Anyone Overlooked the Benefits of Clover?
The pros are compelling.
Clover adds greenness to a lawn. It stays green even during dry
spells in which many cool-season grasses turn brown. If your taste
runs to green lawn all season, including clover in it will save you
the work and cost of watering and fertilizing the lawn during its mid-
Clover manufactures fertilizer for your grass by fixing nitrogen. You
don't have to buy and distribute additional fertilizer -- more
One of the strongest ecological objections to a lawn is its lack of
diversity, and due to that, its ill-suitedness as a habitat. Clover
allows your lawn to support more wildlife. Its nectar keeps the bees
around so they can perform services like pollinating your fruit trees
and vegetables. Having a variety of plants in your lawn along with
the grasses will increase the diversity of insects and their
predators, and this will keep insect populations under control.
Research and observation support the stability of a diverse lawn.
Clover attracts parasitoid wasps, which are welcomed by fruit and
vegetable growers. Robert Kourik, an expert on edible landscaping
writes that white clover (Trifolium repens) attracts "parasitic wasps
of aphids, scales, and whiteflies." But don't panic; these are not
the wasps that build nests in doorways and hover around picnics, and
most of them cannot even sting a person; they are too small.
A clover-rich lawn smells better than a chemically fertilized (or
herbicide-treated) one. It can't overpower the fumes of a charcoal
grill or city buses, but that fresh smell might reach your glad nose
every so often.
Clover has even been used as a substitute for lawn in an area that
doesn't get a lot of trampling.
As for those bees in the clover, in Clover Lawns - Alternatives to
Lawn Grass, David Beaulieu assures us that "if you are allergic to
bee stings, to be on the safe side you can simply mow more frequently
during the blooming season."
By Evelyn J. Hadden