White clover as a lawn

Asked March 21, 2019, 10:43 AM EDT

Hello, I was wondering about using white clover to patch our weedy back lawn. We already have some clover, and I saw in your "weeds" section that it was at one time part of turf grass seed mixtures. Our so-called lawn is really mostly weeds, and we only care about having a green swath running through our many flower beds. Is it practical to plant more clover in the hope that it will choke out the other weeds, provide flowers for the bees, and look nice? If so, please advice the best source for seeds that are not treated so as to be harmful to the bees and other pollinators.

Montgomery County Maryland lawns and turf groundcovers plant selection

1 Response

Microclover is a smaller variety of the typical lawn clover and can be used as a component of organic lawn care. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection includes microclover in its organic lawn care program and offers the variety called 'Pipolina,' which is one of the types that is commercially available. https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/lawns/

Microclover can be used in combination with turfgrass. Microclover provides a natural source of nitrogen and the flowers are a good food source for pollinators. However, we do not recommend planting microclover solely in place of turfgrass because the top growth dies back in the winter, which can leave bare spots and lead to erosion. It will not choke out weeds. Here is a link to University of Maryland research on using microclover in combination with tall fescue. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/non_HGIC_...

Since you are interested in maintaining only a small swath of lawn, you might consider some groundcovers or other lawn alternatives listed here: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-alternatives

ckc