Are you tired of seeing bald patches on your lawn, or maybe just looking for a way to make your yard more eco-friendly? Introducing clover to your existing lawn might be the perfect solution! Not only does it add a touch of whimsy and charm, but it also comes with numerous benefits such as nitrogen fixation and pollinator attraction. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of adding clover to your existing lawn in an easy-to-understand, casual style. So grab a cup of tea (or coffee), sit back, and let’s get started on transforming your lawn into a greener, lusher space!
Before we dive into the how-to part, let’s discuss why planting clover in an existing lawn is worth considering. Here are some of the top reasons:
- Nitrogen Fixation: Clover has a unique ability to draw nitrogen from the air and convert it into usable nutrients for the soil. This means that adding clover to your lawn will naturally fertilize it without the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Drought Tolerance: Clover tends to be more drought-tolerant than grass, meaning that it can maintain its green color even when there’s less water available.
- Attracts Pollinators: Who doesn’t love bees and butterflies? These beneficial insects are attracted to clover flowers, so planting them in your yard can help support local ecosystems by providing food sources for these important pollinators.
- Low-Maintenance: Once established, clover requires minimal care – no need for frequent mowing or watering!
- Natural Weed Control: As clover establishes itself in your lawn, it forms dense mats that can outcompete weeds.
Now that we know why planting clovers is such an awesome idea, let’s get down to business and learn how to do it!
Choosing the Right Clover
There are many types of clover, but the most common ones for lawns are white clover (Trifolium repens) and microclover (Trifolium repens var. Pirouette). Both of these options have similar benefits, but there are some differences:
- White Clover: This is the traditional choice for adding to lawns. It grows slightly taller than microclover (3-6 inches) and produces larger flowers that attract pollinators.
- Microclover: A more recent development in lawn care, microclover is a smaller variety that stays lower to the ground (about 2 inches) and has smaller flowers. Its low profile means you won’t have to mow it as often as white clover.
Ultimately, the choice between white clover and microclover will depend on your preferences – whether you want a taller plant with more prominent flowers or a low-growing one that requires less maintenance.
When to Plant Clover
The best time to introduce clovers into your existing lawn is during spring or fall when soil temperatures are cooler, and rainfall is more abundant. These conditions allow for better seed germination and establishment.
How to Plant Clover in Existing Lawn: Step-by-Step Guide
Now we’re getting into the fun part – planting the clovers! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Step 1: Mow Your Lawn
Start by giving your lawn a good mow. Cut it shorter than you normally would (around 1 inch), so that there’s plenty of room for your new plants.
Step 2: Prepare Your Seeds
Next up is preparing your seeds for planting. Some people recommend mixing them with sand or soil before spreading them onto your lawn. This can help ensure even distribution and prevent the seeds from blowing away.
Step 3: Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating your lawn will create small holes in the soil, allowing water, air, and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass and clover more easily. You can use a manual aerator or rent a motorized one for larger lawns.
Step 4: Spread Your Seeds
Now comes the exciting part – spreading your clover seeds! Using a broadcast spreader, evenly distribute the seed mixture across your lawn. Be sure to follow the recommended seeding rate on your seed package (usually around 2-8 ounces per 1,000 square feet).
Step 5: Water Your Lawn
After planting, give your lawn a gentle watering to help settle the seeds into their new home. Keep an eye on soil moisture levels over the next few weeks – you want it consistently moist but not soaking wet.
Step 6: Watch Your Clover Grow!
Finally, all that’s left is to watch and wait as your newly-seeded clover begins to germinate and grow. It usually takes around two weeks for white clover seeds to sprout (a little longer for microclover), so be patient! Once established, you’ll see those lovely green leaves and delicate flowers start popping up throughout your lawn.
Caring for Your Clover-Infused Lawn
Once your clover is well-established in your existing lawn, caring for it is relatively simple:
- Mowing: Mow less frequently than you would with a traditional grass-only lawn since clovers tend to stay lower than grasses.
- Fertilizing: Thanks to its nitrogen-fixing abilities, adding clover means you likely won’t need additional fertilizers.
- Watering: As we mentioned earlier, clovers are drought-tolerant plants that require less water than traditional grass lawns.
How To Plant Clover In Existing Lawn Conclusion
And that’s it! Now you’ve got a gorgeous, eco-friendly lawn that benefits from the many advantages of clover. Enjoy your new green space and the happy bees and butterflies that are sure to frequent your yard.