Leave clover in your lawn, organic gardeners! There are many reasons why you should leave clover in your lawn. Clover isn’t the enemy. It’s a gardener’s friend.
Why You Should Leave Clover in the Lawn
There are many good reasons why you should leave clover in the lawn. Clover in the lawn isn’t a weed. It’s a natural, gorgeous, nitrogen-producing factory that feeds your soil and the local bees.
Once upon a time, people didn’t have lawns. Does that surprise you? The great estates had grassy yards kept cropped close by herds of sheep. Lawns came into vogue in the 1800s…after the lawn mower was invented. Before the lawn mower, your servants used great big scythes, or knives, to cut down the grass, or that handy band of sheep kept the grass cropped. Homes that had yards kept the grass trimmed in the same way, just on a smaller scale.
Then came the lawn mower, and it became fashionable to have a green, outdoor carpet underfoot for your outdoor activities. Those Victorian ancestors of ours loved “taming” nature, and lawns were just another effort to tame the outdoors.
Until recent times, most lawns consisted of various grasses such as fescue, rye, and yes, clover. While not technically a grass, clover has the unique ability to “fix” nitrogen, or take it out of the atmosphere through transpiration (plant breathing) and change it into usable soil nitrogen. You’ll find clover growing abundantly in lawns deficient in nitrogen; it’s busy adding what nature lacks.
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There are many good reasons why you should leave clover in the lawn:
- The more clover you have, the more natural nitrogen is being added to the soil. This means you have to add less fertilizer.
- It’s drought-resistant. Clover stays green even during hot, dry weather.
- The flowers nurture and sustain local bee populations. Blooming clover attracts honeybees, and the pollen from clover is very beneficial to bee colonies.
- Clover flowers are beautiful!
- White clover crowds out other weeds. Where you have a healthy clover population, you will have fewer broadleaf weeds.
- Clover feeds wildlife such as rabbits, keeping them out of your garden and happily munching clover on the lawn.
- As an organic gardener, keeping clover alive not only keeps the bees alive, but decreases both the amount of herbicide applied to lawn areas and the amount of artificial nitrogen applied to lawn areas….both very, very appealing prospects for the organic gardener!
Four Leaf Clovers?
White clover was considered a good luck plant from early times. The Celts believed it warded off evil spirits. A four-leaf clover, found naturally among white clover plants, is considered especially good luck.
The leaves of a typical clover plant represent faith, hope and love. A four leaf clover adds luck as its fourth lucky leaf!
Although rare, they aren’t uncommon, and most people have indeed found a four leaf clover at least once in their lives.
Now you see, if you leave that clover growing in your lawn, you’ll have a better chance at finding a lucky four leaf clover. Isn’t that yet another GREAT reason to leave clover alone in your lawn?
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.