It's the Plants, Darling

On St. Patty’s Day, praise for clover

CloverFlickrMartinLeBar The plants in my new ex-lawn that looked the best all winter weren't the sedums, after all.  They were the clovers, both red and white, which stayed pretty darn green. And because I don't mow, I'll be enjoying the taller red blooms all season long.

Clover's best planted in the spring, so just yesterday I ordered a batch from *eBay, there being none in the stores.  Here's the description of clover's unique virtues from the seller on eBay:

"Its amazing ability to fix nitrogen will enrich your soil, reducing or
eliminating your need for chemical fertilizers or any fertilizers for
that matter!! In addition, clover is a very nutRedcloverFlickrDaveritious plant for
livestock, and will produce delicious dairy from the healthy animals
grazed on it. 1 ounce of this seed will cover approximately 100-150 sq
ft." 

Not mentioned?  That pollinators love the stuff!

*Here's hoping this eBay adventure turns out not to be a fiasco.

Top photo by Martin LaBar, lower by Dave Rogers.

Posted by on March 17, 2009 at 5:31 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.
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22 responses to “On St. Patty’s Day, praise for clover”

  1. Brie says:

    Hooray for clover!! Mine has already bloomed, been turned under and rotted and planted in. It was sown in fall. But I think I’m going to start more this week for a crimson and green late summer show…just to see what happens.

  2. Nancy says:

    I believe that they used to put clover seed into lawn grass mixes until people started wanting that “perfect” golf course look.

  3. I was walking across my Henbit filled lawn yesterday and was arrested by the sight of the clover. The Bermuda grass is still khaki, so the clover looks so fresh and green. I don’t use anything on the lawn, pesticide or herbicide, so I have lots of it, especially around the kids’ swing set. I hope your enjoy your clover this summer too.~~Dee

  4. RainGardener says:

    So I don’t need to be embarassed about the clover in my lawn anymore? Love this place – first moss now clover!

  5. Susan Harris says:

    And ya know WHY people started wanting clover-free lawns? Because of the emergence of 2,4-D, the now-popular lawn herbicide that happens to also kill clover. The makers of 2,4-D quickly rebranded clover as a weed – bad! – so that killing it would seem like a good thing, although previously it had been touted for its many good qualities.

    Damn, we’re gullible!

  6. Michele says:

    Yes, clover does much better in my lawn than grass. I don’t understand why our lawns are not 100% clover.

  7. Susan Harris says:

    M, I wonder the same thing. If anyone knows of an all-clover lawn, I’d LOVE a photo to add to my collection of turfgrass alternatives.

  8. Lisa-St. Marys, Ontario says:

    I love the clover in my lawn too. My neighbours think I’m nuts. But when it is all white and twinkling in the summer, and the bees are buzzing all over it, and butterflies are flitting across, oh nothing is more exciting. Of course it does teach the kids (and adults) that they need to wear shoes because when they accidentally step on a bee they sting. The neighbours also can’t figure out why my lawn is green all summer and I don’t even water or weed and feed, hmmmm…go figure :).

  9. I love clover! Your post made me think of my family’s horticultural crime committed every St. Patrick’s Day for years. So, though I had already posted today, I went and wrote another little St. Pat’s blog.

  10. Lucinda says:

    Perfect post for St. Patty’s Day! Brie, is yours in the veg garden? Has anyone tried the Fleur-de-Lawn seed mix from Protime? I wonder how that holds up in the summer. The picture is beautiful.
    http://www.protimelawnseed.com/about-us/fleur-de-lawn/

  11. commonweeder says:

    I love clover too. Because of excavation and construction for a new section of house foundation last summer I had to replant a great section of lawn. I made my own mixture with lots of clover, to match the clover-heavy lawn I already had. I’ve also planted lots of thyme in my lawn. I consider my lawn a flowery mead, with dandelions, hawkweed, creeping jenny and all manner of other wild flowers.

  12. joey says:

    Interesting post! Sad to say many neighborhoods (like mine) frown on clover filled lawns (I only spot weed). But at the cottage, I have a huge clover, dandelion, wild strawberry, pesticide-free lawn winding down to the thankful lake. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  13. Anneliese says:

    I love all the clover in our lawn, and yes, the pollinators love it, too! Our lawn is quite the mix of grass, clover, creeping charlie, wood violets and dandelions, and (for the most part) it looks just fine. I am constantly trying explain to people the story of how clover suddenly became a weed when 2,4-D became popular. Thanks for a great post!

  14. Michelle D. says:

    I really enjoy the clover in my tiny patch of lawn.
    It is blooming along side of the white sweet alyssum right now and they both look so charming with the daffodils blooming next to them in the border beds.

    The nice thing about the clover is that it survives pretty well despite the lack of water it receives.

    I don’t water my small patch of crab grass, dandylions, clover, alyssum and achillea during the summer so it comes down to the survival of the fittest. The clover is always the greenest of the matrix .
    Just wish it would bully the crabgrass out.

  15. Rosella says:

    Kindred souls! I have a big bag of clover sitting here, waiting till I get a chance to spread it on my lawn. I ordered it a while ago but didn’t get to use it.

    I love the clover in the lawn, and I love that it’s visited by bees. I also love that it stays green pretty much all summer, when the other stuff dies down. No pesticides on my lawn either, and I fertilize only with chicken poop–composted, in a bag, bought at the local hardware store. Who would have thought we’d live in the DC metro area and have to pay for chickens**t?

  16. Susan Harris says:

    Rosella, good one! Same goes for horses**t and bulls**t, of course.

  17. Our ever-expanding clover patch on the front lawn was brilliant green all winter, while the St. Augustine grass is stil looking brown from the colder than average winter we had. We haven’t mowed since last October, but most of our neighbors mowed regularly even though the grass is dormant. What a waste of time, energy, and money. The clover is about 8 inches high in the center of the patch with lots of white flowers that are covered with bees and small butterflies during the day.

    Plus… clover is edible. Break up the flowers to use them in a salad or use them as a garnish. The taste of the both the flowers and leaves is slightly sour, so use in moderation.

    Happy St. Patty’s Day!

  18. Susan;

    Ah ha! St. paddies day you talk clover on your blog. Meanwhile I discuss the more important necessities of the day on mine.

    My solution is after a few you don’t give a damn about whether clover is good or bad.

    Rick

    p. s. Susan my yard is, and always will be . . . full of clover

  19. My only clover criticisms are both from my bare-foot childhood — inevitably stepping on bees (ouch!) and that clover is very slick when wet.

  20. Susan says:

    Clover is very pretty, but before you put it in as a lawn replacement, you need to know that it doesn’t stand up well to heavy foot traffic (especially kids and dogs) and that it spreads very easily.

  21. Jan says:

    An additional benefit of clover in the lawn is rabbits love it. They feast on the clover (and the plantain) in my lawn and ignore the freshly emerging vegetable shoots.

  22. Susan, I had no idea! The next time my neighbors snub my clover-laden lawn, I might just have to educate them!!

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