Anyone ever done a clover lawn?

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  #1  
Old 04-07-14, 08:10 PM
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Anyone ever done a clover lawn?

We bought our HUD home 4 years ago and despite best efforts (not really), the yard still looks like crap. I don't want to use chemicals and we have morning glory throughout the yard. I've done some research and it seems clover is a good natural weed killer, sturdy for dogs (3), low water, and you don't have to mow all the time.

So, has anyone used clover? What are best methods, direct seed, plugs, or both?
 
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Old 04-08-14, 03:42 AM
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Most folks try to rid their lawn of clover, but in your situation, you need a good application of lime to help control the weed growth. Inoculate your clover, mix it with play sand and sow it over the lawn. It will take over, and have many of the attributes you mention. It also fixes airborne nitrogen to its roots, helping to fertilize itself. I prefer white dutch.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 04:28 AM
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My yard is basically slate rock with a thin layer of soil over it Years ago I bought clover seed [white Dutch, I think] because it's supposed to improve the soil. After 20+ yrs my yard is mostly green although I am scared to use any weed & feed. I don't think the clover has had any effect on the weeds. I always thought the best way to get rid of morning glory was to pull it up.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 05:17 AM
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My front yard has lost all it's topsoil during construction and normal grasses would not grow. So, I planted clover. It grew well. Stayed nice and green through summer droughts and needed little mowing. Over time the soil in the area noticeably improved and eventually the soil converted to where grass now readily grows. Most big box stores do not carry clover so you may have to go to an agricultural feed & seed supplier as it's often used as a cover crop for fallow fields.

I am sorry for you and your morning glories. They are almost impossible to get rid of. It will take several years a very diligent work to remove them. In the yard regular mowing often cuts them down before they can flower and make seed but in landscaped areas and around shrubbery they are a real bugger to control.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 05:17 AM
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Yeah, just don't do like wifey did when we were first married. She placed an order with one of the plant catalog people, and showed me the order when she was through. Many beneficial plants, but the one that stuck out was Japanese Honeysuckle!! I called them to cancel that part of the order. Talk about invasive
 
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Old 04-08-14, 05:33 AM
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I might have to consider clover from what I'm reading. We have Morning Glory as well, along with virtually every other variety of weed known to man. Seems like every year I'm saying to my wife "Hey look, a new type of weed!"

Don't have much topsoil in our yard as some bozo in history was short on cash and had our backyard skimmed of the topsoil and sold it. Now we've got beach sand at least 4' down. Dogs kind of prevent us from using chemical sprays on weeds.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for all the great tips! What's kind of funny about our yard is it grows grass in the spring, then all of a sudden the weeds take over even if I water it. I don't think the gras that's planted is good for the eventual super heat we get. I did manage to find a 1lb can of white clover at HD but it's never taken in the yard yet, I will have to try the sand with it.

As for the morning glory, it is mostly where I planted the garden. Switched to raised beds, now have raised beds with bottoms. Last year they took over the boxes. It's getting better due to me constantly digging them out, but it's still a battle.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 06:24 AM
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Years ago, I lived in a basement suite at a friends house. They had morning glory in the backyard really bad. They hired me to spend a full day pulling it all out. I tried to get it all out by the roots. I think there was about 10 large garbage bags full of it at the end of the day.

One year later, I'd moved out and went back to the house for a deck party. I looked over the railing and the yard was completely covered in it again.

Landscaper friend who was at the party said basically the only way to get rid of it would be to skim the top 6" and replace the topsoil. He might have been looking for work though. Lol.
 
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Old 04-08-14, 01:02 PM
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Be sure to inoculate the clover? The sand is used to keep you from putting it on too thickly. Stuff is expensive!
 
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Old 04-09-14, 06:26 PM
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How exactly do you inoculate it? I got play sand just now. I didn't get lime because it isn't dog safe if they eat it and our 3 pits aren't exactly the epitome of intelligence. What is the best sand/seed ratio? I doubt my lb will go far but hoping for a start at least.
 
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Old 04-09-14, 06:32 PM
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Wildbill, I have been told to remove the top 6" of soil as well but that is just not financially feasible for 90% of the world. Aside from that, the roots seem to go deeper than 6" anyway and if you replace with topsoil there will just be more nutrients for it to come back with.
 
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Old 04-09-14, 08:01 PM
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You mix inoculant, available at most better seed and hardware stores, with your clover seed. One lb of clover will go a long way. What you are doing with the play sand is making the clover "sowable". If you just took a handful of clover seed and spread it, you would have it on so thick that it wouldn't go very far. Mixing 1 lb of clover with 10+ lbs of sand will allow for an even distribution. Inoculant is actually a bacteria that the seed need for good germination. It is in a powder form in a small envelope. A little goes a long way, just make sure all the clover is coated.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 09:56 PM
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So awhile back I finally mixed the seed and sand and spread it. Couldn't find innoculent anywhere locally so that didn't get tossed in.

I used a hand spreader filled full, covered a 8x25ft approximate area. I watered it everyday for a couple weeks (when it wasn't raining) and after searching today I noticed a whole bunch of new little clover plants. Some are even coming up in the middle of other weed plants. Hopefully they can get strong before next year so they can take over. I plan on helping by removing some of the other weeds around them for more space. Fortunately since clover is natural, I have other plants growing in other places that I can also transplant as plugs.

In another area of the yard, unseeded clover is taking over just because I weed it every year and let the clover go. I give it another 2 years and that will be clover I never had to plant!
 
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