I was struck this morning by the difference between my lawn and my neighbor’s. Mine is the green one with all the clover in it, and hers is the brown, chemically-treated wasteland. I believe that I owe the health and resilience of my turf grass to the abundance of clover that I allow to grow in it.
The lawn chemical companies have convinced people that clover is very, very bad indeed and that they should do everything they can to eradicate it. And people believe the lies, dumping all kinds of chemicals – and money – into the effort to keep their lawns clover-free.
The secret that those companies don’t want people to know is that clover is what is known as a “nitrogen fixer”, attracting nitrogen from the air and releasing it into the soil, fertilizing it naturally. So instead of spending money on clover-killers, I let the plants grow and do their fertilizing thing – for free!
“Clover lawns” are enjoying a renaissance these days as part of the movement away from herbicides and pesticides that kill every microorganism in the soil. The plants only bloom for a few weeks, so the rest of the time, they blend right in with the grass.
Another benefit to encouraging clover is the food you provide to bees and other pollinators, who could use all the help they can get. And clover smells good too. So defy convention and allow clover into your lawn. Your grass will thank you.
Happy Independence Day to all my American readers!