Beneficial Clover in Lawns

Paul James shares his top three reasons for loving clover.
gby1902-4_weeds-in-lawn_s4x3

gby1902-4_weeds-in-lawn_s4x3

Related To:

Master gardener Paul James takes a lot of flack for his stance on weeds, specifically his recommendation that lawns should contain a small percentage of weeds. This recommendation is based on the belief that weeds promote biodiversity and thereby reduce pest and disease problems. Weeds also provide food and nesting sites for beneficial insects, and tolerating weeds will help make chemical herbicides obsolete.

gby1902-4a_White-Dutch-clover_s4x3

gby1902-4a_White-Dutch-clover_s4x3

From a distance, Paul's lawn looks pretty nice. The population of weeds is in the neighborhood of 15 percent and includes a number of interesting plants. One of his favorite weeds is white Dutch clover (Trifolium repens), which he has loved since he was a kid. "I remember spending hours on end looking for a lucky four-leaf clover, although I don't recall ever finding one," says Paul.

Here are his top three reasons for loving clover:

1. Clover is a legume, meaning it fixes nitrogen from the air and puts it into the soil. "It's an amazing chemical process, one that reduces the need for additional nitrogen from fertilizers. In fact, clover seed used to be added to turf grass mixtures to help the grass become established faster."

2. Rabbits love eating clover, so if you want to deter rabbits from eating something more precious in the garden, you can try offering them clover.

3. Clover attracts earthworms "by the gazillions," Paul says, "and we all know how beneficial earthworms are for the health of the soil and the plants that grow in and on it."

Next Up

How to Defeat Bermuda Grass

It's best to get the jump on this garden pest in spring.

How to Control Nutgrass and Johnsongrass

Combat persistent weeds with a creativity and simple maintenance.

Taming the Dandelion

Tips for keeping this sunny-yellow weed out of the lawn.

Weed Beater: Dandelions

Dandelion seeds can remain viable for decades when conditions are not conducive to germination.

How to Kill Crabgrass

Get tips for getting rid of crabgrass and preventing crabgrass from taking hold in your lawn.

Cultivating an Allergy-Free Garden

Tips for reducing the sneeze-makers in your landscape.

How to Reclaim a Weedy Yard

Grow healthy grass and say 'goodbye' to those nasty weeds with these simple and easy-to-follow lawn and gardening tips.

Fungi Fix: What to Do About Lawn Mushrooms

Gardening and lawn expert Felder Rushing advises leaving them alone.

Weeding Out Weeds

You can control weeds in the lawn without herbicides of any kind, organic or synthetic. Master gardener Paul James shares his tips on lawn care.

When to Apply Herbicides

Gardening experts share tips on when to apply pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

House Hunters

6:30am | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

Home Town

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

Home Town

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Love It or List It

8pm | 7c
10pm | 9c
1am | 12c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages