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Clover Lawn vs Grass Lawn

Posted by Nate Bahler on Jun 28, 2022 4:31:55 PM
Nate Bahler

Pros and Cons of a Clover Lawn

Is your lawn partially full of clover? Are you thinking about treating your clover to make your grass turf more uniform?  Are you wondering what the benefits/downfalls of having clover in your lawn could be? Are you wondering what the benefits of a grass lawn vs a fully clover lawn are?  

Clover made its way to the US in the late 1600s and originated in Europe. It is in the pea family and is classified as a legume.  There are over 300 species of clover, the most common being white clover which we see in many lawns.  

Clover has both its benefits and downfalls. While its not necessarily bad for a lawn, it does not stand up well to high traffic areas and it can have a short life span in comparison to grass.


Cons of a Clover Lawn: 

  • Struggles in high traffic areas.  Clover plants are very fragile and wear down quickly. If you plan to use your lawn and have many people on it, this might not be the best choice for you. 
  • Clover is only green for part of the year.  It does not perform well in cool climates.   It will not stay green year-round and goes dormant at first frost.  
  • Short lifespan compared to grass.  Clover is a perennial but you will have to reseed every year or two. 
  • It’s tricky to have a partial clover/partial grass lawn if you want to control other weeds. Traditional herbicides will kill weeds but also kill all of your clover. There is no selective herbicide for clover.  
  • Clover attracts bees with its strong nectar. This can be unfavorable if you have kids or pets that use your lawn or have people who are allergic to bee stings.  
  • Clover can be invasive when unwelcome.  Its roots can spread fast and wide.  This deep rooted system is something that can make it hard to get rid of. 
  • Grass stains - while it’s not terribly hard to get out of clothes, clover does stain a much deeper color than grass and stains much more easily/frequently. 
  • Clover can handle partial shade but it does not do well in full shade.   Many grass seed blends will include rye, fescue and tall fescues which are all low-light tolerant.  
  • Cosmetically - It can be hard to get that well-manicured look with clover.  It tends to look less tidy than grass.  

Benefits of a Clover Lawn:

  • Green during summer. 
  • Resistant to drought because of its deep root system which allows it to absorb water. 
  • Low cost -  clover lawn can cost as low as $4 per 4,000 square foot.  
  • Can thrive in poor soil.
  • Improves soil quality.  Clover adds nitrogen to soil rather than takes it from soil like grass does. 
  • Attracts beneficial insects such as bees and pollinators
  • Does not get discolored by dog urine 
  • Grows more slowly than grass and requires less mowing. 
  • It has a strong root structure and can compete against other weeds

Bottom Line:  If you are looking for a healthy grass lawn with no weeds, we always recommend seeking the help of a professional.  If you love the idea of clover and the benefits it comes with and don't mind the weeds that come with it, you might not need a professional! 

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