Are you considering having a clover lawn instead of the traditional grass variety? If so, you’re in the right place. Today, I’ll reveal everything you need to know about growing clover for a beautiful lawn. Keep reading to discover my full guide to growing a clover lawn.
I’ll also go over some popular types of clover, as well as the environmental and cost benefits of this type of lawn.
Let’s embark on our clover-growing journey!
Popular Types of Clover
Two of the most popular varieties for growing a clover lawn are Dutch white clover and micro-clover. I’ll talk about the characteristics and requirements of each type of clover below.
Dutch White Clover
Dutch white clover will bloom when it matures, which can be beautiful (and great for pollinators) but it isn’t for everyone.
Does anyone in your household have bee allergies? Be aware that white clover will attract bees to your property if you let it grow enough to bloom.
So, make sure you mow it before it reaches that height if bees will be a problem.
It usually remains green all year long, depending on your region, and is generally considered a better choice than a red clover lawn.
Dutch White Clover Maintenance Tips
These are things I suggest you do to make sure that your Dutch white clover lawn stays at its best.
- Re-seed Every Two or Three Years – You will generally need to reseed white clover every 2 to 3 years. In some areas, you might have to reseed every year.
- Make Sure There’s Enough Sun – White clover will thrive best when it gets between 4 and 6 hours of sun every day.
- Know How Much Seed You’ll Need – One pound of white clover will usually seed approximately 1,000 square feet.
A Micro Clover lawn is sturdier than Dutch white clover. It does better with foot traffic than other kinds of clover, but can be more expensive if you’re buying pure micro-clover seed (this is the seed I recommend if you’re trying to do a primarily micro clover lawn).
You can also cut micro clover much shorter than white clover. Here are some other key characteristics of micro-clover.
- Thrives in Sunny Areas – Micro-clover thrives best in sunny areas, but it can tolerate shade quite well.
- Produces Very Few Blooms – Micro-clover produces very few blooms.
- Turns Brown During Dormancy – This kind of clover takes on a brown hue during the dormancy period.
- Need One Pound of Seed for 300 to 600 Square Feet – You will need about one pounds of micro-clover seed to seed between 300 and 600 square feet.
My recommendation for establishing a good clover lawn using Micro Clover is to look for a seed blend that contains some grass and some micro clover that blend well together (like the one featured below):
Best Clover Blend for Overseeding
The Clover Seed Mix I Recommend
Ready to overseed your lawn with clover? I recommend Sunday’s Lucky Lawn clover and grass seed blend. It is a great quality micro clover seed mixed with fescue that blends seamlessly with most lawns.
A single 5 pound bag will overseed 2,500 square feet!
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Environmental and Cost Benefits of a Clover Lawn
There are numerous potential environmental and long-term financial benefits that come with establishing and maintaining a clover lawn.
Here are some of the key benefits of a clover lawn.
- Able to Thrive in Drought Conditions – Clover is able to thrive even in drought conditions, as long as it is already established. This means that you can use less water to maintain the lawn, which helps the environment.
- More Budget Friendly – Clover seed is much more budget-friendly than traditional grass seed.
- Easy Seed Application – Seed application is very easy and you won’t have to worry as much as you would with traditional grass seed.
- Easier to Maintain – Clover is also much easier to maintain than a traditional grass lawn. You won’t have to fertilize clover because it can draw nitrogen from the air and bring it into the soil, creating its own fertilizer.
Not only will that save you money and time every year, but it’s also better for the environment.
Your whole lawn will benefit since all plants can use the nitrogen clover provides.
If you have dogs and struggle to grow grass, you’ll be pleased to learn that their urine won’t cause burn marks on clover.
Also, it won’t take on a yellow hue in periods of drought and extreme heat nearly as quickly as you would see with grass.
Tips to Make Your Clover Lawn Grow Successfully
Before you consider planting a clover lawn, you should consult with a local garden center and ask whether such a lawn would do well where you live.
Most homeowners won’t have a completely clover lawn. Instead, they’ll create a mix of up to 20% clover seed with 80% grass seed.
You should be aware that clover isn’t as hardy as grass when it comes to foot traffic.
If you have a lot of foot traffic on your lawn, it’s best to go with a combination of clover and grass rather than just clover by itself.
This is usually what is recommended by lawn care professionals.
Planting a Full Clover Lawn
For most people, I recommend planting clover in existing lawn areas where your grass struggles. If you really have your heart set on going with an entirely clover lawn, consider choosing micro-clover. There are micro-clover varieties available that are much more resilient than traditional clover.
Be flexible when you first start with clover. You might find over time you need to change the proportions of clover and grass.
Adjust to what best suits the conditions of your area and your soil type, as well as your preferences and needs.
What Conditions are Best for Clover?
Sandy loam and clay soils are the environments in which clover tends to do best. The soil should have a pH of between 6 and 7.
If you don’t know your soil’s pH, you will need to get a pH meter or test your lawn’s soil. If you find your soil currently has the wrong pH, you can adjust it using:
- Peat moss or Sulphur to make it more acidic
- Lime to make it more alkaline
How to Plant Clover in Your Yard
If you’re planning to plant an entirely new clover lawn, you should get the space ready several weeks beforehand.
Here are the steps to getting your space ready for a clover lawn.
- Remove Debris – Get rid of all debris, stones, and weeds on your lawn space.
- Use a Rake to Loosen Up the Soil – Then use an iron rake to loosen up the soil, including the substrate. If you want to you can use a lawn dethatcher to save your back.
- Water the Loose Soil – Water your loose lawn. This makes any remaining weeds sprout. You’ll be able to easily pull out any weeds that sprout before you apply the clover seed.
- Even Out the Soil With a Rake – Use a rake to make the soil even beforehand, as well. Remember, with a clover lawn you must never apply any kind of herbicide. If you do, you will kill your clover lawn very quickly as most people consider clover a weed.
- Spread Your Clover Seed – Use a broadcast spreader or spread your seed by hand according to the manufacturer’s recommended seeding rate.
- Work the Seed Into the Soil – Use the back side of a leaf rake to lightly work the clover seed into the loose soil. You don’t want to get it too deep, but you want most of it covered so birds don’t eat it. I like to use the back side of a plastic leaf rake because it allows me to work the seed in easily without moving it around too much (and it’s a tool almost everyone already has).
What’s the Best Time to Plant Clover?
In most regions, springtime or right after the last frost of winter, is the best time to plant your clover.
The rains of spring will help your clover get properly established. At that time, competing plants also won’t have had the chance to establish themselves first.
If you live in a region where fall tends to be mild, you may be able to plant your clover then.
You need for your clover to get properly established before the winter months. Make sure that the weather will be over 40 Fahrenheit during the time when the clover gets established.
When you plant your clover seed, you should be aware that spreading it together with the grass seed might end up covering your lawn unevenly.
Once you’ve decided on the proper clover to grass ratio, spread each kind of seed separately.
Go Ahead and Use These Tips for Growing a Clover Lawn
The tips I’ve given you here will help you create the perfect clover lawn. Whether you want to add clover to a traditional grass lawn or even go the whole hog and have a full clover lawn, all the information I’ve offered here will set you up for success.
Before you go, check out my article on the pros and cons of clover lawns to help you decide if Clover is really the best way to go for your property.