Planting Clover in poor soil area- good or bad idea?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by tdipaul, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. tdipaul

    tdipaul LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    I have a 1 acre section of lawn that is unable to sustain KB/TF grass though the summer. (in NJ)

    Its poor/rocky soil and also frequented by lots of deer at night.

    Not interested spending any $ renovating it for those types of grasses, just need something green here.

    Read some good things about clover and its ability to do ok in such areas.

    Is introducing it a bad idea? Is it akin to introducing bamboo?

    Will clover be spread to other areas of good lawn via the mower deck?
    hort101 likes this.
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,917

    We've had success overseeding with a mix that contains about 2% microclover. The microclover is smaller than white clover and blends in with turf better.
    hort101, Delmarva Keith and tdipaul like this.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,320

    I have experimented with "Mini-clover" from Outside pride.

    It grows well. Comes up quick. Not sure if deer will eat it--probably not.
    Clover is not considered invasive--it is not difficult to eliminate from a grass lawn.
    Fertilizer and water are all you need for grass--if you have good sunlight. Maybe a soil test is in order, to be sure you do not have acid soil--nor salt accumulation.
    Consider a good turf-type fertilizer--maybe 24-0-11 with 50 percent slow release nitrogen. Try to take advantage of natural rains--fertilize in spring and fall when cool and rain is more common. Avoid fertilizer in hot weather--disease may result.
    Remember that tall fescue does not creep--limited ability to spread--if it gets thin due to drought or brown patch disease--it will stay thin.
    You might need an improved disease resistant-spreading type of tall fescue.
    And have a small business lawn care company check it to see if you have enough bluegrass to provide thickness. Sometimes when you seed blue and tall fescue--not much bluegrass takes hold--the result is a tall fescue lawn. And if it is hot and humid--brown patch disease may damage it severely.
    hort101, Delmarva Keith and tdipaul like this.
  4. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,897

    x3 for Microclover.

    I sourced some from it’s pretty Pricey.
    hort101 likes this.
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,917

    Yes it is. However you do save in the long run because of reduced fertilizer and irrigation costs.
    hort101 likes this.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,320

    Cost of Mini-clover seed per pound is high--but the seed is small. The seeding rate is low, 1 to 2 pounds per thousand sqft.
    It will bloom with small white flowers in late spring, for about 3 weeks.
    hort101 likes this.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,320

    More about Mini-clover.
    "Miniclover® is not as aggressive as White Dutch Clover. This type of clover can completely take over a lawn whereas Miniclover® will not do that. It is just aggressive enough to fill in bare spots where traditional grass may not repair for months."

    "Overseeding Existing Lawn: Seed at 1/2 - 1 lb per 1,000 square feet
    Planting Straight Miniclover®: Seed at 1 lb - 2 lbs per 1,000 square feet"

    This from
    hort101 likes this.

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