• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Alternative to grass? Clover Maybe?  RSS feed

 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK guys be doing more reading on here trying to learn more and it has brought up another question for me.

I actually enjoy gardening. I like planting I like working in a veggie garden I find that kind of work a nice therapeutic break from the tediousness of my everyday work. However, I Loath mowing grass and I hate trimming with the weedeater even more. When I am forced to mow, I mow with such a vengeance that the grass does its best to grow slow for fear of another butt whoopin.

I can't do much about my front yard because I live in one of those neighborhoods where all the neighbors (except me) mow their grass all the same direction. My backyard is a different story. I would love to find a low to the ground grass replacement that I hardly ever had to mow. I have heard clover mentioned several times and that excites me because my yard is an older yard and is about 40% white clover already.

Is there a way to encourage the clover to completely take over the grass?

Would that cause me any problems with my yard?

Thanks folks,

Ray



 
Andrew Kay
Posts: 31
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ive done exactly as you hope to do. Each year i let the grass grow to seed, then manually pull all the stalks before the seed is ready. They come up very easily and the grass is weak from putting out all that seed. The perennial white clover seeds soon after and makes huge incursions into the grass. Ive done this for two years and am happy with the results vs effort. Last time the clover flowered i counted avg of 4 wild bees per sqyare metre over a 20sqm patch of clover. The clover survives moderate traffic from toddlers, dogs, and 100kg gardeners. In the heavy clay shady front yard Ive transitionef from grass to wild strawberries using the same method.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1424
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
18
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think if you just keep your mower blades raised to something like 3 or 4 inches (maybe higher?) other more interesting things will start showing up besides grass.

In my yard the chocolate mint has headed into the grass - hopefully it will take over and it is heavenly to mow - the scent is intoxicating. Also have violets showing up everywhere and, of course, dandelions. But the dandelions are slow going because I keep eating them in my area of the yard and the turkeys are eating them in thier area.
 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Will buying a bag of clover seed and spreading it on the yard help?

I am afraid to let the grass go to seed because I do live in one of those neighborhoods and if the neighbors complain about the grass not being mowed the city sends a crew to mow it and send you a bill for $150. Ya, ask me how I know that.

I have some large 16 x 20 tarps. Could I smother out large areas with about three of these tarps and once the grass and everything else that needs sunlight is dead I can reseed and straw it then move over to another patch. Would that cause any problems in my yard?

Ray
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1424
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Someone else chime in if this is incorrect:

If you were to scatter the seed on the grass and then roughly rake it in then it may take off without having to kill your grass first -- depending on what type of grass you have.

I have centipede - thick mats - awful stuff. But I am causing great quantities of it to die

But you would still need to have a somewhat higher setting on your mower. Check out Pauls thread on lawn care, I think he suggests a mower hieght in that article.
 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did read that. If I remember right he recommended something like 4-5 inches. I may just go buy a bag of seed and start working it in with a rake as I have time over the next few weeks.

 
Cory Allan
Posts: 61
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Clover is a supporting plant for grass, as it fixes nitrogen in your soil and competes with other weed. Notice how grass that surrounds patches of clover in your lawn is much greener and faster growing? It also stays green long after grass has gone dormant during hot and dry spells.
You can influence the ratio of clover to grass in your lawn. Clover naturally favours a nitrogen-deficient soil and grass is a nitrogen pig. Therefore, the more clover you have, the better your grass will grow. Clover will self-seed where conditions favour it, but generally grass will out-compete it long-term. Without annual re-seeding clover will slowly die back to a sporadic cover as it creates conditions that favour grass. If you want a lawn that favours grass, mow high and and the grass will gradually take the lead. If you want to lawn that favours clover, cut shorter and re-seed white clover every spring. Clover germinates earlier, and this sets back the grass creating conditions that favour clover.

I've used clover to restore lawns I've inherited that have been mistreated by chemicals and poor irrigation practices (light/daily irrigation). The clover quickly filled in the bare spots, outcompeting more noxious weeds. Combined with a mulching lawnmower, it will create plenty of organic matter to improve soil structure and nitrogen to create an environment capable of supporting grass. Encourage clover and you'll have a healthier lawn than one without it.
 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for that info Cory,

I guess what I really need then is a grass the grows 4" and stops. My ultimate goal is to not have to mow. That's why I was leaning toward the clover. it only gets so high.

Is there a companion plant I could plant along with the clover rather than grass? Something short like the clover that doesn't need mowing but maybe once a month if that.

Ray
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1424
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dichondra.

I have some in my lawn but I am not sure that it would grow in your area. When I first learned what it was I was still 'into' grass monocrop lawns and was trying to get rid of it. Someone in California let me know that there are people there that pay a lot of money to get a dichondra lawn - and here mine is coming up all over the place.

I don't worry about it anymore. Maybe it will outcompete my centipede - I hope so.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A good dichondra lawn is wonderful if you love to run barefooted in the summer. It needs a warm climate though.

 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Its down right hot here in July and August but we do have 1500 chill hours over the average winter here. If it requires a warm climate year round It might not do so well here.
 
Lloyd George
Posts: 159
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am busting my lawn up into little patches of clover here, millet over there, a little oats, vetch, fescue, buckwheat..whatever tickles me at the moment...largely, I am just dupilicating seed, but I am also raising some as fodder, green manure, chicken feed, etc...

A flower bed full of flowering buckwheat does not have to be mowed...lol...

ever notice how most neighborhoods, aren't?
 
Rich Pasto
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Im also currently trying to diversify my lawn with clover. In the backyard, I am growing straight white clover in the barren spots. Same in the front, but I also heavily overseeded what grass there is. It takes more water to germinate than regular grass it seems. Where I grew up on the east coast, clover is part of the lawn. Seems strange out here in CO that people want a pure, and single strain lawn.

also saw this stuff recently in the catalogue. http://www.highcountrygardens.com/Lawns
 
The only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you. Or this tiny ad:
Complete Wild Edibles Package by Sergei Boutenko (1 HD video + 10 eBooks)
https://permies.com/t/70674/digital-market/digital-market/Complete-Wild-Edibles-Package-Sergei
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!