St. Patrick’s Day is near so I thought I’d make a note about my favorite lawn addition.
Although considered to be a weed by many of you lawn lovers out there, clover was once an integral part of the traditional lawn (even incorporated in original seeding mixtures). However, clover met its demise in the 1950s when 2-4-D and other selective & broadleaf weed killers were made available to the public. These herbicides were revolutionary in battling dock, dandelion, and chickweed, the only problem was they killed clover too. Suddenly challenged with approaching angry lawn owners who had always coveted their stands of clover, or giving up their product, chemical companies did the next best thing…convince people they didn’t want clover.
“The clover quandary was deftly handled by the same marketers who had, seemingly overnight, made the phrase “weed ’n feed” part of American vernacular. In this case, clover was re-branded as a weed by use of the oldest promotional ploy in the book: manufacturing fear. Clover, you see, attracts bees by the thousands when the flowers bloom in mid summer. Bees, claimed the deft advertisements, sting children. Young mothers took note and, within a generation, clover was gone from most seed mixes. Soon, the three- and four-leafed plants, just like the bees, were disappearing from lawns.” Paul Tukey- Author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual
After the rebranding of clover as a weed to fit the industry’s needs, home owners began to forget all about the wonderful attributes clover once contributed to their lawns. But clover has many loveable qualities that make it worthy of any lawn. Here are just a few to consider:
- Highly drought tolerant.
- Perennial and Evergreen. Yes, all year round.
- Pet urine resistant, which means pet owners can avoid those large brown patches in the yard.
- Grows in poor soils.
- Can reduce weed pressure by over-shading.
- Fertilizes surrounding plants.
- Provides almost all of your lawns nitrogen needs each year.
- Is easily seeded in early spring.