Monday, May 24, 2010
It figures: just when I'm all excited about mowing the lawn, the clover blooms. It's time to give the clover a vacation from mowing so that it can reseed itself some more.
It isn't necessary to do this, but the clover is still growing in clumps, and some re-seeding should help with that. Plus. . . I like the flowers. And so do the insects. I remember being sad as a child when my parents mowed down the clover blossoms.
This, by the way, is white Dutch clover, Trifolium repens. It isn't native. It is quite possibly invasive, but (and I can't believe I'm saying this) it's already here, just about everywhere, right along with out invasive lawn grasses. It adds nitrogen to the soil, the pollinators love it, and it grows in our barren desert lawnscape without any watering whatsoever.
In the absence of a native plant that makes a decent mowed lawn, I went with a childhood favorite.
One thing I've noticed is that I haven't found a single four-leaf clover in the lawn yet, and I can find a four-leaf clover in a haystack. This makes me wonder if four-leaf clovers are induced by nasty chemicals in the soil. The creepiest clover patch I ever found was in downtown Providence, RI, which has a rich history of such chemical-spewing industries as costume-jewelry-making and cloth-dying. Five petals, six petals, seven petals. . . I stopped counting on the last one and just left. That poor plant gave me a serious case of the willies.
This may possibly be the only organic lawn I've ever hunted four-leafers on.