White Dutch Clover
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Native to US:
Seeding Rate: 2lbs./1000ft²
Rising costs of water and energy are inspiring many people to seek environmentally sustainable alternatives to their thirsty, work-intensive lawns. Consequently, clover lawns have gained popularity in recent years. A clover lawn can be a low-cost, low-maintenance alternative to traditional turf lawns—especially in shady or problem areas of your yard.
There are two types of clover lawns:
pure clover - for low to moderate foot-traffic
mixed grass/clover - for moderate to high foot-traffic
Of the two, the best choice for most people and situations is the mixed grass/clover lawn. You can either overseed clover into your existing lawn or begin one from scratch.
If a clover lawn is right for you, there are many advantages over traditional bluegrass or bermuda grass lawns.
Never needs fertilizer. Clover is a nitrogen-fixer, which means it takes nitrogen from the air, via bacteria living in nodules on the roots. This allows the plant to “create” fertilizer for itself and other nearby plants. This means that grass intermixed with clover is healthier and greener than grass seeded alone.
Little watering. In many regions clover is fairly drought-tolerant when added to a traditional lawn. It has longer roots than most lawn grasses, enabling it to access water held deeper in the soil. (However, clover is not as drought-tolerant when seeded alone at the density of a lawn.)
Spring green-up/winter color. Clover greens-up in early spring and remains green until winter. In warmer regions such as the Southern US, it may remain green all year.
Little mowing. Clover grows 2-8” tall and requires little mowing to keep it manicured. You may decide to mow in midsummer to remove dead blooms, neaten the appearance, or prevent additional blooming.
No herbicides/out-competes weeds. Some herbicides kill clover, but once established clover can be persistent to the point of out-competing most other weeds. Weeds that do establish can be hand-rouged or spot-treated with an appropriate herbicide.
Grows in poor soil. Clover tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions, including poor-draining soils and low quality soils exposed by new construction. Clover also tolerates compacted soil better than lawn grasses, and therefore needs little to no seasonal aeration.
Terrific texture/smell. Soft and cool, clover feels great on bare feet. Clover also has a mild, pleasing aroma and attractive blooms.
No more dog spots. The urine of female dogs discolors lawn grasses; clover is unaffected.
A clover lawn may not be for everyone. When deciding if a clover lawn is right for you, first consider the following:
Traditional grass lawns handle heavy foot-traffic (sports, kids, dogs, etc.) better than clover lawns.
Clover will stain clothing easier than a grass lawn and can be difficult to launder.
Clover is an excellent pollinator species, attracting honeybees, bumblebees and other beneficial insects. Gardeners may appreciate the bee activity, but it may concern those allergic to beestings. Reduce these concerns by mowing more frequently during the growing season to remove blooms.
Watering your lawn can get expensive. Between the frequency of watering and the amount of water needed for your yard, you're probably spending more than you realize on lawn care.
But there’s good news: you can save on water costs and still enjoy a lush, green lawn. When you plant drought-tolerant grass and legumes together, you can greatly reduce your lawn’s water consumption.
White Dutch clover is a cost-effective legume that can be overseeded into your existing grass and reduces the amount of water needed to grow a green lawn.
What Is White Clover?
Trifolium repens, or white clover, originated in Europe and is one of the world's most popular legumes for yards.
White clover is a beautifully simple plant that grows in most regions worldwide. Due to its heartiness and full coverage, many homeowners have transitioned their lawns to full clover or partial clover.
This little plant doesn't grow more than a few inches, which makes it ideal for lawn-use. Many people also love the look of clover yards and clover ground cover — the plant sprouts a small white flower, hence the name.
The clovers are soft and comfortable to walk on, which is why this legume is the ideal addition to grass seed mixtures for yards where families spend a lot of time outside. Don’t want to see the flowers or worried about stepping on a bee? Just mow it regularly to keep it from blooming.
Seven Benefits of Using White Clover Seed
Planting white clover seeds is one of the best decisions you can make for your yard and your lawn care budget. It never needs fertilizer, remains green most of the year, suppresses weeds from growing, thrives in poor soil, has an excellent texture, and doesn't leave yellow “dog spots.”
Benefit #1: White Clover Is a Natural Fertilizer
One of the reasons many homeowners and farmers plant white Dutch clover seed is because it's a natural fertilizer. This feature prevents landowners from spending time and money fertilizing their land to keep grass and other plants healthy.
White clover is a nitrogen fixer, which means it replenishes nitrogen in the soil by taking it from the air. With the assistance of helpful bacteria in its nodules, white Dutch clover fertilizes the soil on its own.
Benefit #2: White Dutch Clover Requires Less Water
Water costs are constantly increasing, so it's beneficial for homeowners to look for ways to use less water. White Dutch clover doesn't require much water because it's drought-tolerant.
Its long roots help it access water reservoirs deep within the soil that the grasses can’t reach. However, if you plant an all-clover lawn, it will require just about as much water as an all-grass lawn so keep that in mind.
To unlock the full water-saving potential of white Dutch clover, it’s best to partner it with grass. With both plants, your grass will draw water from the upper soil layers, and your clover can use the water located deeper within the earth.
