What many people might not realize is that within the gardening community, there is a tense and rather contentious debate, with micro clover lawns at the centre of this controversy.
Many hardcore lawn lovers will simply disregard micro clovers as weed, and finding them on your lawn is a clear sign that your maintenance is failing.
However, some gardening lovers are beginning to accept micro clovers onto their lawns, welcoming them even, and some people are even beginning to reject their old traditional lawns in favor of micro clover lawns!
For those who are rooted in their ways, it might be hard initially to accept micro clover lawns, as it means putting their pride aside!
But when you look deeper into why your lawn has micro clovers in it, you might change your mind if you feel like their presence is more important than your pride!
So to find out if you should accept micro clovers into your lawn, then keep reading on, as we’ll explain everything you need to know!
Why Do Clovers Grow On My Lawn?
What we know as traditional clover, which is also known as Dutch clover or White clover, is often seen as a bad sign when it appears in your garden, but why is this the case exactly?
Well finding clover in your lawn can be seen as a sign that your grass is actually starving!
This is because grass requires nitrogen in order to grow and thrive, but it has to take nitrogen from the soil, which usually is provided by rainwater as well as granular fertilizer.
On the other hand, clover is able to absorb nitrogen from the air because it’s a legume, so you’ll often find that clovers are able to stay strong even if the grass around it is deprived of nitrogen.
So, if you suddenly find a load of clover in your garden, it could be a sign that your lawn needs some support, namely in the form of top-dressing some organic fertilizer or compost on it!
What Exactly Is A Micro Clover?
So, clovers are well-known by gardeners, and have a bad reputation due to what they represent, but what are micro clovers?
The micro clover is actually just a much smaller type of white clover, with smaller leaves, and less white flowers.
Since it’s much smaller, it grows much closer to the ground, and doesn’t have the same trait of clumping together like traditional clovers do.
Micro clover is still a legume much like its bigger relatives, which means it can suck the nitrogen out of the air and turn it into an organic form of nitrogen that it is able to use to grow.
This sort of natural fertilizer that micro clover is able to produce can actually end up feeding the plants that surround it, which is why more and more gardeners are beginning to look upon micro clover with fonder eyes, and adding it to their lawns!
Why Should I Let Micro Clovers Grow On My Lawn?
As previously mentioned, micro clover is able to produce its very own type of fertilizer by transforming the atmospheric nitrogen into an organic fertilizer, which is extremely beneficial both to itself, and the plants that surround it, which includes grass too.
So if you want a natural way to help your grass grow, this is an excellent way of keeping your lawn healthy all by itself.
Having this naturally produced nitrogen distributed across your lawn by micro clover is great for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it helps to cut back on the amount of ferilizer you need to be adding to your lawn, which will also help you to reduce the maintenance costs of your garden.
Secondly, fetilizer that you add to your garden is prone to getting washed off during spells of heavy rain, and can end up finding their way into water sources nearby, which can have a detrimental effect to the local environment, so it’s something to be wary of when using chemical fertilizers.
So adding micro clover to your lawn is an excellent way to provide your lawn with nitrogen without having to rely on chemical fetilizers, which is great for the environmentally conscious gardener!
Another great benefit of micro clover in your lawn is that it also makes for a great filler that requires very little maintenance at all, and it helps to provide something unique to your traditional lawn too.
When you have micro clover alongside suitable grass seed, the micro clover can help to fill in any gaps, and provides your lawn with a much more vivid green hue, as well as an interesting texture to your lawn.
The final benefit to incorporating micro clover into your lawn is that because it’s so hardy, it also helps to prevent the growth of weeds across your lawn, as it fills in the holes in your lawn grass that you would usually find weeds trying to grow through.
But with micro clover, a sort of canopy is created, which is impossible for the weeds to penetrate.
Are There Any Problems To Know About?
So, after reading this, you’re probably wondering how soon you can incorporate micro clover into your lawn. However, there is a slight catch when it comes to adding micro clover to your garden, so let’s take a look at what the problem is.
Unfortunately, the main problem with micro clover is that it isn’t suitable for all environments, and it will struggle to grow at all in areas that frequently see high temperatures and long periods without rain, but some people do say that micro clover’s hardiness (which is due to its unique root structure) means that it can actually tolerate a drought much better than grass would.
If you’re unsure if micro clover would be suitable to be incorporated into your lawn, then the best thing for you to do would be to contact your nearest extension offer, who should be able to provide you with more in-depth information about whether or not micro clover is able to grow and thrive in your area.
Depending on where you live, this luscious green foliage has the potential to go completely dormant, and brown in the colder months, especially in the winter, and when this green growth dies out, it can ultimately lead your lawn looking patchy and bare.
It’s for this reason that it’s worth checking with the extension office before you decide to go sowing micro clover seeds onto your lawn, otherwise you might find yourself disappointed when the winter chill arrives!
