.
Now if this brief overview has changed how you look at clover you can get bulk seed locally at most garden centers. Likely for less than $7 a pound – with a pound covering about 4000 square feet in some cases. When planted in the spring, which is best, it should germinate in a week or so.
Why not take this info then and allow some white clover to gain a foot hold? Seems like a good decision given you might end up watering less, using less bagged fertilizer plus mowing less too. What do you think?
Dewey J Capasso is a freelance writer who has covered used riding lawn mowers, explored how to control moles plus looked into the benefits of Toro zero turn mowers. If you need help with crabgrass, picking one of the hot new grass strains or eliminating pesky pests the site for you is MowerMania.com.