Clover, My Favorite Lawn Weed

By Mary Ellen Ellis | April 7, 2021
Image by Roel_Meijer
by Mary Ellen Ellis
April 7, 2021

Not all weeds are bad, in my opinion. I have never been one to require a pristine lawn of green grass. There’s room for other plants in the lawn. I don’t mind a few cheerful dandelions and I certainly don’t mind the patches of white clover. In fact, clover might be my favorite unintentional garden plant. 

Why I Don’t Mind Weeds in My Lawn

Some weeds are bad. I hate the bindweed that I fear I will never have under control. In general, though, I’m not a weed hater. They’re plants too, and they just want to grow. While some are detrimental, like the bindweed, many have a place. Here’s why I don’t get upset about lawn weeds in particular: 

I prefer natural space to artificial outdoors. Yes, I cultivate beds and some non-native plants, but the artificiality of a swath of green lawn is too much. A perfect green lawn with no weeds requires chemical application. I would much rather have an imperfect lawn than contribute to degradation of the ecosystem. 

Weeds add to the green. I have a lot of shade in my yard, so getting a uniform carpet of grass is nearly impossible. Weeds bring some green to patches in between the healthy grass that would otherwise be dirt. Many weeds attract insects that have a place in my garden ecosystem. 

Why I Like White Clover

My favorite lawn weed, by far, is white clover. I like dandelions as well, but when they get too plentiful, it does tend to make the lawn look messy and unkempt. Clover patches blend into the green of the grass and contribute pretty, delicate white flowers. 

Clover is also good for the lawn. As a nitrogen fixer, it takes nitrogen out of the air and turns it into a useful form for the grass and other plants I grow. It also attracts beneficial insects, like lady bugs and bees

I have a happy memory of clover as well. When I was a kid, I had a pet rabbit. She loved clover flowers. They were her favorite treat, so we would sit out in the grass as I fed her one after the other. Clover may be a weed to many, but I like it, and I welcome it in my lawn. 

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