I couldn't help but snap the picture below. It's white clover and it's in my lawn. What lawn companies will tell you is that this little beautiful green plant that grows in patches is a weed. Don't believe them. Clover is a useful little plant in many ways!
First of all clover is a legume. It's similar to beans and actually will fix nitrogen into the soil. It's an awesome additive to compost bins. I use my push lawnmower with a bagger to cut and gather grass and clover then use as a mulch or a compost ingredient. Because clover is such a great nitrogen fixer it doesn't need nitrogen and will stay green in areas that don't have good nitrogen content. You can use clover as an indicator for the nitrogen in your garden's soil. Areas that have a lot of clover may be low in nitrogen and could use some sort of organic fertilizer if you want to plant something there. Or you can just let the clover grow!
Clover is also a great source of food for the bees. It is my opinion that the proliferation of weed control herbicides in the lawn have reduced some of the potential food sources for some of our most important pollinators. If the clover is eradicated then the bees can't make clover honey can they?
Clover can even be used as a cover crop. I've planted red clover before to help add nitrogen back into the soil to areas after heavy feeders like tomatoes were planted.
So you can see that clover is simply not really a weed at all! It's a useful lawn plant that helps us to avoid the monoculture vacuum that has become our lawn. So don't eliminate clover, embrace it and gain the benefits that it can offer!
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Clover - A Weed that Isn't! (Weedy Wednesday)
Labels: Weeds in the Garden
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.