If you are considering whether or not to grow a clover lawn like everything else in life there are some pros and cons to it. What you decide to do after researching clover lawns will probably come down to personal taste and what goals you are trying to achieve.
If you are trying to achieve an award-winning lawn kind of look, clover may not be the best option for you, however, if you are looking for something that is low maintenance and green for growing on your lawn then clover may be the ideal solution.
The personal taste factor will probably be the deciding factor for most people as on one side people may want a low maintenance lawn that attracts pollinators as they feel that is good for the environment whereas on the other side people may be lawn perfectionists who are afraid of or allergic to bees.
Let’s now take a thorough look at the clover lawns pros and cons so you can hopefully learn something and make an informed decision.
If you grow a clover lawn then during the summer when the flowers appear it is a thing of beauty, I think.
Where there are flowers there are bees which I also believe is a good thing.
Around the world, the wild bee population is in decline and this is bad news for everyone as bees are one of the best pollinators on the planet. The more bees there are in the world then the more food there will be thanks to them pollinating a wide variety of plants.
When you have a clover lawn that attracts bees you will have the obvious advantage of those bees helping to pollinate everything else in your yard.
If having a full clover lawn isn’t your thing you can still do your bit to help the bee populations by planting clover on slopes, edges, or anywhere that you are not currently using.
When you grow a clover lawn one excellent benefit that most people don’t realize is the smell it produces.
If you think about it, it’s kind of obvious, hundreds or thousands of flowers depending on the size of your lawn and they will definitely produce a lovely flowery fragrance.
When you have a clover lawn you don’t have to worry about the horrible smell some fertilizers can produce.
You can sit on your clover lawn and read a book or eat a picnic with no worries about the smell, in fact, I would say the lovely smell is a reason that would keep me sitting on my lawn and enjoying the beauty whilst reading a good book for many, many hours.
When you do need to mow your clover lawn you won’t need to worry about the overpowering smell of fresh grass as it will smell of flowers instead.
Grows Where Grass Won’t
Clover was originally used to mix into grass seed mixes as it was a cheaper alternative that would increase profits.
This trend soon ended when the clover started uncontrollably taking over peoples lawns and it soon became classed as a weed instead of a grass seed supplement.
Clover is a weed and it grows well where the grass is struggling, whether that is because you have the wrong soil type or you just have a lazy routine for your lawn.
If grass does not grow well on your lawn then clover may be a good option as it is green and it will thrive in places that lawn grass struggles. Clover produces its own nitrogen supply although not enough to supplement surrounding plants, this is one of the reasons it can thrive where grass won’t.
Clover is definitely a good option if you are not a lawn fiend that wants a perfect lawn as it grows practically everywhere and like I said it is green.
Heat & Drought Tolerant
One big advantage of clover is the fact it is so drought resistant and it will appear to stay healthy and most importantly green when other plants including your grass are shriveling up all around during any intense drought periods.
I am surprised there are not more areas of the USA where clover lawns are popular due to its heat tolerance and low maintenance requirements.
I guess most people, like me, are just obsessed with achieving that perfect luscious green lawn with grass.
If you live somewhere that is so hot during the summer that you need to constantly water your lawn to keep it alive then switching to a clover lawn could be a good option to save yourself some time and conserve some water.
Even if you just have a mix and include some clover in your lawn that could be a good option as at least the clover will stay green and it will help your lawn look like it’s in good condition from afar, even when it’s not.
This is a big advantage of clover lawns for any dog lovers out there.
How many people out there have spent hours and hours caring for their lawn to make it in tip-top condition only for a dog to do the toilet on it and make yellow patches appear?
This can be an absolute disaster if you have a dog that regularly does the toilet on your lawn as it will completely ruin it over time.
If this is your situation I would definitely recommend a clover lawn as your dog doing the toilet on it will not make it die and turn yellow, it will stay green and healthy. If you don’t want to or just can’t train your dog to not pee on your lawn then switching to clover could be the solution to all your problems.
It Doesn’t Need Fertilizer
If you grow a clover lawn then one of the major benefits is that you will never have to fertilize it.
Clover actually produces its own nitrogen which means you should never have to use fertilizer to keep it healthy.
Some people say if you have clover growing as part of a grass lawn then you can completely eliminate the need to fertilize your lawn.
