clover lawn - need advice

Our new Church (in Maine) has a very large lawn area on leveled, post-build-new-lot soil, which is not too good (since the next addition will go there, eventually). It has spotty lawn at the edges while the remainder is flush with clover.
My current plan is to leave the clover until it seeds, then mow it to about 2-3" and allow grass to start establishing itself. I would do this every year.
I want the clover since it adds nitrogen to the soil, but am I going down the wrong path and is there a better plan?
In the areas away from the church proper where there is grass, it is spotty and separated by lots of bare earth. The area around the church has better soil and is doing fairly well.
It is interesting that, as a beekeeper, I tried to plant a field of clover, but the grass took it over in about three years, so I am thinking that the same might happen here.
GA
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George Abbot said:

The clover needs to have as much leaf surface exposed to the sun, as possible, in order to fix the nitrogen in the soil.

A couple notes about what the clover (or any other legume) actually does...
1. The legume takes in the nitrogen from the air and the soil. It's not in a form that plants can use, though. The legume doesn't even really do the fixing. It's bacteria (Rhizobium) that lives in nodes on the roots of the legume, that do all the work.
2. The bacteria turn the nitrogen gas into ammonia (NH3), that converts to ammonium (NH4), which /can/ be used by the plant. It's the same form as ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) and ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) that is sold as fertilizer.
4. You need a way to transfer the nitrogen to the surrounding grass. Just having the clover growing there, won't do the trick. You need either a herd of grazing livestock (they'll excrete the nitrogen all over the place [1]), and/or decomposition of the dead legume material. This means letting the plant mature fully, die, and be absorbed back into the soil. You can speed this up by tilling the legume into the soil. But, that leaves you with:
5. The nitrogen fixed by the legume is only going to be available to the grass that immediately follows the legume's growing season.
So, now you'll have a muddy field to seed/sod/water/water/pray/water/etc. Major renovation is a lot of work. ;)
[1] This is good... 80-90% of the nitrogen will be absorbed, processed, and pass through the animals. The bummer is, about 50% of what passes through, will be lost through evaporation.
[...]
HTH, I know a lot of people that think that just having clover in an area is good for the grass. It is, but there's a whole lot more to it than that. =)
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Eggs Zachtly wrote:

So, go for the mow? It seems like that is your suggestion. Forget the clover and mow for eventual grass.
What if the clover was left for the season? Is that a good or bad idea?
GA
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George Abbot said:

You stated reasons for having the clover in the lawn. I was simply trying to point out the "why's" of having clover in a lawn in the first place, and what you'd need to do to take advantage of what a legume does. Mowing it low does little good (and is probably detrimental to the benefits of having the clover). It's probably best to just kill it off, as any other weed.

Did you not read my first reply?
The best way to take advantage of the nitrogen fixation, is to let the clover mature fully, die, and decompose back into the soil. It doesn't put ten years of nitrogen back into your soil. It's like doing one application of N to your lawn.
Please adjust your word-wrap. Thanks.
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Also, I would not just mow and pray for grass to establish itself. Some kind of mix of weeds and grasses will eventually take over. But most of those grasses are not ones that i would want to look at. If you want grass, buy a high quality seed appropriate for the conditions and seed it in the Fall.
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How does one kill off clover?
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Alan Illeman said:
[...]

Take your pick:
2,4-D Glyphosate Corn gluten meal Hand-pull it
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One of the common herbicide companies, might be Ortho?, makes a product specifically labeled for clover and similar. Don't remember what chemical they used, but I'd look for it at the garden shop. I used it and it worked. Clover is harder to kill than typical broadleaf weeds because it has a waxy type leaf.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Plain distilled white vinegar just wiped out my dollarweed... it may work for clover also...
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willshak said:

It's called a surfactant. It lowers the surface tension of the liquid, allowing it to spread better over the surface of the leaf, rather than run off.

Next time, try a liquid detergent, and not a soap. Ever wonder why a drop of detergent in greasy dish water will make the grease on the surface of the water run like hell? ;)

It runs into the next small droplet, becoming larger (and heavier), which in turn runs into the next nearest droplet (making it heavier yet), and so on, until it runs off of the leaf.
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Thanks
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