How to Establish a Clover Lawn ? If you have an existing clover…If you currently have clover patches in your yard, avoid using herbicides that kill broadleaf weeds to foster the growth of those patches.
Because that height is considered low for most traditional grasses, mowing with blades set between 1.5 and 2 inches will also favor clover growth.
Clover lends an old-fashioned vibe to a lawn or other grassy area. Consider an invasive plant like wild clover, which spreads rapidly by spreading out roots that create new plants across a vast area.
Clover is a good soil conditioner for other plants due to its high nitrogen concentration but the application right clover fertilizer increases its growth quickly. You might be asking how to grow or establish clover on an existing lawn this guide is enough for you.
Related: Clover Pros Cons You Should Know
How to Establish a Clover Lawn
Clover can be planted alone for ground cover, but when mixed with lawn grass, it thrives in foot traffic. It’s simple to establish a clover lawn by planting clovers in existing lawns. The steps for planting clover in an existing lawn are outlined below.
Which Type is Best?
The most frequent kinds on lawns are Dutch (or dwarf) white clover (Trifolium repens) and, more recently, micro-clover (Trifolium repens) (Trifolium repens var. Pipolina, for example). Here’s what you should know about these alternatives:
Dutch white Dutch white clover:
- Usually needs reseeding after 2-3 years.
- It stays green all year (depending on geographical area).
- When fully developed, it blooms, giving food for bees.
- It thrives with 4-6 hours of sun per day.
- Seeds are spread out at a rate of around 1 pound per 1000 square feet.
- Tolerates a lot of shade, but prefers to be in the sun.
- White clover can be mowed shorter.
- Is more tolerant of increased foot traffic.
- Approximately 90% fewer blossoms than Dutch white clover.
- Due to the dormancy period, it turns brown in the winter.
- Seeds are being planted at a rapid pace.
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How to Grow a Clover Lawn
The following is a step-by-step guide on establishing a new clover lawn.
Prepare your lawn and soil
Make sure your lawn and soil are in good shape. You should start planning your clover lawn many weeks before spreading your lawn seed. Mow your lawn as close to the ground as possible after the first frost has passed in the early spring after the first frost has passed. Remove any uneven thatch, stones, or other debris using a rake.
Check your soil.
Clover lawns grow best on sandy or loamy soil with a pH of 6 to 7. If your soil doesn’t have the right pH, add some fine sand to it.
Start seeding your clover.
Spread your clover seed across your preferred area by mixing it with soil or fine sand. The sand will make spreading the clover much easier. To avoid clumping, don’t mix grass and clover seeds together. You can use a seed diffuser or scatter your clover by hand. If you’re using grass seeds, follow your clover with them.
Rake over your seeds.
Using a rake, rake over your seeds. Apply a light layer of soil to the area where you’ve seeded your clover or clover/grass mixture with a rake. You don’t want to cover it with too much soil since it would suffocate the seeds. Run a roller over the area to compact the seeds into the earth.
Water your seeds until they are established.
Ensure that your seeds are well-watered until they have established themselves. Water your clover seeds every day for two weeks, or until you see sprouts. If possible, mist your lawn with water. Your grass will be established once the seedlings have grown leaves, and you will be able to water it less. Until your clover lawn is well established, keep an eye out for deer, rabbits, and other clover-eating creatures.
3 Tips for Keeping a Clover Lawn Healthy
Here’s a quick rundown of some clover lawn care ideas.
Herbicides should not be used.
Herbicides kill all plants that aren’t grass, including clover. Use herbicides and pesticides sparingly, as they are not required for growing clover lawns and may inhibit their growth.
Use as little nitrogen fertilizer as possible.
Clover produces its own nitrogen, so you won’t have to fertilize your clover lawn as often as you may think. If you see that competing grasses are beginning to take over your lawn, you can use a low-nitrogen fertilizer to provide your clover with the phosphorus and potassium it requires to become hardier.
To keep your clover looking clean, mow only when necessary.
Mow away the white clover flowers as they appear if you want to see fewer bees in your yard. Leave the clippings on the grass when you mow, as they contribute organic matter to the lawn and help to feed the soil
The Benefits of a Clover Lawn
- Clover is a low-cost, easy-to-grow plant.
- Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant that adds nutrients to your soil without requiring treatment. Clover can minimize or eliminate the requirement for frequent fertilization when blended with other grasses.
- Clover is drought resilient, and once planted, it will grow even if there isn’t enough water. This is in stark contrast to ordinary lawn grasses, which require constant irrigation throughout the season.
- Is it better to be in the sun or in the shade? Clover is a weed that thrives in a variety of environments and outcompetes other weeds. Some of the more recent micro-clovers are even more shade tolerant and can thrive in high-traffic locations.
- Clover is a multipurpose flower. Add to a conventional lawn to revitalize it, or grow a whole clover lawn on its own for rich, year-round greens (depending on the climate).
- Clovers attract wildlife such as bees and animals. Simply trim your clover before it blossoms if you don’t want bees to visit.
- When pets are around, clover will not turn yellow as soon as conventional grass, so say goodbye to burn marks.
- To find out if a clover lawn is perfect for you, call your local garden center and inquire about clover’s success in your area. Most landscape specialists recommend a clover seed to drought-tolerant grass seed ratio of 15-20 percent clover seed to 80-85 percent drought-tolerant grass seed that is appropriate for your area and location.
Because clover isn’t as hardy as grass, a mix assures that your lawn will tolerate foot traffic and won’t require reseeding on a regular basis. New micro-clovers created in recent decades, on the other hand, offer more durable types, which many people are preferring to seed in considerably larger concentrations to 100%. The balance of clover and grasses in whichever mix you choose will fluctuate over time and establish an equilibrium that is suitable for your soil type and local conditions.
Disadvantages of planting clover
Clover is a fantastic option for households all throughout the country, but it isn’t appropriate for everyone. Before you go out and get some clover seed, think about the following drawbacks of the lucky ground cover:
- Not as hardy: If you have busy kids or pets, you might want to consider combining clover with your usual grass seed to make your lawn more resistant to foot traffic.
- If you’re allergic to bees, take cautious: Clover is a favorite of our bumblebee friend, which may be problematic if you or a family member suffers from a severe bee allergy.
- Requires more frequent re-seeding than grassy lawns: A pure clover lawn will almost certainly require more frequent re-seeding than grassy lawns. Every three years, they are usually re-seeded.
- It might not be to your taste in terms of aesthetics: Clover can be sparse, bumpy, and uneven when compared to a regular grass lawn.
- Clover can be invasive in gardens, but this can be avoided by creating a barrier between your garden and the rest of your yard. Seed your clover in the early spring and use it as green manure if it spreads onto your garden.
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