Alfalfa or clover?

Asked July 25, 2016, 2:09 PM EDT

Since grass lawn is a costly waste, should I consider a natural replacement of Alfalfa or Clover instead in the Hines area? If so, where to find seeds for this climate here in Hines? Thanks much!

Harney County Oregon sustainable gardening and landscaping horticulture

1 Response

Hello:

Replacing a lawn with either alfalfa or clover would represent quite a change, as both of these are quite tall-growing and coarse, so they really don't serve the same purpose as turfgrass, at least the way we typically think of these plants be managed. Alfalfa can be grown under dryland conditions, please see the OSU Extension Publication EM *795, "Dryland Alfalfa".
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8795.pdf
I'm not so sure about clover as far as it's ability to survive without irrigation.

If you continue to go with a lawn, The OSU Extension publication below is EC 1638, "Efficient lawn irrigation in the intermountain west". It describes lawn grasses and watering strategies for lawns in your region.
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec1638.pdf

As another alternative, perhaps you could replace the lawn with a planting of native plants. The publication below EC 1623, "selecting natives for home landscapes in central Oregon" deals with plants and conditions in central Oregon, but still would offer ideas for your area.
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project
/pdf/ec1623.pdf

Feel free to contact me with questions.