If you’re having some trouble with your lawn and need something to give it a boost, then Micro Clover could be what you’re looking for. This tiny plant can work wonders filling in your grass, giving you that rich, full lawn you have been struggling to achieve. But before you decide to jump in and seed your lawn with Micro Clover, let’s ensure you’re 100% certain it’s right for you and your yard. So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a Micro Clover lawn and see what all the fuss is about.
Main Advantages and Disadvantages of a Micro Clover Lawn (The Short Answer)
On the upside, Micro Clover will stay green throughout the year, keep weeds out of your lawn, and is a natural fertilizer that adds those vital nutrients back to your lawn free of charge. On the downside, Micro Clover doesn’t do well with high foot traffic and requires reseeding.
What is Micro Clover
Micro Clover is a smaller/dwarf variety of the White Clover, otherwise known as Dutch White Clover. It is a little broadleaf weed native to Europe and made its way to America like many other plant species. Once it found its way into lawns through natural dispersal, people started to take notice.
Because it’s a legume, Micro Clover offers a noticeable improvement to people’s lawns, as it helps improve soil and adds a thick, vibrant appearance to the yard. Once seed growers saw the benefits of clover, they began to add the seeds into their grass seed blends. As a result, clover is now a common sight in lawns not only in America, but across the globe.
Which is the Best Partner Grass for Micro Clover
Micro Clover likes to grow best with certain types of grasses. So before you grab a bag of seeds, check that it will work on your lawn. Here are some of the best partners for Micro Clover.
- Fine fescues
- Tall fescues
- Dwarf perennial ryegrass
- Kentucky bluegrass
If you are in doubt, a call to your local extension office could help. They will tell you which works best in your area and even recommend a blend of grass seed and Micro Clover.
The Pros of a Micro Clover Lawn Explained
Different clovers have been used in lawns for years and have proven that it’s a solution that works and works well. But what are the specific pros of the Micro Clover, and what makes it stand out? Well, let’s take a look at the benefits and see what makes it special.
Legumes are plants that convert atmospheric nitrogen into an organic form. As a result, the nitrogen created by the Micro Clover quickly improves soil composition and provides a food source needed by the turf grass. This means you can reduce the fertilizer you add to the lawn as Micro Clover will take care of it.
Run Off Reduction
Reducing artificial fertilizers used in the yard means a reduction in nitrogen runoff. Runoff is when fertilizers make their way into nearby waterways via over spraying/over casting or rain. Nitrogen in fertilizer is a primary food source for algae growth in both freshwater and saltwater. This is why we see issues like red tide in our oceans and dead aquatic animals in our lakes and rivers.
To address nitrogen runoff, many municipalities have limited fertilizer usage. This can include limits on nitrogen levels and no-go zones. Many people that live by the water likely have a margin where they are not allowed to fertilize. For example, I have seen city ordinances stating you can not fertilize within 10 feet of waterways and storm drainage. So, if you have one of these restrictions, Micro Clover can be a way to overcome the lack of fertilizer in these areas.
Keeps its Green Color
Again, since Micro Clover is a legume, it always has an available nitrogen source.
Nitrogen is the primary nutrient required to keep the clover’s rich green color. As a result, Micro Clover usually keeps its wonderful green color throughout the year, as long as it’s not too cold.
Mixes with Turf Grass
Micro Clover has been proven to work well with turf grass, and it has even been known to reduce thatching. In addition, you can also see a reduction in the need to aerate.
Less of a Clumper
If you have seen other clovers in lawns, you may have noticed that it grows in clumps and can look patchy. If patchy grass is what you’re trying to avoid, don’t worry; Micro Clover doesn’t grow the same way. Instead, this variety of clover has a more natural look as it tends to cover the lawn in an even spread. Well, as long as you seed the lawn correctly, that is.
Smothers Other Weeds
Clovers have been used as ground cover for years to keep smaller plants from growing. This means weeds germinating in your lawn should be kept at bay by the cover clover provides. While Micro Clover prevents weeds from growing, it doesn’t have the same effect on turfgrasses.
Once the clover flowers, it attracts many different types of insects which is beneficial for your yard and the environment. Micro clover helps pollinate the other plants in your yard and keeps the pollen eaters out of your way. It is a great food source for the ever-struggling bee population.
The Cons of a Micro Clover Lawn You Should Keep in Mind
Before you get too excited about Micro Clover, let’s look at the drawbacks. Not everything I have heard about Micro Clover is good, so the cons are well worth knowing.
Heat or Cold
Like most plants, they do best in certain weather. Micro Clover is no different. So, if it gets too cold or too hot, a Micro Clover lawn will struggle and die or go dormant.
Dormant in the Winter
Micro Clover will be less attractive during the winter. Once the weather temperatures drop, it will stop growing, and the tips will turn brown. This isn’t a problem for warmer climates as the Micro Clover will not really stop growing.
Micro Clover is a sun plant. This means it wants 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. So, if you have sections of your yard that don’t get enough sun, Micro Clover isn’t going to work in those areas.
Micro Clover is actually a broadleaf weed. Therefore, any herbicide weed killer you use on your yard is going to kill the clover. This includes treatments such as dollar weed sprays. So if you treat weeds growing in your yard, you’ll, unfortunately, be attacking the clover at the same time.
Susceptible to Blight
Blight is one of the problems that can really take hold of Micro Clover. So, if you live in a humid climate, then Micro Clover could struggle. Blight can be seen in the browning leaves and patchy appearance of the lawn.
Planting clover isn’t a one-seeding process. Micro Clover needs to be reseeded every 2-3 years. So, you need to be aware that there will be extra costs further down the line.
Finding Clover in Your Flower Beds
One of the benefits of clover is the way it nicely spreads and doesn’t clump. However, it doesn’t know that you want it to stop at the edge of the lawn. So once you grow Micro Clover on the lawn, you will also have it in the flower beds.
Again, bees are good in the yard and do wonders for the plants and nature, but if you have allergies to bees, you’ll want to avoid Micro Clover and any other Clover.
Is a Micro Clover Lawn for You?
By now, you probably have a pretty good idea if a Micro Clover lawn is a good fit for your yard. So, to sum it up, look through the Micro Clover lawn pros and cons list and make sure you consider all the points we have discussed.
- Provides Natural Fertilizer
- Fertilizes No-Go Zones
- Reduces Run Off
- Attracts Insects, Including Bees
- Spreads Into Flowerbeds
- Does Not Like Too Hot or Cold
- Becomes Dormant in Winter
- Not a Shade Plant
- Susceptible to Blight
- Needs Reseeding
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