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Exasperated! Red clover everywhere. Neighbors do not like it.

 
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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?
 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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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.

Redhawk
 
gardener
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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.

 
pollinator
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What kind of flak from the neighbors? Perhaps you can set a good example and change their views.

 
pollinator
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What Dan said x100.

Perhaps you can study your neighbors yard and construct a value proposition to help them see the benefit to them.

Do they have fruit trees? Clover supports pollinators. More pollinators, more fruit.

Are they downhill? Clover not as thirsty as grass. More water for their lawn when it does rain.

Etc
 
pollinator
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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.
 
gardener
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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!
 
gardener
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Thyme also smells good to humans, while being a pest repellent, and having both fantastic culinary and medicinal values.
 
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