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Why You Should Grow Micro Clover in Your Lawn

Why You Should Grow Micro Clover in Your Lawn

Micro clover, scientifically known as Trifolium repens var. Pipolina, is a compact variant of white clover. This plant variety is characterized by its petite stature, generally reaching just a few inches in height. The leaves are small and rounded, boasting a vibrant green hue, and during its blooming period, micro clover adorns your lawn with dainty white blossoms. Unlike its more aggressive clover cousins, micro clover maintains a tame growth habit, making it an ideal companion to traditional grasses in a lawn setting.

Aesthetic Appeal

Micro clover adds a unique texture and rich green color to lawns that can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your landscape. The small leaf size creates a fine texture that complements the larger blades of grass, resulting in a dense and lush appearance.

Non-Invasive Nature

Unlike some other clover varieties that can take over a yard, micro clover behaves well amongst other plants. Its non-invasive nature means that it won't aggressively spread beyond where you plant it, allowing you to maintain a balanced and diverse lawn ecosystem.

Compatibility with Grass

Micro clover can be seamlessly integrated into existing grass mixes. Its growth pattern is such that it coexists harmoniously with many common lawn grasses, providing a uniform and cohesive look to your green space.

Micro Clover Lawn Benefits

Micro clover is not just aesthetically pleasing but is also packed with practical benefits that make it a superior choice for lawn care. From its environmental perks to its low-maintenance needs, there's much to gain from incorporating micro clover into your lawn.

Drought Resistance

Micro clover during dry season

by Edoardo Busti (

The root system of micro clover is robust and extensive, delving deep into the soil to access moisture reserves that are out of reach for many shallow-rooted grasses. This trait allows micro clover to remain verdant and resilient during periods of low rainfall, ensuring that your lawn stays greener with minimal watering.

Low Water Requirements

The drought-resistant qualities of micro clover mean you'll use less water to keep your lawn looking fresh. This not only conserves a precious resource but also translates to lower utility bills and less time spent on lawn maintenance.

Adaptability to Various Climates

Micro clover thrives in a wide range of climatic conditions. Whether your area experiences hot, dry summers or cool, wet winters, micro clover can adapt and continue to provide a green ground cover throughout the seasons.

Eco-Friendly Lawn Solution

Micro clover's ability to stay green with less water makes it an environmentally friendly choice for your lawn. Its reduced water needs lessen the strain on local water supplies and diminish the environmental impact of maintaining a green lawn.

Reduced Fertilizer Use

Micro clover excels at nitrogen fixation—a process where it captures atmospheric nitrogen and converts it into a form that plants can use. This natural fertilization process feeds both the clover and surrounding grasses, reducing or eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Enhanced Soil Fertility

The nitrogen-rich compounds produced by micro clover are released into the soil, enriching it and promoting the health of your entire lawn. This improved soil fertility supports the growth of other plants and contributes to the overall ecosystem of your yard.

Cost Savings on Lawn Care

By providing natural fertilizer to your lawn, micro clover can significantly cut down on your gardening expenses. The money saved on chemical fertilizers can be allocated to other aspects of lawn care or garden enhancements.

Weed Suppression

When established, micro clover forms a dense canopy that can stifle the growth of unwanted weeds. This dense mat of clover leaves little room for weed seeds to germinate and grow, which means less weeding for you and a more uniform lawn appearance.

Natural Weed Control

The suppressive effect of micro clover on weeds reduces the need for herbicides, which can be harmful to the environment and other beneficial organisms in your lawn. This natural approach to weed control is safer for pets, children, and local wildlife.

Competitive Advantage Over Weeds

Micro clover's quick establishment and dense growth give it a competitive edge over many common lawn weeds, ensuring that it dominates the lawn space and keeps weeds at bay without the need for chemical interventions.

Low Maintenance

One of the most appealing aspects of micro clover is its low maintenance requirements. Its growth rate is generally slower than that of many grass species, which translates to less frequent mowing and a more consistent lawn height over time.

Less Mowing, More Free Time

With micro clover in your lawn, you'll find yourself spending less time behind the lawn mower and more time enjoying your outdoor space. The reduced mowing frequency is a boon for busy homeowners who value their leisure time.

Resistance to Common Lawn Pests

Micro clover is naturally resistant to many pests that can plague traditional lawns. This resistance means you'll need fewer pesticides, further contributing to a safer and more sustainable lawn environment.

Green All Year Round

Micro clover in winter

by Jonathan Knepper (

A remarkable trait of micro clover is its ability to maintain a vibrant green color throughout the year, including the colder months when many grasses turn brown. This year-round greenery ensures that your lawn remains a pleasant and inviting space regardless of the season.

Winter Hardiness

Micro clover is notably hardy and can survive through frosts and mild snow cover. This resilience means that your lawn will bounce back quickly once the warmer weather returns, providing a consistent green backdrop to your garden.

Consistent Lawn Aesthetic

The evergreen nature of micro clover contributes to a lawn that looks consistently well-kept and healthy. This steady appearance is especially valued by homeowners who take pride in their property's curb appeal.

How to Grow a Micro Clover Lawn

Cultivating a micro clover lawn is a straightforward process that can yield fantastic results. By following a series of simple steps, you can transform your outdoor space into an eco-friendly oasis that's as resilient as it is beautiful.

