Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Clover

Potentilla pointed me to a BBC article on organic lawn care. One of its recommendations is to grow clover. Clover used to be part of the American lawn - according to a Scotts publication (Scotts is a gardening supplies company), clover used to be included with Kentucky bluegrass in the 1940s and 50s, making clover one of the most widespread lawn weeds. It attracts bees and thus a hazard to the barefooted. :)

The organic tracts say that clover fell out of fashion with the advent of lawn herbicides, which could not be made to spare clover.

Anyway, no local outlet seems to stock clover seed. The web lead to an old friend, Nichols Garden Nursery in Oregon, from whom I've mail-ordered, in the (distant) past. They have an intriguing recommendation - their Northern and Southern Ecology lawn seed mixes -
here.

The Southern mix has "Improved Turf Type Tall Fescue, Strawberry and Dutch White Clovers, Yarrow, California Poppy, Pimpernel, Baby Blue Eyes, Creeping Thymes". The Northern mix has "Colonial Bentgrass, Strawberry and Dutch White Clover, Wild English Daisies, Roman Chamomile, Yarrow and Baby Blue Eyes", said to be like old English lawns. (I'm on the boundary of their regions).

I wonder what an "old English lawn" actually looks like?

4 comments:

Potentilla said...

I can see a daisy-and-clover lawn in my mind's eye, but it's surprisingly difficult to find a picture. Here's the best so far http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.farcourt.co.uk/ge/images/redcloveranddaisies1-1.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.farcourt.co.uk/ge/plants.htm&h=350&w=504&sz=21&tbnid=2Nng_eqynQJMlM:&tbnh=88&tbnw=128&hl=en&start=19&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddaisies%2Bclover%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DG
(with a buttercup too, very English) but you can't see the lawn effect. If you cut it, the daisies and clover flowers grow back very quickly.

Potentilla said...

An AMerican one, with baby blue eyes - not a great picture, though.

Potentilla said...

Ah-hah....this one has better pictures, and advice too.
http://oregonstate.edu/dept/hort/turf/Ecolawns2005revision.pdf

I think you would need to use plug plants rather than seed, though, unless you plan to remove your existing turf. Perhaps you could introduce some plugs into a trial patch and see how they get on?

(PS I haven't really spent all afternoon and evening worrying about your lawn, honest, although I can see why it might look like it).

Arun said...

:-). Even without following the link to your website, I can see you're a gardener, and I mean that as a compliment.