For a long time, there have been unfortunate misconceptions about clovers, or micro clover, specifically, forming part of lawns. The small plants have generally been viewed as a weed or a nuisance to lawn grass.
This, however, is simply just not the case and the Trifolium is shaking off that stigma rapidly across the country.
But First, What Exactly Is Micro Clover?
Micro clover is a smaller variety of the traditional and better-known Dutch white clover. The two are similar in appearance but micro clovers have smaller leaves, produce fewer flowers, and have a lower growth habit compared to their traditional counterparts. (For a more thorough description of micro clover, take a look at this explainer.)
They also have a less aggressive clump-forming habit which keeps the plants compact that resulting in the green carpet look everyone would like to have. All these characteristics make up for why micro clovers are chosen to enhance turfgrass lawns.
In recent years, landscapers and gardeners alike have rediscovered the benefits of having micro clover as either a pure-clover lawn or even as a mixed grass-clover lawn. But, as with most things, benefits usually come with a couple of drawbacks as well.
In this article, we’ll weigh up the pros & cons of A micro clover lawn against each other and help you on your way to setting up your own lawn.
Pros & Cons of A Micro Clover Lawn
Micro clover is highly drought tolerant. It’s estimated that micro clover requires up to 25% less watering for them to stay green.
Your lawn will keep its greener and lusher look throughout the spring and summer in most parts of the US. Say goodbye to the brown patches normally associated with conventional turf lawns when it gets hot!
Due to the small stature of micro clover, there is less of a need to do any mowing. Normal growth will only require no more than once-a-month mowing.
Should you want your lawn more compact, more regular mowing is welcomed, as with traditional turf.
Most of the pros mentioned already adds up to result in one thing: less maintenance all-around.
That means less time working on the turf and more time to spend on family, work, hobbies, or other, more-rewarding aspects of your garden.
Grows Well in Poor Soil
Clovers are a natural source of fertilizer. They’re classified as a legume that acts as a nitrogen fixer. That means without the need for any additional fertilizer, micro clover will grow well in poor soil, and even feed the grass and other plants around it.
Micro clover Attracts Bees
Bees are an integral part of any ecosystem and the flowers of micro clover attract them. Keeping the bees close for pollination will naturally keep your garden happy and in a better state.
Above and beyond micro clover seeds being more affordable than common turfgrass seeds, other factors contribute to lower costs.
Not having to spend extra on things like watering, fertilizing, mowing, and other maintenance that accompanies traditional lawns, all adds up to more savings for you.
While micro clover is durable enough to handle slightly to moderate foot traffic, it does tend to hold up less well when activity on the turf becomes more severe.
Therefore, it would not be ideal for play areas or recreational fields.
Intolerant of Shade
Micro clover is not as prone to shade as traditional lawns or even other clovers. The tiny plants do require a lot of sunlight so you can expect slower growth if you plant in shady areas.
In instances like these, you may want to look at increasing the see amount to almost double.
Micro clover falls in the “short-lived perennial” category. This means that reseeding will inevitably be required.
In a pure micro clover lawn it is recommended to reseed every 2-3 years and every 4-5 years in a mixed lawn with traditional grass.
Micro clover Attracts Bees
We know: we have this “con” and a “pro” as well. While bees are good to have around for pollinating the rest of your garden, it could be a drawback if people living in the vicinity have bee-sting allergies.
So, we would advise taking special consideration into this aspect.
Clothes are more receptive to stains from micro clover, and clovers in general, than they are from other lawn grasses, so you would need to take care when sitting or playing on a micro clover lawn.
Micro clover lawns have become increasingly popular over recent years, for good reason as the benefits indicate. The downside to this is that it may be hard to come by at the time you require it most.
The classic supply-and-demand issue may even raise the cost of seeds to more than what it usually is.
While we have stated that it is affordable there are less expensive options, particularly if you are seeding.
Incorporating micro clover into your lawn, or converting your lawn entirely, may have been something that you haven’t considered until now.
The key is to make sure that you understand all the pros and cons listed here and decide whether it’s right for you, your family, and/or your property.
If you do choose to add micro clover to your garden and you’re unsure of where or how to start, we advise you to check this guide on how to grow micro clover.
Many people have had a great experience with micro clover. Let us know if you have any questions or comments.