Rising drought frequency in the Midwest is driving a trend toward drought-resistant lawns.
Clover lawns are gaining traction among environmentally conscious homeowners and landscapers due to their low water and minimal fertilizer needs, as well as their pollinating attributes. Additionally, clover lawns require less maintenance.
A resident told Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) that they are transitioning their lawn to be more clover-dominant. After consulting a tree expert about their 150-200-year-old oak trees, the expert advised that favoring clover and reducing or eliminating weed killers and chemical fertilizers is beneficial for the trees.
Research and development have resulted in improved clover varieties that are both drought-tolerant and disease-resistant.
There is an abundance of online resources like Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for establishing and maintaining a clover lawn. This makes it appealing for do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners to consider it as an accessible and manageable project.
An article this summer in Better Homes & Garden specifically mentions the time- and money-saving features of a clover lawn, including less frequent mowing, reduced fertilization, and fewer pesticides. Clover forms a dense ground cover that can crowd out weeds, reducing the need for herbicides. Additionally, its dense root system helps prevent soil erosion. White clover is hardy and very well-suited for Midwest weather.
Clover has a soft texture, making it pleasant to walk on, especially for children. A lesser-known benefit is that it is less likely to trigger allergies than some grasses, such as Bermuda or Kentucky bluegrass – a relief for those with grass allergies. Clover produces small, nectar-rich flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
While clover offers numerous benefits, it’s not for everyone. Some people may prefer the uniform look of traditional grass lawns, and clover can be invasive in certain situations.
Is clover suitable for Minnesota?
According to the arboretum, clover is well-suited for local weather conditions. However, it’s worth noting that clover lawns might not be ideal for every climate or preference. White clover is hardy and very appropriate for Midwest weather.
The best time to seed a clover lawn is in the late fall after the growing season concludes. In the end, the choice to use clover comes down to personal taste.
Some might view clover as an intruder, while others see it as an attractive ground cover.
In an Eden Prairie backyard, EPLN captured a notable moment. A rabbit family of four was seen feeding on clover leaves, seemingly preferring them over a nearby flower and vegetable garden they often find tempting.”
Editor’s note: Vijay Dixit is the Chairman of the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocating distraction-free driving. He also serves on the Eden Prairie Local News board and is a member of its Development Committee and Journalism team.
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