When my family moved into this house last fall, the lawn was an absolute disaster. Heaps of long lawn trimmings were decomposing in the summer sunshine for weeks before our arrival. Dry patches poked through yellow pockets of neglected grass. It was unkempt and unloved.
We got to work raking and removing the grass piles, but in the end, we knew a total overhaul would take much longer than the season allowed. After all, winter was coming.
Now that spring is here, we’re able to work on reviving our lawn and breathing a sense of sustainability back into the landscape. How are we going to do this? Well, first and foremost, we’re going to care for our lawn with natural means. On top of that, we’re adding perennial clovers.
We’re not the only ones who can benefit from planting perennial clovers in our lawn, though. In fact, every lawn owner should consider incorporating perennial clovers as a means of creating a more sustainable, healthy lawn, naturally.
1. They double as an organic fertilizer.
Clovers are in the family of legumes, and as such, they absorb nitrogen from the air and infuse it into soil systems. Perennial clovers—the only kind worth planting—will release nitrogen into the soil when mowed. This nitrogen provides vital nutrients that fix soil fertility and support a healthy soil ecosystem.
White clover is recommended as a low-growing species that helps reduce your need for added fertilizers.
2. They are drought-resistant.
Once you plant clover seeds, you can let nature do the rest. Unlike grass varieties that require regular watering, clovers are self-sufficient and not phased by dry spells. They won’t burn or turn yellow.
If you can transition your whole lawn into a clover field, all the better. You can reduce your lawn care workload and rest assured your space will stay green for the whole season. However, such endeavours take time. Start by sprinkling clover seeds in a freshly trimmed and aerated lawn and take it one season at a time.
3. They produce beautiful blooms.
If you’re worried about your neighbours giving side-eye to your greener lawn goals, put that silly stuff aside. Clovers are lovely in their own right, but when they bloom, they’re all the better. Your lawn will never look better than when the tiny flowers take over.
4. They are beneficial for pollinators.
Clover blooms do more than look great, they attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your sustainable landscape. Helping local pollinators is one way to support your local food system and give back to the surrounding ecosystems.
Try adding a few bee baths for thirsty pollinators to further increase the eco-friendliness of your lawn.
5. They are pet proof.
We love our furry friends, but let’s be honest: They can wreak havoc on our grass lawns, leaving behind yellow spots and damaged terrain.
Clovers, on the other hand, are unaffected by pet urine and paws alike. They’ll stay healthy and lush-looking no matter how many pets you let loose on the lawn.
6. They can thrive in poor soil conditions.
Whether you’re working with damaged soil or black gold, it really doesn’t matter. Clovers are hardy and can flourish across many soil types and gardening zones. They’re basically a fool-proof investment in the future health of your lawn and underlying soil system.
If you’re looking for clover seeds, you can find them at a local garden shop or on Amazon. Before dispersing them across your lawn, mix them with a little sand for an even spread.
7. They require much less mowing.
A full clover lawn is a carefree lawn. You don’t need to mow it—at all. However, if don’t want the blooms that come with the clovers, you can mow it down a few times a year to keep things on the greener side.
You don’t need a full clover lawn to cut down on your mowing time, though. Even a few clover plants left to spread wild will will drastically cut down on the amount of mowing required. This is a win-win because it means less yard work on your weekends and less greenhouse gas emissions from electric mowers.