Benefit #3: Keep Your Yard Green All Year
White clover seed is excellent for homeowners who want a green yard all year. Because clover is a tolerant legume and reaches water far down in the soil, it can maintain active growth for extended periods in harsh conditions where grasses would struggle.
This allows for a green lawn from springtime to the middle of winter. If you live in the southern states, you have the potential for a green lawn year-round when you plant white clover seeds.
Benefit #4: Prevent Weed Growth with White Clover
After planting a beautiful lawn, the most annoying thing is seeing pesky weeds sprout up. You won't have to worry about weeds if you supplement your grass seeds with white clover seeds.
Because of white clovers' naturally dense growth, it smothers weeds before they can grow and spread. Basically, white Dutch clover acts as a natural weed suppressor.
Benefit #5: Grow White Dutch Clover in Any Soil
Resiliency is another benefit of planting white clover seed. This legume can grow just about anywhere, in almost any type of soil.
Additionally, this soil resiliency means that you hardly have to aerate the soil, if ever. By mixing clover with grass seed, you’ll minimize your labor while reaping the benefits of a beautifully manicured piece of property.
Benefit #6: Support Pollinators (and Your Family!)
Homeowners love white Dutch clover because it is soft to the touch. This feature is excellent for people who spend a lot of time outside because they can walk around barefoot without being concerned about splinters, weeds, and thorns.
But the appeal of white clover goes beyond the texture. Its small white blooms lures butterflies and bees to pollinate and enjoy the flower's nectar. If you’d rather not have the flowers you can mow them off before they bloom.
Benefit #7: Eliminate Pet Urine-Related Dead Spots
If you own a dog, you probably have a few yellow spots in your yard. But with clover, you can maintain a bright green lawn and let your dog play outside and relieve itself without worrying. White clover leaves are so resilient that they can grow regardless of your dog's bathroom habits.
Why is clover resilient to urination?
All grasses, legumes, and plants require nitrogen for growth. Without enough nitrogen, our yards yield nothing for us to enjoy. However, if a yard receives too much nitrogen, it will die.
A dog's urine is packed with nitrogen, which is a byproduct of the proteins in its diet. Because of this high nitrogen concentration, your dog’s urine acts as a type of natural fertilizer — except, for grass alone, it’s too much nitrogen.
Unlike grass, clover can handle excessive nitrogen levels. Just as white clover pulls nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil, it uses similar systems to adjust the high nitrogen levels in the soil from urination. As a result, the surrounding grass doesn't die.
Four Reasons to Plant White Dutch Clover Seed
Learning the benefits of white clover is great, but you should also know what you can use it for. White clover has four main purposes: homeowners and farmers plant it for forage, beautification, wildlife, and erosion control.
You can plant clover in spring or late summer/ early fall along with your grass seed. This will give it enough time to establish before the weather gets cold. With the proper intention and planning, you can reap the benefits of a clover and grass lawn on your property.
Situation #1: Foraging
Farmers often use clover as a component in pasture mixes because it’s a great forage legume. Cattle and other livestock love the sweet taste of white clover, and farmers love it because it gives their animals (and soil) essential nutrients. However, if used as forage it needs to be mixed with plenty of grass to avoid bloat risk.
Additionally, clover is cheaper than most other grasses, more resilient to foot traffic and drought, and spreads more quickly than grass. These reasons make it a great addition to pastures where hooves and pads will trample down grass.
Homeowners will benefit from adding clover to their lawn seed mixture, too, even though they don't have farm animals. Many wild animals survive by foraging. Planting white clover gives your lawn a naturalized look and supports the surrounding wildlife.
Situation #2: Affordable Beautification
Since white clover doesn't grow very tall, it creates a nice undercoat beneath taller grasses. This undergrowth adds color and depth to your lawn. It’s also soft, making it ideal for families who like to spend warm summer nights out in their yard.
If you have open spaces around your garden, you can use clover as a low-maintenance ground cover as well.
Situation #3: Natural Wildlife Attractor
If you live near woods or plains and plant white clover, prepare for wildlife visitors. Just like domestic animals love the taste of white clover, wildlife enjoys snacking on it too.
Deer and rabbits are some of the most common yard visitors in the country. Since these animals love foraging white clover, prepare for deer and rabbits to eat in your yard if you plant it.
Although this may not appeal to all homeowners, if you love the presence of wildlife on your property, you're in for a real treat.
Situation #4: Effective Erosion Control
If you have erosion on your property that you can't control, try using Dutch white clover. This cover crop has deep roots, seed germination happens quickly, and the fast spread can help mitigate soil loss.
Get Premium-Quality White Clover Seeds Today
White Dutch clover can be an excellent addition to your yard because it requires no fertilization and minimal water. It stays green most of the year while preventing weeds from growing and killing your grass.
And the best part is that you don't have to worry much about it once it grows. White Dutch clover sprouts fast, and it's hearty and resilient against drought, heat, and dog spots.
If you're considering planting white clover, consider using it for foraging, beautifying, wildlife, and erosion control. When you plant it along with high-quality grass seed, you can grow a healthy, green lawn that offers you and your family myriad benefits.