However, clover will probably only produce enough nitrogen to sustain itself so whilst it may reduce the amount of fertilizer you need to use it will not completely eliminate the need for it if you have a clover and grass mixed lawn.
What’s not to like about having a lush green clover lawn that you never have to use fertilizer on, most fertilizer is not good for the environment so by growing a clover lawn you are doing your bit to save the planet.
One of the big advantages of growing a clover lawn in your yard is the fact it needs a whole lot less maintenance than a standard grass lawn.
This is a big advantage if you are someone who doesn’t obsess over having the best looking lawn in your neighborhood and you just want something green that doesn’t take much effort to care for.
If you have a clover lawn you could if you want to pretty much leave it alone and never mow it and it probably won’t grow much taller than 6 inches high.
If you want to have a more tidy clover lawn that doesn’t look quite so bumpy you could mow it as little as once per month. This will get rid of the clover flowers and make it look more like a standard grass lawn if that is the look you want to achieve.
Needs Regular Reseeding
If you already have a clover lawn you will know that it is very low maintenance and you can practically just leave it alone to grow as it likes.
Clover is practically indestructible once it gets going as it doesn’t need fertilizer and only requires a very minimal mowing routine when you want to tidy it up.
My theory with clover is that because it grows so rapidly if you leave it alone and do nothing, it eventually burns itself out and will become thin and bumpier after 2-3 years. To combat this you should reseed a clover lawn regularly either lightly every year or every 2-3 years when it starts to thin out.
This is definitely a disadvantage of a clover lawn because if you don’t carry out his reseeding when it’s needed you will end up with a patchy and dying clover lawn compared to if you have a grass lawn where you may never have to reseed it.
Stains Clothing More Easily Than Grass
If you have kids or you enjoy rolling around on your grass then you better stock up on some stain remover.
Clover definitely stains clothes a lot more than grass does, I’m not sure about the science behind this but I do know it’s a fact.
If you enjoy sitting on your lawn, clover is not quite like grass, with grass you can sit on it for hours without getting grass stains on your clothes, whereas, sit on a clover lawn for hours and there is a good chance you will have green stains on your clothes.
If you use a pre-wash stain remover before you put your stained clothing in the washing machine then the green stains should wash off. This is definitely an inconvenience most people don’t know about when it comes to clover lawns.
Not Durable Enough For High Traffic Lawns
A clover lawn is really low maintenance and you never have to use fertilizer on it as it produces its own nitrogen and you don’t have to mow it unless you want to make it look tidy.
The problem with a clover lawn is that it is not very durable when it comes to having traffic on it.
This means if you have kids who like to play on your lawn they will probably quickly wear it down and you will end up with bare patches.
Kids, who like to play soccer on your lawn? This will quickly wear down your clover and you will have an ugly looking and patchy lawn.
Even if people like to cut across your lawn for a shortcut instead of using the path then you will quickly notice a well-trodden path start to appear on your lawn. Clover is ok for sitting on but if you expect heavy use then a clover lawn may not be the best idea.
Will Probably Look Bumpy And Uneven
If you want a picture-perfect lawn then a clover lawn is probably not for you.
Clover doesn’t really grow even like you would see grass in a standard grass lawn grow and some areas will grow quicker than others.
This all leads to a clover lawn looking bumpy and uneven so if you are a lawn perfectionist you should probably avoid growing a clover lawn as it will drive you crazy.
What is the point in growing a clover lawn if you are going to constantly mow it to keep it flat and less bumpy? If you want a lawn that is flat and looks like a fairway stick to grass as clover will drive you crazy.
Some people think attracting pollinators is a good thing but not if you are scared of bees.
If you don’t want your yard to be covered in bees then you better not grow a clover lawn.
Some people are allergic to bees and can take a fatal allergic reaction if they are stung which would not make a good day if that happens.
Also, if you have kids that play in your yard you may want to avoid clover just in case they take an allergic reaction to getting stung by bees.
If you enjoy spending time in your yard cooking barbeques and eating food outside then you may not want to be surrounded by buzzing bees that a clover lawn will attract as someone getting stung could make a good day into a bad day or a very very bad day if someone takes an allergic reaction to a sting.
I hope if you have read this far you have learned a thing or two about clover lawns pros and cons so you can make a decision on whether you want it growing on your lawn or not.