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Jen Bolton
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1. What’s wrong with a grass lawn?

There are a few problems associated with grass lawns. One is that they consume a massive amount of water. Another is that in order to keep the grass a bright green shade that most people associate with health and wealth, you must use herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizer, and these chemical toxins leech into the groundwater and contaminate it. It always requires constant mowing and maintenance.

2. Isn’t clover a weed?

Clover is certainly not a weed, it is a beneficial plant, but it has been unfairly labeled a weed. This is because industrially-produced herbicides that are designed to kill off weeds have an unfortunate side-effect, in that they kill off clover, as well. But the dictionary definition of a weed is “a plant that is considered to be a nuisance”, and clover is anything but.

3. Would I still have to water a clover lawn?

Unlike natural grasses, clover is incredibly drought-resistant. Whatever natural rainfall the City of Toronto receives over the course of the summer is generally sufficient to keep a clover lawn green for three seasons. Only after the first winter frost will a clover lawn begin lose its deep green hue.

4. Would I still have to fertilize a clover lawn?

Just the opposite! In fact, clover is a natural fertilizer of sorts. The main component of fertilizer is Nitrogen; clover actually draws Nitrogen out of the air, where it is plentiful — air is composed of up to eighty per cent Nitrogen — and fixes it into the soil, on its own. So clover even acts as a fertilizer for the other plants that surround it.

5. Would I still have to mow a clover lawn?

You are welcome to mow your clover lawn down to whatever height your heart desires. But it is completely unnecessary, because by its very nature, clover only grows to between two to eight inches high. So if you like the lush look of three-leaf clover, you can save time and energy, and just let your lawn grow out naturally.

6. Does a clover lawn provide habitat for dangerous insects?

Because it produces a pretty flower and a subtle pleasant smell, clover attracts honeybees, but not wasps or other unwanted critters. If you are concerned about the presence of honeybees, you can avoid them by either planting a mixture of clover and other grasses, or by mowing the lawn, which prevents the clover from flowering, which is what attracts the bees to begin with.

7. Can I use clover if all I’ve got is poor quality soil?

If you have poor quality soil, that is all the more reason to seed your lawn with clover. Most of the soil in the Greater Toronto Area is actually of pretty good quality, but if you live on a patch of land that unfortunately isn’t, you needn’t despair; clover does well in low-quality soil, and actually improves it over time.

8. Why don’t more people have clover lawns, if they’re so great?

Good question! Who can say why grass lawns became fashionable and clover lawns went out of style. Sometimes the industry promotes one solution over another because it’s more profitable for the manufacturer. In any case, experts agree that regardless of their popularity, clover lawns are superior to grass lawns.


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