Back in the day, white clover flowers were a staple in many lawns, but today clover is regarded as a pesky perennial weed. However, there are still several good reasons to keep clover varieties, and in fact, they can be more beneficial than the turfgrass in your yard.
Clover features shamrock-shaped leaves and pollinator-friendly flowers that grow between blades of grass and is a dense ground cover. Clover made it to America in the 1600s and quickly became popular among farmers and in residential lawns, and today is included in several grass seed mixes.
There are more than 300 clover varieties available including yellow clover but the 3 most common are white clover, red clover, and micro clover. This list includes red clover, which is primarily used for hay, pasture, silage, and soil improvement.
That said, here are 10 benefits of clover in lawns that will make you think twice before using any weed killers to get rid of them.
10 Benefits of Keeping Clover in the Lawn
1. Clover Serves as a Natural Fertilizer
As an avid gardener, you probably already know how important it is to apply the right type of fertilizer such as synthetic fertilizers, organic fertilizers, animal-based fertilizers, mineral-based fertilizers, or plant-based fertilizers to your lawn.
Not only do clover white flower plants rarely require fertilizers, but they also use nitrogen from the atmosphere, convert it into a plant-based form, and release nitrogen into the soil.
Clover naturally moves to areas of your yard with poor nitrogen and improves the lawn conditions in that area.
This results in healthy clover and rich green grass. Did you know that a vigorous stand of Dutch white clover will fix a whopping 100-150 pounds of nitrogen per year depending on soil types and growing conditions? Clover also helps break down compacted soil, which minimizes the need to aerate your lawn.
2. Clover Species Stay Green
Depending on the region it’s planted, clover stays semi-green or evergreen. It retains its green color throughout the summer (except in extreme drought) and can stay green year-round in regions where winters aren’t that harsh like in the southern United States.
3. Clover Requires Less Frequent Mowing
You and I both know that lawn mowing is a daunting task, but a job that must be done regularly. Clover lawns don’t require frequent mowing but only need to be mowed a few times a year as opposed to the frequent mowing required by most grass lawns including perennial ryegrass.
4. Clover Crowds Out Weeds
Common clover can choke other weeds including broadleaf weeds. Turfgrasses on their own find it challenging to compete with weeds, which is why we resort to various types of harsh chemicals in herbicides including broadleaf herbicides and chemical herbicides.
Clover, however, prevents weeds from thriving in traditional grass but on the downside can take over your turf as well. This isn’t such as bad thing because clover is a good grass companion plant, and both play nicely together.
5. Clover Can Tolerate Poor Lawn Conditions
Clover isn’t picky about the soil conditions it grows in whether loamy soil or poor soil. Adding to this, once established, clover requires less water than other grass types and remains largely unaffected by dog urine.
6. Clover is Inexpensive
Grass seed and grass seed mixes for planting a turf grass lawn can be expensive but clover for lawns is highly affordable and in terms of numbers that’s roughly $1 to cover 1,000 square feet.
7. You Don’t Have to Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration is an important lawn care practice usually performed by lawn care professionals to maintain a healthy lawn. If you choose to aerate the lawn yourself, you will not only have to break a sweat but then there’s the added expense of renting a machine.
Clover is billed as a top choice for “living mulch” systems, delivers nutrients to the soil, and prevents soil compaction.
When the roots of clover decompose, they attract earthworms, which keep the soil loose and prevent thatch buildup.
8. Clover Attracts Pollinators
Turfgrass on its own doesn’t attract beneficial insects and pollinators, but clover does. However, this may become an issue if you have kids and pets as there will be an increase in bee stings.
9. Clover Can Grow in Shady Spots
Most lawn grasses do not grow in shady areas and require the sun to thrive, resulting in bare or brown patches. Clover can tolerate a wide range of light conditions from full sun to partial shade and is more shade-tolerant than grass.
10. You Don’t Need to Fertilize Clover Like Lawn Grass
Clover doesn’t require any fertilizer applications and in fact, makes its own. This saves you a considerable amount of cash in fertilizer and needless to say, the effort that goes into fertilizer applications. And lastly, here are a few more reasons why you may want to switch to a clover lawn.
Also see my detailed articles on the:
- Reasons to avoid a clover lawn
- Natural Remedies To Kill Clover In Your Lawn
- Reasons why a clover lawn is better than a grass lawn
If you have clover popping up on your own, consider yourself lucky as there are several reasons to keep these so-called weeds than eliminate clover in your lawn.
Clover is drought-tolerant, isn’t hungry for fertilizer or water, and best of all saves you the time and trouble in aerating and lawn mowing.
Hi, Alex Kuritz here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.