Looking back at my posts I’m starting to wonder if I’ve created a journal of my journey to homesteading… or my journey converting to my husband’s way of thinking. Hmmm… that’s not right. I am my own person! I think my own thoughts! I make good decisions! I have great ideas!
So let me tell you about clover… and, again, how it all began with the ‘gentle’ nagging of my husband…
The ever-delicate clover… so tiny and gentle. Yet that first sprout in your lawn is like seeing that dandelion flower shoot from the earth. Once you get one there’s no stopping em’! Not too long ago this family lived in a perfectly manicured yard. A little shot of weed killer here, another shot of turf builder there… perfectly, lush green grass… the kind so perfect you’d never see a grasshopper or bumblebee buzz around in. Back then we lived in military housing and I took pride in our yard, even won a few hundred bucks in savings bonds over it.
Today I look back at that and say, “why?” Why all the spreading of chemicals just to prevent the clover or dandelion. Dandelion leaves are edible. But clover… what does clover do? Aside from the one in one million chance of finding the four-leaf clover. Alas, a discovery has been made!
- Clover, like all legumes, takes nitrogen from the air and through a chemical reaction, deposits it in the ground as an absorbable fertilizer. In lawns, it provides a constant trickle of of fertilizer to itself and surrounding grasses – making the whole lawn more lush, green, and healthy.
- Clover is drought tolerant. It grows deep roots and needs less water to stay green than grasses. If you see clover patches in lawns in the summer, it is usually green, while the rest of the lawn is brown and dormant. Clover spread throughout a lawn can make it appear green year round.
- Clover resists pet urine. Dog owners (such as yours truly) typically have brown spots in their lawn from their pet’s urine. Unlike grass, clover is highly resistant to this and help maintain a uniformly green lawn.
- Clover can grow in bad soil. It can thrive in low fertility soils, In fact, clover in a lawn is often a sign of low nitrogen levels in soil because it does so much better than grasses. Since it is nitrogen fixating, it cansupply its own nutriets. Woo hoo! Self-sufficiency at its best!
- Clover has the ability to attract honeybees. Clover puts out a mildly attractive flower — which could easily be listed as another advantage clover has over lawn grass. This flower draws bees and other beneficial insects to your landscape.
About two months ago I, yet again, gave in to my husbands pleas, and assisted in him in spreading clover seed throughout our lawn. I was reluctant, but knew his idea had to be warranted. All his others have been (yes, dear, brownie points to you). After a few weeks the clover began to sprout and spread. Those horrible patches where my dogs had slipped and slided were all gone. I was so happy with the outcome we spread another batch of clover throughout the yard. It’s phenomenal how well it’s growing.
If only I had researched the greatness of clover years ago… but, hey, I am my own person! I think my own thoughts! I make good decisions! I have great ideas!