How to Start and Grow Clover: The Ecological Lawn Alternative

Updated on September 6, 2019
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Author is a long time gardener and former professional. Loves to share her rescues & successes in the plant world in which she thrives.

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."

Did You Know...?

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

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 landscaped 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 the 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 the growth rate.
  • Overseed and fertilize again in the fall season.

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

Did You Know?

Clover used to grow naturally in lawns.

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 Reasons To Start an Ecological Clover Lawn

  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.

For those who have Clover Lawns: Which is better?

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

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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 

      20 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 

      2 years 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 

      6 years ago

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

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