One morning you are walking on your lawn grass and you notice some foreign plants sprouting. The first instinct would be to pull them out before they grow bigger.
You, however, need to hold that thought for a moment and find out what the new plants are. If you discover that the foreign plants in your lawn are clovers, then you should completely do away with the thought of pulling them out. For the longest time, clovers have been categorized as weeds and eliminated accordingly.
Table of Contents
- Clovers Benefits To The Lawn Grass
- Types of Clovers
- Which Is The Best Clover for Lawns?
- What You Need to Know Before Planting Clovers On Your Lawn
Clovers Benefits To The Lawn Grass
1. Fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil
Clovers belong to the leguminous category of plants which are known for absorbing nitrogen from the air, converting it into a form that can be absorbed by the plants, and releasing it into the soil.
For your lawn to become healthy and lavish, under normal circumstances you will add fertilizer more often.
With clovers growing in your lawn, however, you will not need to add more nitrogen-based fertilizer. This means that your budget for maintaining the lawn is reduced and it saves you some time as well.
2. The Flowers are a Source of Nectar
Pollination is a prerequisite to a healthy flora ecosystem. Most gardeners when planting lawns do not put this into consideration. Cloves produce flowers that attract bees and other pollinating insects.
Homeowners, however, especially those with small kids may not want bees in their spaces. This should not hinder the presence of clovers on the lawn grass, because in most cases, clovers do not attract a whole swarm of bees. Just a few stray ones, that went too close to the ground to notice the tiny flowers.
3. Clovers provide green cover
Clovers are resistant to diverse weather conditions and for this reason, they provide the green cover when the lawn, when the grass dries up. Owing to their deep roots, they can draw water from very deep into the ground.
You should, therefore, allow clovers to thrive in your lawn and provide you with the lavishness of a healthy green lawn throughout the year.
4. Clovers Prevent other Weeds from Growing
Because of their resilient nature and the fact that their roots grow so deep, they naturally fight off other weeds on the lawn. This is a natural selection kind of set up whereby it is survival for the fittest.
Therefore, if weeds are giving you a problem on your lawn, you should cast clover seeds in the grass. Once they grow, they will overpower all the other weeds and leave your lawn looking healthy and beautiful.
These are just a few benefits that you will enjoy when you allow clovers to grow and thrive in your garden. Remember clovers can either grow from the ground, in case there are roots remains in the soil, or they can be planted.
Types of Clovers
There are three main types of clovers, and they are as follows:
1. Strawberry clovers
This is a type of clover that thrives well in cool weather. It is very effective in blocking weeds from growing. The other advantage of strawberry clovers is that they can tolerate high salt content in the soil and poor soil such as clay.
2. Red clovers
Just like the strawberry clovers, red clovers do well in cooler regions. Fully grown red clovers produce purple flowers and they can be quite tall.
Besides the general benefits that clovers bring to your lawn, the flowers of the red clover are said to have medicinal value. These claims are however not backed by any scientific evidence.
3. White clovers
White clovers are the most resilient type among the three. They do well in all weather conditions, and soil types. White clovers do not grow too tall and most of the time they are at a uniform level with the lawn grass.
The other advantage of white clovers is that they are not affected by the urine from pets. Most lawn grasses get burned when animals urinate on them, forming brownish patches.
Which Is The Best Clover for Lawns?
Of the three types of clovers, white clovers seem to be the best for the lawn. There is a specific type of white clover known as micro clover that is planted alongside the turf in lawns. It brings with it all the benefits mentioned above, and much more.
Earlier on before gardeners started using too much herbicide, micro clover seeds used to be mixed with the lawn grass seeds. The clovers would, therefore, grow alongside the grass.
Scientifically, clovers are categorized as weeds and most weed-killing herbicides could also do away with the clovers. Over time, gardeners realized that clovers are an essential part of a healthy lawn.
Considering white clovers do not grow very tall, they are not easily destroyed by being trampled on. This means that children can play on the lawn during the day and leave the grass flattened out. By the next morning, white clovers will have bounced back.
Recently, there has been a new trend of gardeners planting pure white clovers as lawn cover. The clovers provide a beautiful landscape all year round. The best part is when they flower, the beauty they bring out is to behold.
What You Need to Know Before Planting Clovers On Your Lawn
1. Clovers do best in sandy loam or clay soil.
The recommended pH levels should be between 5 and 7. You should use a soil test kit to measure the pH levels in the soil. If the soil is too acidic, you can add lime to make it more alkaline. If the testing indicates that the soil is too alkaline, you correct this by adding peat moss.
2. Timing for planting the clovers
Clovers have a high water retention capacity. You, therefore, need to plant them during the spring season, so that the roots can grow faster and store enough water that they will utilize during the dry seasons.
In cases where you plant the seeds during the dry seasons, you should water the lawn at least twice a day for the next two weeks.
3. Achieved Best In Your Lawn
Best lawns are achieved when lawn grass and clovers are mixed. For the best result, you should cast the two categories of seeds on the ground separately. It is also advisable that you mix clovers with sand or sawdust when casting them into the ground.
4. Avoid Using Herbicides
You should not even think of using herbicides on your lawn after planting clovers. This is because herbicides, especially the broad-spectrum type will detect clovers as weeds and end up killing them.
Grazing animals are attracted to clovers. You will, therefore, need to keep them away at least until they have matured well and developed stronger roots. Afterward, you can allow them to graze under control so that you can save on the time and cost of mowing the lawn.
5. Four Leaves Clover
Finally, after your clovers lawn has grown and matured, you should also spend some time looking for a clover with four leaves. Rumor has it that it is a sign of good luck.
As much as this is a myth, you can use the opportunity to have fun with the kids and reward the person who gets the lucky charm