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How to Plant Clover Seeds

The Comprehensive Guide for How to Plant Clover Seeds

The Comprehensive Guide for How to Plant Clover Seeds.

Spoiler alert, I am teaching y’all how to plant clover seeds. As ya’ know, I love our cabin. However, I recently ran into a somewhat pressing issue – patchy areas of grass. Coverage was a bit spotty between the artist’s studio and the main cabin. Our property has this beyond-ideal area between both locations that act as a natural outdoor green space and is begging for a concrete water fountain and garden lights. It’s the ideal place to hang out and picnic lunch or eat BBQ tri-tip in the summer. I mean just look at how the redwood tree throws the nicest afternoon shade.

how to plant clover seeds

That being said, it didn’t look that great when we first started, but you know I love a challenge. The lack of lush green motivated me to find an affordable, drought-tolerant option to create a lush lawn look. The solution? Clovers. Yep, clover. I’ll explain more in a bit. Let’s talk about how to plant clover seeds.

I know, you are wondering why we didn’t just go with grass seed instead. Well, growing grass is insanely hard. Like really. We needed something that was going to hold up all season, wasn’t gonna need to be weeded every 4 weeks, and was somewhat drought-tolerant all while being native to the area. Clover was the best and only answer for us. You will be shocked to know Clover is great for all these reasons and so many more.

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Here’s the thing clover looks amazing like always. It is so hard to kill. Our ended up looking out of this world. I will never go back. In addition to offering a ton of benefits that you just can’t get with traditional lawns. From low maintenance requirements to eco-friendly advantages, clover is great for the soil, environment, and animals. Let’s get started.

How to Plant Clover Seeds – Getting Started

how to plant clover seeds benefits

Alright, so learning how to plant clover seeds is actually quite simple. Even if it’s your first time planting something in your yard, the process is so easy that I can guarantee you won’t mess it up. Even better? Planting clover is a fairly quick process, with only a little bit of ongoing maintenance required. As such, whether you’re working from home or constantly out and about, getting your yard to turn green which is what most people want –  will be a walk in the park.

how to plant clover seeds soil

Before you can start, though, you’ll need to get your hands on some suitable soil, a handheld seed spreader and some clover seeds, . There are three common choices: white, red, and strawberry clover. White clover is the best clover for lawn coverage and is arguably the most common. Here’s why…..

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White clover doesn’t tend to grow very tall, making it perfect for blending in with your pre-existing grass. It’s tolerant of mowing, drought resistant, and is excellent at adding valuable nutrients to the surrounding soil.

Red is a bushier alternative that tends to grow a bit higher, while strawberry clover offers white & pink flowers and a greater tolerance to saline conditions. Honestly, I love all three, and am trying them all. I like the color variance.

how to plant clover seeds with daisy
  • White clover prefers moist fine soil but can excel in most soil, even poor soil. However, it doesn’t do well in soil with higher salinity.
  • Red clover thrives in well-drained soil, although it can tolerate soils that have a higher level of acidity as well.
  • Strawberry clover prefers moist, well-drained soil but can adapt to most soil conditions including alkaline, saline, and waterlogged soils. It can even manage growth in low-nutrient clay soil.

Picked out your seeds? Good. Let’s move on to the next step.

Preparations for How to Plant Clover Seeds

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To give your clover seed mixture the best chance of success, you’ll first need to take a close look at your existing lawn or area of growth. Unfortunately, it’s extremely hard to remove weeds once you’ve placed clover in your lawn. With that in mind, the first thing you’ll want to focus on when learning how to plant clover seeds is removing any pre-existing weeds.

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If you’re only working with a few square feet of lawn then removing the weeds by hand might be the best option. However, for larger areas, you might want to consider treating the area with weed killer first and waiting a week before starting to plant..

After you’ve removed the remaining weed foliage, use a rake to dethatch your lawn. Remove all debris—including lawn clippings and leaves—until only exposed soil is left behind. 

Some people recommend removing all existing plant life to allow your clover to truly take over the area. This could be a feasible idea, but it really depends on where you live and I didnt do that and had no problems. I like the natural look anyway. Also, if you live in an area where the winters are colder then I would recommend against it, as clover tends to leave bare patches in colder weather.

The Planting Process for How to Plant Clover Seeds

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From here, simply spread the seeds on the bare soil as needed. You can either do this by hand or with a handheld seed spreader like I did. Pro tip: I mixed my seeds with some planting soil to help them root a bit easier. I just added it to the seed spreader and seeds and spun away. Remember, the clover will spread quite quickly, so you don’t need to get every nook and cranny.

After you’ve spread the seeds, consider adding a top layer of soil, especially if you didn’t mix any in during the initial spin. Then mist the entire area. It’s important not to use too much water at first, at least not until you’re sure the seeds are secure. Once you’re confident that the seeds are stuck firmly in place and won’t be easily washed away, you can water them as normal.