One of the most notable areas for having a poor climate for micro clover growth is the most southern areas of the United States, which is due to southern blight disease, caused by the extended periods of extreme humidity and heat that are so common amongst these states.
Is It Possible To Have A Full Lawn Of Micro Clover?
It might seem like a rather extreme idea, but some people really do kill off their entire lawns and replace what would usually be grass with micro clover!
This does sound good, especially since they produce their own natural fertilizer, however, there are a couple of reasons why having a lawn entirely of micro clover is actually something of a bad idea.
For those looking to plant a lawn composed entirely of micro clover, the cost can become particularly expensive, which is a massive deterrent for many people who initially consider having an entire lawn full of it.
This is because in order to create a full stand of micro clover, you’d need about 2 pounds of seed per thousand square feet, and ten pound bags that cover five thousand square foot typically cost a few hundred dollars each.
In comparison, covering the exact same amount of lawn in grass seed would cost you 100 dollars or less, but that does depend on the brand of grass seed, as well as what store you purchased it from.
So, this is why many people who initially consider turning their entire lawn from grass to micro clover end up going back upon their decision.
But ultimately, it’s down to you if you think that this high cost investment is going to be worth it in the long run, especially since micro clover is a lot cheaper to maintain, and is more environmentally friendly, as we mentioned before.
How To Create A Micro Clover Lawn
So, if you’ve decided to revolutionize your entire lawn space from the traditional grass lawn into a unique and interesting micro clover lawn, then you’re probably going to wonder what the best way to achieve this is, and whilst for the most part it’s the same as creating any other lawn using seeds, there are some specific tips and hacks that are going to help your micro clover flourish and thrive, which will help your garden standard out from the rest!
- You want to make sure that the seed you buy is entirely composed of micro clover seed, and has absolutely no filler seeds inside at all. So make sure that the packaging that you plan on buying states that it is 100% micro clover seeds.
- You should help prepare for your micro clover seeds by using screened organic compost, and tiling 5” of topsoil.
- You should ensure that the soil you’re going to plant your micro clover seed into is the correct pH. The ideal pH for planting micro clover is between 6-7, so it’s worth buying and conducting a pH test on your soil before planting, as this will ensure that your soil is ready for the seeds.
- Make sure that you use a broadcast spreader in order to help sow your seeds, as this will ensure that you have an even distribution across the lawn, which will help to create that dense green hue that will help your lawn stand out from the rest.
- Not only does raking in the seed help to provide better distribution, but it also helps to ensure good soil contact, and you can use the back of a leaf rake to do this.
- You want to water the seeds on a regular basis to ensure that the seeds have enough water in order to thrive, but just be sure that you aren’t overwatering them either.
- It is recommended to wait a week before you begin to use any fertilizer on the seeds at all. The fertilizer that most people tend to use to help grow micro clover lawns is organic chicken manure pellets, which you should be able to find at most gardening stores.
How To Create A Partial Microclover Lawn
Rather than creating a lawn consisting entirely of micro clover, most people who want to incorporate micro clover into their garden tend to mix it in alongside their traditional grass lawn, which helps to provide a fuller and denser lawn with a bright green hue to it.
The best way to create this type of partial micro clover lawn is to overseed the micro clover seeds into a pre-existing lawn, which not only helps to add more greenery, but it also helps to create an extremely nice texture when walking on it barefoot, which is great for people who like to spend a lot of time in their garden!
Of course though, the main reason that people consider adding micro clover to their pre-existing lawns is to help make their current lawn healthier, due to the natural fertilizer it produces, creating that amazing nitrogen that helps to feed other plants, all whilst preventing any weeds from coming through as well, and helping to cut back on maintenance costs!
Best Conditions For Micro Clover
It’s well known that extreme heat and humidity aren’t suitable conditions for growing, so it’s important to know exactly what conditions are going to help your micro clover thrive!
- Areas that have a relatively low humidity, and no extended periods of extremely excessive heat.
- Areas limited to no shade, so that the lawn is provided with plenty of sunshine.
- Areas that frequently experience rainfall, and that don’t regularly suffer from periods of drought.
Best Grass For Micro Clover
If you’re someone who lives in the northern areas of the United States, then chances are that the grass on your lawn is going to be Kentucky Bluegrass, which is an excellent grass to blend and induce micro clover into.
Most varieties of Fescue grass work well too though, as does Dwarf Perennial Ryegrass!
So, as you can see, there are a whole range of benefits to introducing micro clover into your traditional grass lawn, and although it’s entirely possible to have a lawn composed completely of micro clover, most people tend to overseed micro clover on top of a usual grass lawn.
You just need to ensure that the conditions you live in are suitable for micro clover and its growth, and then you can easily introduce it. We hope you found this guide helpful, and thanks for reading!