Clover Lawns

22 Apr 2012 Comments 0


Clover has it origin in the south east of Europe / south west Asia Minor. Clover was once believed to be a curative for heart disease because of their heart-shaped leaves. Today medical labs extracts a chemical called “coumarin” from clover which is used as a blood thinner. White Clover White or Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) has three-part green, heart-shaped leaves with white crescents and pink or white flowers. It grows about 5 to 15 cm high. It is a perennial plant that tolerates poor and dry soils, but thrives with frequent watering especially is the soil gets water logged.


Clover has the ability to make use of atmospheric nitrogen and it therefore does not a need particular good soil to grow. It has a shallow root system and spreads by runners. It also grows from seed.


Until the 1950s, Clover was included in lawn seed mixes as it was regarded as a prestigious lawn plant. It was considered an attractive, low-maintenance ground cover that is soft to walk on, it mows well and it also has a mild pleasant smell and will fill in thin spots in a lawn. Clover is immune to "dog patches." The urine of female dogs discolors and browns lawn grasses. Clover remains as green and lush as ever, it needs no fertilizers. Clover stays green all summer with little or no watering in most regions of the SA. Clover is relatively drought-tolerant and it greens up early in spring and remains green until the first frost. In areas with winter rain it will remain green all winter.


White clover grows just 5 to 15 cm tall and requires little or no mowing to keep it orderly.

However, some homeowners may prefer to mow in mid-summer in order to deadhead old blooms and neaten the appearance of the lawn, or to prevent blooming.


Clover may also be considered a weed which does not readily withstand heavy foot traffic. Clover can become invasive in lawns. Its flowers attract bees. Children playing in a Clover lawn will end up with a few green stains on their bodies and clothing. Its flowers become unattractive when they turn brown. If you are a Clover lawn lover and you want Clover to look at its best it must be mowed frequently it will reduce the flowers and therefore eliminate the attraction of bees.

Whichever way you look at it, some are fore it and some against it. I was told by a bee keeper friend of mine that bees only sting when they feel they are threatened.


Red Clover The red clover (Trifolium pratense) tolerates acidic or poorly drained soil, and is commonly used as a forage crop for animals. It is unsuitable for lawns because it has coarse stems which look terrible when it is mowed.


White Clover Clover is best planted in spring and summer. If you wish to add clover to your lawn, power rake or otherwise scruff the soil surface to provide good soil to seed contact. Seed at a rate of 60 to 250 grams per 100 m2 this is depending on the amount of clover desired in the lawn. At 60 grams per 100 square meters clover will become the dominant plant.

Since clover seeds are small, uniform distribution may be difficult. Mix sawdust or river sand, with the seed prior to spreading to simplify distribution. Keep the soil moist until Clover has become established. Clover will not thrive under a program of heavy fertilization.


White clover is not reliably hardy in every parts of South Africa. Clover popularity fluctuates depending on the severity of the winter, summer drought, etc. If the clover is thin one year, it usually recovers in following years, so over-seeding is not always necessary.


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