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All About Clover Lawns - St. Patty's Day

Want a lucky lawn? Plant Clover
Clover (Trifolium) is a lush green plant. 
The Shamrock (Trifolium dubium), a symbol of Ireland, is a three-leafed old fashioned white clover. 

The four-leaf clover is often confused with the shamrock. While the four-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck, the three-leafed shamrock is mainly an Irish Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity and has a different significance.

Clover is in the pea family of about 300 species of plants. Flowering clovers have a sweet scent much like grapes and honey and are an important food plat for honey bees. Homeowners can help bees by ceasing the use of chemical pesticides and planting clover.

Clover is excellent for conditioning the soil and nourishing plants growing near by. Ground cover clovers fixes nitrogen into the soil after drawing it from the air. So, instead of taking nutrients away from the soil it replaces it. The long roots of clover also work to break up compacted soil, which makes it a good interim ground cover that will condition the soil in between plantings.

Common grasses need frequent mowing and lots of care. Clover does not, it stays green and tolerates harsh conditions. It also deters many bugs and needs no pesticides or fertilizer. Clover tolerate traffic and pet messes. It grows much slower than grass therefore requires less mowing.

Dutch white clover is becoming more popular as a lawn cover in the past few years as pollution from pesticides and energy prices rise, many people are seeking alternatives to the drab, thirsty, labor intensive typical lawn.

Although many people previously considered clover a weed, a healthy patch of white clover was a standard of excellence in lawn care until the 1950's (when pesticide companies wanted us to think otherwise) and is making it's rounds again as a lush attractive eco-friendly lawn.

Let's review the advantages over passé grass lawns...

Clover is vibrant green and stays that way all summer with little or no watering, it requires little or no mowing.  Dutch white clover grows just 2-4 inches tall and requires little or no mowing.
It never needs fertilizer. Clover is a nitrogen-fixing legume, a plant that essentially creates its own fertilizer...and fertilizes nearby plants as well! 

Grass that is intermixed with clover will be healthier and greener with less effort than grass planted alone. Clover never needs herbicides. In fact, most herbicides kill clover.   Fortunately... Clover out-competes other weeds and reduces the need for weeding or expensive herbicides.

Clover never needs insecticides.  It attracts beneficial insects and deters troublesome ones.  Butterflies love clover. It grows well in poor soil and feels great on bare feet. Soft, lush, and cool, walking barefoot on a clover lawn is a luxurious treat!

Clover's leaves and blossoms also have a mild, pleasant smell and is immune to "dog patches." The urine dogs discolors lawn grasses, but not clover!

And it's inexpensive.  Clover seed is extremely inexpensive. 
 Average cost is about $4 per 4000 square feet.

Clover has many other fantastic properties and is edible and medicinal. Visit Plants for a Future to read more about how fantastic clover can be.

Plan to renovate and update your garden this spring, get rid of the dingy outdated old grass and go for some modern lush emerald clover...You'll feel as lucky as the Irish ;)

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