How to Start & Grow Clover, the Ecological Lawn Alternative

Updated on April 3, 2018

Is a Polyculture Lawn Right for You?

Do you have a lawn of grass that requires frequent cutting, watering, and commercial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to keep it "healthy" and attractive? With the ban of pesticides in many communities, your lawn may not be as green as you would like. Not to mention that frequent water conservation restrictions in the heat of summer make your lawn suffer, too. And a high-maintenance all-grass lawn isn't healthy for you, your family and pets, the ecosystem, or the environment.

Now may be the perfect time begin a low-cost and easy-to-start environmentally friendly landscaping alternative: blend clover into your existing grass lawn to create a "polyculture lawn."

Alternative Lawns
Alternative Lawns

Clover Lawns: Easy Start Directions and Maintenance Tips

Would you like a lawn that is green, healthy for your family and pets, and contributes many benefits to the ecosystem and environment?

A white Dutch clover lawnscaped yard may be your answer!

  • Overseed existing lawns for best results.
  • The best time to seed is late spring to early summer.

  • Keep soil moist until seeds sprout. Approximate time needed is about 2 weeks. Some seeds sprout as early as 3-5 days.

  • Using the recommended cut height—no shorter than three inches—aids in weed prevention.

  • Fertilizing with composted material increases growth rate.

  • Overseed and fertilize again in the fall season.

It take a few years to convert your lawn, but is well worth the wait.

Did you know...?

Clover used to grow naturally in lawns.

White Dutch Clover Seeds

5LBS White Dutch Clover
5LBS White Dutch Clover

I highly recommend White Dutch Clover as one of the 2 most popular clover varieties and the easiest to grow. Fast germination when watered well and grows in sunny and part shade areas.

 

Historically, clover commonly grew naturally in our lawns. The introduction and use of herbicides eradicated the broadleaf weeds, but removed deep-rooted clover, too. Without clover helping to absorb water, shallow-rooted lawns require more water to keep them green. When herbicides remove the weeds, the lawn needs more water to keep the grass growing to fill the holes left by the weeds.

See a detrimental and never-ending cycle here? Me, too. The herbicide companies love it.

My Polyculture Lawn of Clover and Grass

Since I have a dog and grandchildren living here, we opted for a blend. The grass turf is good for traffic areas,  and the deep-rooted clover aids in less watering. And it's pretty, too.
Since I have a dog and grandchildren living here, we opted for a blend. The grass turf is good for traffic areas, and the deep-rooted clover aids in less watering. And it's pretty, too.

Top 10 Reasons to Start an Ecological Clover Lawn

This is a partial list of my random reasons.

Can you think of more?

  1. Low maintenance
  2. Conserves water
  3. Environmentally beneficial to bees, butterflies, and earthworms
  4. Covered with white flowers in the spring
  5. Green even in the heat of summer
  6. Smells wonderful
  7. Attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Did you know...?

Clover lawns entice beneficial pollinators like butterflies and bees to your gardens.

For those who have Clover Lawns: Which is better?

Which is Best: White Dutch Clover or Micro-Clover Lawns?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • Do You Need to fertilize a Clover Lawn?

    Fertilizers are not required since clover imparts nitrogen into the soil. This is one of the best benefits of having a clover lawn. That said, composted materials can be used to feed a clover lawn.

Please sign my Ecological Garden Tips Guest Book - Anyone can leave a comment, so please do.

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    • profile image

      Anonymous Gardener 

      5 months ago

      I love having a Clover and Grass blend lawn for all the reasons stated in this article. I also agree in using a Clover native to your area. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Nicholas 

      13 months ago

      Hello, I would like to start a grass/clover lawn. Currently, our lawn is overrun with significantly more dandelions and crabgrass than actual grass. What would be a good first step?

    • GoodGirlSEO profile image

      GoodGirlSEO 

      5 years ago

      I absolutely love clovers! nobody ever understands why, either. lol

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