Step 1: Prepare Your Lawn

The initial step in creating a micro clover lawn is to prepare the existing soil. This involves clearing away any old vegetation, such as dead grass or weeds, to create a clean slate for the new seeds. Tilling the soil or using an herbicide may be necessary to remove stubborn plants.

Soil Testing and Amendment

It's advisable to conduct a soil test prior to planting micro clover. This will help you understand your soil's pH and nutrient levels, allowing you to make any necessary amendments for optimal clover growth.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

Micro clover thrives in well-drained soil, so be sure to address any drainage issues in your lawn before planting. Aerating compacted soil can improve drainage and create a healthier environment for both micro clover and grass.

Removing Lawn Thatch

If your lawn has a layer of thatch—dead grass and roots—it's important to remove it to ensure the micro clover seeds make direct contact with the soil. This can be achieved with a dethatching rake or a power dethatcher.

Step 2: Choose the Right Seeds

Selecting the right seeds is crucial for establishing a successful micro clover lawn. Aim for seeds that are pure, free from weed seeds, and have a high germination rate to ensure a dense and uniform growth.

Seed Mix Ratio

A recommended seed mix for a micro clover lawn is approximately 15-20% micro clover to 80-85% grass seed. This ratio provides a balanced blend that allows both the clover and grass to thrive.

Considering Local Climate

When choosing your seed mix, take into account the specific climate of your region. Some grass varieties may be better suited to your local weather conditions and can complement the micro clover more effectively.

Organic Seed Options

For those interested in an organic lawn, there are organic micro clover seeds available. These seeds are produced without synthetic chemicals and can contribute to a more natural and eco-friendly lawn.

Step 3: Sow the Seeds

Sowing micro clover seeds is a delicate task due to their small size. It's important to distribute them evenly across the lawn to avoid clumping and to ensure a uniform growth pattern.

Method of Seeding

You can sow micro clover seeds by hand for small areas or use a broadcast spreader for larger lawns. This ensures an even distribution and prevents over-seeding, which can lead to overcrowding and poor plant development.

Soil Contact

After spreading the seeds, lightly rake the area to help the seeds make contact with the soil. This will improve germination rates and encourage the seeds to take root more effectively.

Avoiding Over-seeding

Be mindful of the seeding rate; over-seeding can lead to competition for resources among the plants and result in a less healthy lawn. Follow the recommended seeding rates for the best results.

Step 4: Water and Protect

After planting, it's important to keep the soil consistently moist to facilitate germination. The seeds generally sprout within 7-10 days, but they need a stable environment to develop properly.

Light Watering Technique

Use a fine spray to water the newly sown seeds, ensuring that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. This gentle approach prevents the seeds from being washed away and encourages steady growth.

Using Mulch for Protection

A thin layer of straw mulch can help retain moisture in the soil and protect the seeds from birds and harsh sunlight. This added layer of protection can improve germination rates and help establish a robust micro clover lawn.

Monitoring Seedling Growth

Keep a close eye on the development of the micro clover seedlings. Regular watering and protection from foot traffic will help the young plants become established and grow into a dense, healthy lawn.

Step 5: Mow Regularly

Once the micro clover lawn is established, it will require some maintenance to keep it looking its best. Mowing is an important part of this maintenance, but it's less frequent than with traditional lawns.

Ideal Mowing Height

Maintain a mowing height of around 3 inches to promote healthy growth of micro clover. This height helps the clover to outcompete weeds and ensures that it doesn't become too stressed or damaged from cutting.

Mowing Frequency

Micro clover grows more slowly than many grasses, so you can reduce your mowing frequency. This not only saves time but also helps the environment by reducing emissions from lawn mowers.

Clippings as Natural Fertilizer

When you do mow, leave the grass clippings on the lawn. These clippings act as a natural fertilizer, decomposing and releasing nutrients back into the soil, which benefits both the clover and the grass.

Other Uses for Micro Clover

Beyond its role as a ground cover in lawns, micro clover has several other applications that can contribute to sustainable land management practices and agricultural systems.

As a Cover Crop

Micro clover is an excellent cover crop, known for its ability to protect and enhance soil health. It prevents soil erosion, suppresses weeds, and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes.

Soil Erosion Prevention

The dense root system of micro clover helps to stabilize the soil, reducing the risk of erosion caused by wind and water. This makes it an ideal choice for areas prone to soil degradation.

Adding Organic Matter to Soil

As micro clover plants die back or are mowed, they contribute organic matter to the soil. This organic matter improves soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability for future crops.

As a Forage Crop

Micro clover is also valued as a forage crop for livestock. Its nutrient-rich leaves provide a high-quality food source that can support the health and productivity of grazing animals.

Nutritional Benefits for Livestock

The leaves of micro clover are rich in protein and other essential nutrients, making it a beneficial addition to the diet of livestock. It can be grown alone or as part of a pasture mix to enhance the nutritional value of the forage.

Enhancing Pasture Diversity

Incorporating micro clover into pastures increases biodiversity and can improve the overall health of the grazing ecosystem. A diverse pasture is more resilient to pests, diseases, and changing environmental conditions.


Micro clover is a dynamic and advantageous addition to any lawn. With its multitude of benefits, including drought resistance, natural fertilization, weed suppression, and low maintenance needs, it's an appealing option for those seeking an attractive, sustainable, and user-friendly lawn. Whether you decide to integrate micro clover into your existing grass mix or cultivate it as a standalone ground cover, your efforts will result in a vibrant and eco-conscious green space that will be the envy of the neighborhood.