Clover Lawn Just Makes Cents

A Smart Living Snip-It from Suzanne Holtkamp

I am glad to report the girls (our 16 hens) are all doing very nicely this summer and are especially happy considering that I have finally made some headway concerning the great mud baths in our front yard.  No, I am not exaggerating.   (Who, me?)  While in the process of building our fabulous new “old” house, oodles and oodles of top soil were scraped away before I got a grip on exactly what was happening.  The gardener in me knew it would turn ugly, but I had no idea, exactly HOW ugly.

Nothing would grow.  I mean nothing.  Plus, the girls were getting impatient there was nothing to eat.  Finally I poured through my gardening library and came up with the solution – clover.  Yes, that weed that everyone is trying to eradicate from their nicely manicured lawns.  (One man’s weed is another woman’s dye plant; stay tuned for future postings.)

Seems we’ve decided in post WWII America that clover is a scurge and should be sprayed, starved and otherwise totally wiped off the planet.  Well, maybe I am exaggerating, but not much.


Dutch White Clover (Trifolium repens)

Clover grows in tough conditions.  It requires less water than grass, no fertilizer and actually adds nitrogen back to the soil making it a perfect companion for grass.  It can be left to grow higher, which means less grass cutting and self-sows very easily.  I chose White Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens) which is a perennial and it stays green all winter.

What’s not to love?  And it makes the girls happy.

Seeded in the cool of last fall, the clover was able to get a headstart growing strong roots. By spring 2013, juicy clover covered the yard.




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