new homeowner with lots of clover flowers

I've been reading that clover is beneficial to a lawn and I should be happy to have it but it's taking over many of the grass areas of my lawn. My question - will the flowers eventually go away leaving just the green clover? The flowers are very low to the ground so they escape the lawnmower blades. I don't mind the clover at all just don't want the white flowers all over the yard.
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Yeah...they'll vanish after a while. Then, they'll come back. Then, they'll vanish. Then, it'll snow, the snow will melt, and the flowers will come back. It's a cyclical thing. Learn to enjoy it.
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My suggestion: do nothing except mow for a year and see how you feel then.
It's easier to adjust your thinking than the plant (they just keep on blooming whenever conditions are right). The clover is saving you a couple or three applications of nitrogenous fertilizer to the lawn; when there's sufficient soil N for the grass, the grass will outgrow the clover; when N is lacking, the clover will outgrow the grass.
Just be sure to mow at the correct height for your lawn species, and don't remove more than 1/3 of the top growth at a time.
DH was bothered by all the clover in our lawn when we moved out to the country. When I told him he was therefore in charge of fertilizing, here was the schedule, he suddenly decided he was less bothered by the clover. ;-)
A couple things to know, one biological, one economic: --Applying N to nitrogen-fixing legumes like clovers will suppress them from fixing nitrogen. So don't "half-feed" -- then neither the grass nor the clover grow particularly well. --most commercial fertilizers will track natural gas prices quite closely, and gas prices are unlikely to go anywhere but up. Perhaps you can start imagining the clover flowers to look like coins... <g> <http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/2001/1-29-2001/natgasfert.html
Kay
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wrote:

I think you have got good common sense advice there Joe. I have also gotten used to living with and appreciating clover. It got hammered a little in my lawn whilst I was removing other broadleaf weeds. Once those were gone however I left the lawn to its own devices and the clover has grown quite rampant. It did bother me to start with however I have grown used to it & understand the benefits it brings to the lawn. I tend to mow my lawn quite high and mulch the clippings back into the sod.
rob
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Has anyone had any success removing the clover from the middle of the yard and transplanting it on the edges? I think it would look pretty sharp for those flowers to bloom in unison around the edges of the yard instead of haphazardly throughout.
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In order to maintain that, you'll have to keep the grass in tip-top condition with fertilizer, lime and proper mowing, and probably add some applications of broad leaf herbicide every year. That or hand- weeding. You've probably got a 70 year supply of clover seed in the upper portion of your soil -- all it takes is a little space between the grass plants and the clover will germinate (along with other weeds).
I'd also suggest a trip to some of the Stately Homes of England for a good close look at those magnificent lawns that have about 20x the number of species in them as the average US suburban lawn. They just keep things mowed or sheeped.
Kay
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Look the only reason clover is percieved as a lawn weed is that the chemicals used to control turfgrass weeds also killed the clover and the herbicide manufacturers covered their butts by changing clover's image. Clover used to be in seed mixes for lawns (although the seed tended to settle into the bottom of the sack) it adds nitrogen, feeds bees and butterflies. Turfgrass in America in general is a crop for fools, a bit of clover mitigates some of the idiocy.
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wrote:

Years ago, I read somewhere (in an actual book or magazine) that the tradition of planting lawns was derived from the British, who brought the illness with them from their homeland. The author suggested that people think about whether their climate (in Kansas, in mid-summer, for instance) was anything like that of England, and having done so, try and make better decisions.
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attracting all kinds of bees. If I still had little kids I'd make sure they knew to wear shoes out there for this period of time. Just as my parents did. Who knew? Parenting is a lost art, I guess :o(
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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