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The last step of mastering how to plant clover seeds is making sure you keep the moisture levels up. This is especially important for the first few weeks, as the seeds need to germinate. During this time, you might notice a few bare patches in the ground cover where the seed placement was a bit lighter.

Fortunately, there’s no need to worry. It won’t be very long before the entire area is covered in clover, so just give it a bit of time. Some clover will sprout as soon as 4 to 6 days if the moisture levels are quite right.

Timing Matters

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So far, I’ve provided you with a general outline of how to plant clover seeds. However, if you want to give your new plants the best chance of success then it’s important to make sure you plant them at the optimal time.

Is it sweatshirt season? If so, then you’ll have to wait until next year before planting your clover seeds. Actually, needing to wait could be a good thing, as most competing plants should be dead around the time you plant your clover seeds.

how to plant clover seeds good for nature

Generally, early spring is your best option, when temperatures are between 60°F to 85°F. However, if you live in an area with moderate weather year-round then you might be able to get away with planting your clover seeds in late summer or early fall.

Ultimately, I’d really suggest planting based on the temperatures if you’re having trouble deciding when to plant the seeds. As long as the temperatures fall within the acceptable range, you should be good to go!

Places to Plant

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I’ll cover it a bit more in depth below, but in some places, clover is considered to be a weed. This likely won’t be an issue if you’re planting in a lawn that’s outside of city limits, but it might be a problem if you have a local HOA to adhere to.

Fortunately, many places that won’t let you learn how to plant clover seeds in front of your home don’t give you very large areas to work with anyway. Personally, I think that putting clover in backyard lawns works just well. More on why I think clover is a great option for lawns or in place of below. Plus, you get the added benefit of a bit more privacy in your outdoor space.

backyard lawns how to plant clover seeds

Front yard or not, you’ll still want to make sure your clover is in a place where it can thrive. This means placing seeds in an area with lots of sun exposure and adequate drainage. 

Ideally, you want your clover to receive a minimum of four to six hours of sunlight per day. If this simply isn’t possible then you might want to double up on your seeds, as the growth will be limited by the lack of sunlight. Full sun is ideal. Don’t worry too much. Clove is pretty resilient.

Of course, drainage is important as well. While some types of clover will be able to tolerate standing water for a little while, this should be avoided at all costs. Given enough time, any type of clover will eventually succumb to standing water so make sure you’ve taken care of the drainage situation beforehand.

How to Plant Clover Seeds: Is Clover a Weed?

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Simply put? It depends on who you ask! While you’ll often see people posting “help, clover is taking over my lawn”, truthfully, having clover in your yard wasn’t always considered to be a bad thing.

In fact, clover was practically the golden standard for a while, at least, until broadleaf herbicides gained popularity. The manufacturers of these products began to refer to clover as a weed, resulting in the negative reputation that it held for a while.

Simply put? It depends on who you ask! While you’ll often see people posting “help, clover is taking over my lawn”, truthfully, having clover in your yard wasn’t always considered to be a bad thing.

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In fact, clover was practically the golden standard for a while, at least, until broadleaf herbicides gained popularity. The manufacturers of these products began to refer to clover as a weed, resulting in the negative reputation that it held for a while. True, a mixture of clover and flowers in your yard might not look as “prim and proper” compared to modern grass lawns, but that doesn’t necessarily make clover a weed. Fortunately, thanks to its low-maintenance growth potential and a push for more eco-friendly landscapes, clover is once again making a push back into the mainstream, and I am here for it! Lawns are so fussy and take a ton of water.

Why I Love Clover

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In the battle of clover lawn vs grass lawns, grass is still the popular choice. I’m not sure how much longer this will last, though. For me, once I learned how to plant clover seeds, I was instantly hooked. True, grass lawns can look amazing, but they have a lot of disadvantages when compared to their more eco-friendly counterparts.

Here are just a few reasons why I think clover is the superior option. Yep superior. I know it’s not a popular opinion.

It’s Easy to Grow

how to plant clover seeds

A traditional lawn takes a lot of effort, at least, if you want to maintain it properly. Clover lawns, on the other hand, require relatively little maintenance to keep them looking their best. If you decide to go with a fully clover yard then you’ll only need to pull out the lawnmower a few times a year.

As you’ve already read above, it’s not very hard to learn how to plant clover lawn, and you’ll have a few different types of clover to choose from. With multiple options at hand for different conditions, growing an amazing clover yard is fairly simple.

It’s Low Maintenance – More About How to Plant Clover Seeds

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Traditional lawns require a lot of maintenance. Even more so if they get constant foot traffic. That’s not the case with clover lawns though, as this grass alternative is practically self-sufficient.

