Hi everyone. I really need help in this southern oregon environment, zone 7. Recently moved from the desert so I wanted the yard green but no maintenance. I have red clover in the entire yard. A year and a half ago I sheetmulched the front suburban lawn, planted trees and shrubs in good locations, then broadcasted red clover. Its 3 feet high in most areas. The meadow look, the insects, and the pink blooms are appealing, but I'm getting flak from one neighbor. Very traditional people they are.
Any ideas? Maybe I just need emotional support. Will I be able to sell this house?
IF you want a low or no maintenance lawn look then I'd recommend dichondra it looks like clover but doesn't grow tall (about 3 inches is maximum height).
It is a N fixer just like the clovers but won't draw unhappiness from neighbors because it will never look unkept.
Red, crimson and yellow (sweet) clovers are known for their tall growth, it is why they are used on hill sides along freeway on and off ramps.
Since you apparently live in the suburbs, you might have to contend with an HOA and their requirements might even be part of the deed, making the appearance of any property a legal issue.
To get rid of the red clover all you have to do is mow it down and over seed with Dichondra seed. Then that lawn area will be almost maintenance free and always look like it has been freshly mowed height wise.
You just moved. Are you planning to move again soon? If not, plenty of time to worry about changing the ground cover and selling the house when you do plan to move. Meanwhile, "will I be able to sell this house?" is just a toxic mental programming loop implanted to run in your brain by the financial industry, that wants you to think of your home as an investment instead of a place to live. Terminate the program, don't give it mental cycles.
Now, neighbors are another question. Getting along with the neighbors is always better than not getting along with them. But sometimes, it can't be done.
First of all, do they have leverage? Is there zoning, homeowners association rules, or other legal stuff they can pull on you to command you to obey them? You need to know the answer to that question with certainty.
Assume there's none of that and you can do as you wish. Still, you don't want bad relationships. Can you still talk to the traditional neighbor enough to find out what their core concern is? Are they just trying to command you to conform to their notion of what the neighborhood should look like because they hate non-conformity (in which case, nothing you do short of obeying them will placate them) or do they have specific concerns about specific (negative from their perspective) impacts on their property (bees flying over to visit, clover spreading to their lawn, et cetera)?
If they have specific concerns and are willing to talk them out with you, it's worth talking them through and seeing if you can offer something. "I'll build a fence, I'll build a hedge so you don't have to see, I'll mow a strip and keep it in grass twelve feet along your property line," whatever. Happy neighbors are a joy; hateful neighbors are a curse. It's worth a LOT of compromise to have the former instead of the latter. But the kind of neighbors who insist that you obey all their commands about how to keep your property never wind up happy anyway; they always have more commands. So there's no point in trying to placate them. If they won't talk and reach a compromise that they agree to be happy about, fuck 'em. Grow your clover to the sky! Well, that's what I would do.
If your clover grows as tall as mine I can see why suburban people wouldn't like it. I've lost kids in that stuff. There are lots of low growing cover crops you could replace the clover with. Thyme, being a super popular one. I have clover planted with my grass in our lawn and do mow it. Keeps it lower.
Black plastic is a quick and easy way to get rid of clover. And . . . non-toxic.
Could you create a border between your yard and the neighbors? If you rolled out a long roll of plastic right on the border between the properties and weighted it down with bricks or stones, the clover should disappear within a month or so. Then you could plant something else in that space -- comfrey!
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf