Home & Garden

Clover for your lawn? Sure, why not?

Miniclover thrives among stepping stones.
Miniclover thrives among stepping stones. TNS

Looking for a clever way to add a little good luck to your landscape?

Plant a clover lawn and cross your fingers it gives you lots of lucky four-leaf clovers.

Seriously, more chemical-wary homeowners are saying no to fertilizers and weed killers and opting for environmentally-friendly clover lawns.

“We love our clover, both accidental and planted,” says Susan Ackerman in Newport News, Va.

“It’s a tough green carpet for bikes and soccer games, bees love it and needs minimal mowing. It feels luxurious to bare feet.

In Yorktown, Va., Teri McLean Cheslak fondly remembers the green, soft and lush look and feel of the clover lawn she grew up with in Pennsylvania. Her dad never used any chemicals or fertilizers to get and keep it that way, she adds.

“It stood up to kids running and playing, and was perfect for rolling down the steep hill of our front yard,” she says.

“He cut it with that whirring sound of a rotary hand mower. He taught me about nitrogen and replenishing the soil like farmers do, and used to say ‘There’s nothing like a good clover lawn.’ “

In Hampton, white clover, plantain, chickweed, dead nettles, ground ivy, pepperweed, wild violets, dandelions and peppermint all have a home in Betty Jean Burchett’s yard.

“Our yard is somewhat green most of the year – just not with green grass,” she says.

“Some of it is by nature and some on purpose. I wish I had red clover growing in our yard.”

MINI CLOVER OPTION

If the lush green option of a clover lawn intrigues you, there is an alternative to the common white clover look.

Miniclover, which is about half the size of white Dutch clover, produces a thick, carpet-like appearance that blends with turf, according to a news release from OutsidePride at www.outsidepride.com. In fact, the more you mow it, the smaller the leaf sizes grow, claims the release from the company, which sells other seeds such as crimson clover, Irish moss, bluegrass, flowers and herbs.

The smaller clover thrives in sun or part shade, and its deeper-than-turf roots help it tolerate drought, according to OutsidePride.

“If you’re older than 30, you may remember your father trying to rid his manicured lawn of clover that just kept on growing,” says Troy Hake, owner of Outsidepride.com.

“Today, clover has turned over a new leaf – it offers many advantages over traditional turf, which is why golf courses and sports fields in Europe have been using it for years instead of grass.”

Kathy Van Mullekom is the garden/home columnist for the Daily Press in Newport News, Va. Follow her on Facebook@Kathy Hogan Van Mullekom, on Twitter @diggindirt and at Pinterest@digginin. Her blog can be read at Diggin@RoomandYard.com. Email her at kvanmullekom@aol.com.

Clover benefits

▪  Grows with deep roots that require less water.

▪  Produces pretty flowers that attract bees and butterflies.

▪  Thrives with lawn grasses, and never needs reseeding.

▪  Tolerates heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for walkways.

▪  Does not yellow out in winter.

▪  Naturally replaces nitrogen in the soil.

▪  Never browns when pets urinate on it.

▪  Needs no fertilizer.

  Comments