A nice green clover lawn can be a source of great pride for a homeowner. Making a soft, green area for your children to play can be tedious and it can consume excessive resources. Clovers can reduce the need for mowing, fertilizing and even irrigation. There are some really great resources available to help learn about growing a clover lawn and plenty of places to purchase clover seed for adding to your lawn.
Clovers are from a class of plants that are known as legumes. Leguminous plants are able to draw atmospheric nitrogen out of the air and lock it into the soil, making it available for other plants. Clovers also develop deep root systems that are able to help sustain the plants through dry periods and increase the stability of moisture in the top-soil.
Using clovers to seed your lawn can help to reduce maintenance costs and it can also reduce other resource costs.
Planting your clover lawn
If your current lawn is just a big tangle of weeds and unsightly grasses, then you may want to rototill your lawn and start over with bare soil. Once you get the ground tilled, you’ll also want to flatten the ground so that the new lawn will be fairly level when you’re done.
Covering with compost
You may also want to add a layer of compost or top-soil after you seed. Most lawn seeds do not require sunlight to germinate, and a layer of compost can protect the young seedlings and give them a head-start, while too much compost can prevent them from emerging. If you’re planning on adding a layer of compost, first smooth and tamp the soil, then lay your seed, then add no more then a half-inch of compost. Compost also provides root-safe nutrients (non-burning) to improve the establishment of the new seedlings.
Overseeding your clover lawn
If you have an existing lawn that is relatively low in weeds, you may want to consider overseeding your lawn with small-leaved white clover seed. Small-leaved clovers are capable of increasing available nitrogen to a lawn while improving the drought resistance of a lawn.
Overseeding is a great way to improve the look of your lawn with only a small expenditure of cash and time. Overseeding can be effective for repairing damaged areas, or for a lawn that is recovering from drought or disease.
Purchasing clover seeds
Make sure that you purchase your seeds from only a reputable dealer. Some dealers will sell normal dutch white clover seeds as micro-leaf or mini-leaf clover since they are so similar and true mini-leaf clover is much more expensive. Normal dutch-white clover isn’t necessarily intrusive in a lawn with normal mowing, but if you pay for micro-leaf, you should make sure that you’re getting what you pay for.
Innoculating clover seed
Some vendors pre-innoculate clover seed with bacteria that help the plant to lock nitrogen in the soil. These innoculants can be beneficial if you are attempting to grow clover in a place that didn’t previously have clover. The bacteria are fairly common in most healthy soils, so you may not need it.
Some seed vendors will pre-inoculate the seed and coat it with a moisture retaining substance that improves germination rates. These coatings are usually around %30 of the total weight of the seed.
Mixing clover with other lawn grasses
For uniformity, you may want to attempt to seed your lawn with only white clover. Unfortunately, this isn’t recommended since it isn’t likely that the clover will establish a complete coverage. Mixes of grasses and clovers tend to develop a beneficial relationship that will result in more consistent coverage. For example, clovers fix nitrogen in the soil, and the grasses use it for healthy growth.
Some specific lawn grasses that are compatible with a clover lawn:
Other alternative lawns
Other possible lawn mixes are flowering lawn mixes, herb lawn mixes and low-growing lawn mixes that don’t require regular mowing. Flowering lawn mixes and herb lawn mixes generally use plants that tolerate mowing to maintain that tidy lawn appearance. Low-growing mixes use grasses that normally only grow a few inches tall so that they don’t require