One of the more beautiful aspects of landscaping can be a nicely-cared-for, emerald green lawn. However, a beautiful lawn is a challenge for many owners to achieve, and even more challenging to keep. You might be concerned after all your care, cutting, and caution that you are finding clover patches in your lawn. Clover is very interesting weed type, and before you bring in the herbicide to kill clover patches, you should learn more about why the clover is there and why it might be good to keep it.
Clover gives back.
Most grass types deplete specific nutrients in the soil -- namely nitrogen. If your soil is not nitrogen rich, your grass will not grow easily. As your lawn grows year after year, the nitrogen-sucking grass will consistently lower your soil nitrogen levels, which means your grass quality will suffer and clover will begin to take root and flourish. The reason why clover does well in nitrogen-poor soil is because, unlike lawn grasses, clover gives nitrogen back to the soil. If you leave the clover in your lawn for a few years before tilling and reseeding, your grass will come back healthier and the clover population will decline.
Fertilization can prevent future clover take over.
One way you can keep clover from taking over your grass is to make sure that you fertilize your lawn each year with a nitrogen-rich blend. However, if you are hoping for a more natural and less hands-on care method, try looking for a specialized type of grass seed that is a mix of grass and clover. Because clover mixes are not common in commercial lawn seeds, you might have to mix in the clover seeds yourself -- a good rule of thumb is about two ounces of seeds for every 1000 square feet of grass. It may seem counter-intuitive to prevent clover take-over by planting clover, but with a well-mixed seed, you will have lovely grass and clover plants mixed together in an even spread. The clover will consistently return nitrogen while the grass will consistently remove it. You lawn will be better at regulating its own nutrient levels without the intervention of herbicides or chemical fertilizer.
Be careful with herbicides.
If you are converted to the idea of a mixed grass and clover lawn, be sure to fight other weeds, like dandelions, without using broad leaf herbicides like Round Up. These will kill clover, leaving brown patches in your lawn and ruining the symbiotic relationship you are trying to create. Instead, help to thicken the turf and crowd out seedlings by cutting your grass taller -- the grass will prevent sun from reaching the leaves of dandelions, eventually starving them.