Micro clover leaf lawns

Asked January 28, 2019, 2:22 PM EST

What can you tell me about planting or overseeing for a micro clover leaf lawn for Michigan. Is this an option in our climate.

Oakland County Michigan lawns and turf gardening horticulture

1 Response

Hello,

Yes, white clover, Trifolium repens, is hardy to USDA Hardiness zone 3. Oakland County is warmer, in zone 5-6. Microclover is a small-leafed variety of white clover called ‘Pirouette’ or ‘Pipolina’. Overseed in spring or fall in the sunny parts of your lawn. It may not do well in part to full shade, according to some studies.

Pros: It blends well with cool season lawns. Clover fixes nitrogen, and so reduces the amount of nitrogen fertilizer you need to apply for the grass. If allowed to flower, it provides an important food source for bees and other pollinators.

Cons: It will be killed by common lawn broadleaf weed killers. And it goes dormant and the tops die back in winter, but it resprouts from the crowns in spring. It is not tolerant of heavy foot traffic. The ‘cons’ are why it is recommended to mix clover with a grass lawn, rather than trying to grow 100% clover as a lawn. Here are a few links to articles, with some details on pros-cons, and seeding rates.

Write back if you have more questions. Thanks for using our service.

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=m650

https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/non_HGIC_FS/TT121%20Tall%20fescue%20microclover%20lawns.pdf

Penn State discussion-

https://plantscience.psu.edu/reduce-runoff/questions-about-microclover

MSU Extension notes that microclover is a pollinator friendly addition to your lawn-

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/smart_lawns_for_pollinators

Many points in the answer here- https://ask.extension.org/questions/364671