About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Benefits of a Clover Lawn

Today a lawn of clover is almost unheard of but it was once a highly desirable plant. Andrew Jackson Downing, the renowned writer on agriculture and horticulture, told people in the late 1840's that a mixture of white clover and Rhode Island bentgrass created a perfect lawn.

''Sow four bushels of it to the acre,'' Downing urged, ''and not a pint less as you plan to walk on velvet!'' 

But by the 1950s the O.M. Scott Fertilizer Company had invented a herbicide that killed broad leaf weeds, but it also killed clover. So they spent millions of dollars on a public relations campaign denouncing clover as a weed, that should be doused by their newly introduced herbicide to kill it. Even though clover stays green year round and may bring you good luck if you see one with 4 leaves.

Like all legumes, clover takes nitrogen from the air and through a chemical reaction, deposits it in the ground as an absorbable fertilizer. In lawns, it provides a constant trickle of fertilizer to itself and surrounding grasses to make the whole lawn more lush, green, and healthy. It can thrive in poor soils, grows deep roots so it needs less water, and resists dog urine burns.  

The flowers are also pretty, starring the turf with white flowers to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other beneficial bugs and mammals to create natural balance. 

Related Articles:
Gardening for birds http://bit.ly/z095kL
Attract More Goldfinches to the garden: http://bit.ly/wNj67F
Flowers that attract hummingbirds: http://bit.ly/wkhlJn
A Closer look at Dandelions http://bit.ly/zkq0yL
Largest Orb-weaving Spider in Michigan! http://bit.ly/xBxBT9
What are slugs good for? http://bit.ly/zWTcMz

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