Prior to the 1950s, clover was a part of most grass seed mixes for lawns. Clover’s ability to reseed itself and stay green was considered an advantage in the pursuit of a beautiful, green lawn. Over the years, lawn seed mixes have generally dropped the clover and gone with all grasses, but this is not necessarily a good idea. Clover lawns are making a comeback due to clover’s drought-tolerant and low-maintenance qualities.
Clover used to be added in grass seed mixtures because it held so many nitrogen nutrients that helped lawn grow lush and full. In fact, every time you mow your lawn you are adding the clover clippings back into the ground and spurring incredible growth.
White clover has flowers that bees love. That’s where you get clover honey. That’s also why a clover yard is best in low-traffic areas—you wouldn’t want to step on those bees. Clover grows two to eight inches tall and needs little to no mowing. Clover is rich in nitrogen and successful at crowding out other weeds. It also naturally helps to keep out chinch bugs that eat grass—especially St. Augustine, bermuda, and zoysia grasses.
Clover’s sweet smell attracts bees during the spring and summer months. More bees on your lawn mean that there will be an increase in cross-pollination of flowers, which is beneficial to your garden.
Clover is lush to walk on, and you can keep it mowed to avoid the white flowers that attract those bees that can sting bare feet. However, due to colony collapse, clover fields do a great job to help bees survive. Parkways or perimeters landscaped with clover might offer a perennial green look that you love.
Clover is not in the same category as the dandelion (looks beautiful but is really harmful). Clover looks beautiful, smells great, and is a virtual nutrient bank for your lawn. Instead of getting rid of the clover, you should appreciate it for the many life-giving benefits that it offers your lawn.
One of the overlooked benefits of a clover filled lawn is that the clover actually crowds out a lot of the other weeds that are more harmful to your lawn. Clover takes up the space that various molds and mildews might otherwise occupy.