Despite requiring less water, clover will look just as green as grass. Of course, you get the added visual benefit of clover flowers as well. The best clover fertilizer? None – it simply doesn’t need any! 

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In fact, clover can actually add nitrogen to the soil around it, giving the surrounding plants a boost of nutrients through a process called “nitrogen fixation”.

Worried about weed control? Don’t be, as these tiny plants help prevent weeds from growing in your lawn as well. True, they might require a bit more care than faux plants, but clover doesn’t require nearly as much care as a traditional grass yard. 

If you want a lawn that looks amazing but requires next to no effort then going with a clover yard is definitely the easiest method to achieve that goal.

It’s Pet-Friendly

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One of the biggest downfalls of both outdoor and indoor greenery is the possibility of accidentally poisoning your pets. Many of the most common houseplants are toxic to cats and dogs, making it vital that you keep them out of reach.

Of course, it’s hard to keep an eye on your pets 24/7, especially when they’re outside. Fortunately, clover is pet-friendly, so you won’t need to worry about your four-legged friends getting sick if they decide to munch on your clover yard. Clover even offers a bonus to dog owners: it’s resistant to dog urine. Amazing right?

There Are Different Varieties – More Reasons to Know How to Plant Clover Seeds

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As I mentioned above, there are three main varieties of clover that people commonly use for their yards. Each one of these different plants brings something unique to the table. Whereas a scented candle can be used to change the aromas inside, simply choosing a specific type of clover can bring a pleasant scent to your entire lawn.

If you want a particular color scheme for your lawn, either red clover or white clover seed can help you go for a more uniform look. Alternatively, mixing the white flowers of clover with wildflowers can give your lawn a bit more of a natural look.

No matter what you go with, one thing is for sure. You’ll no longer be stuck staring at a stale green, cookie-cutter grass yard beyond the drapes of your kitchen nook window!

It’s Great for the Bees

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Remember how I said that clover yards were more eco-friendly? Well, that’s especially true when it comes to pollinators like honeybees. Bees love clover, as it provides them with a constant source of food. I love this characteristic of clover as we hope to have Bee Boxes at the cabin one day soon.

Love them or hate them, bees play a vital role in crop production. Without bees, many of the foods we love and enjoy every day would simply cease to exist. Even if you’re not a huge fan of these winged critters, having a clover yard is a great way to help ensure that you can keep enjoying your favorite foods for many years to come.

It Helps Keep Away Unwanted Pests

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While many bugs that can appear in your yard will harm your plants, there are many types of beneficial insects that you’ll want to keep around. Bugs such as non-stinging parasitoid wasps and ladybugs feed on the harmful bugs that destroy your plants.

Having a clover yard will attract these helpful bugs to your lawn, allowing you to enjoy a natural boost of pest control (without the need for potentially harmful, synthetic sprays).

How to Plant Clover Seeds: Closing Thoughts

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There are just so many benefits to having a clover yard! Honestly, if it weren’t for HOAs and the fact that most people have an already established lawn, I’m sure that these types of yards would be way more popular.

Still, I think it’s great that they’re having a comeback, not only for the more natural look they offer, but for the eco-benefits as well.  Learning how to plant clover seeds is very easy, so if you can, I strongly recommend giving it a try.

Of course, you don’t need to redo your entire yard, but I’m sure you’ll love it if you do. Spring is quickly approaching, making it the perfect time of year to plant some clover. So, is this outdoor project on your to-do list? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Until next time!

How to Plant Clover Clovers: Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I just throw clover seed on the ground?

You can, but this won’t necessarily yield the results you’re looking for. If you want the best chance of success then I recommend preparing the soil beforehand, as well as watering the seeds after you’ve spread them around.

Is clover a perennial?

Some are, some aren’t. The most popular types of clover—white, red, and strawberry—are all perennial, meaning they won’t need to be seeded every year. However, if grown in unfavorable conditions, red clover may only last a year before needing to be reseeded.

How fast does clover grow from seed?

Times vary, depending on the growing conditions and the types of clover plants you’re trying to grow. With ideal conditions, though, you can expect to see germination within a week!

How long does crimson clover bloom?

You can expect to see flowering in about 70 to 90 days. This looks very pleasant during the daytime, but can look absolutely amazing with some well-placed outdoor lighting at nighttime!

What is the best time to plant clover seed?

The best time to plant clover lawn is usually during early spring. However, you’ll get the best result if the temperatures are between 60°F to 85°F. Depending on where you live, this might mean that planting clover seed in the late summer or early fall could work better for you.

Is clover toxic to dogs?

Thankfully, no! But can dogs eat clover? They certainly can. In fact, clover is a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, and calcium for your furry friend.

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