How To Plant Microclover: The Secret To A Self-Sustaining Lawn
Is Microclover a miracle plant? Microclover is ideal for sustainable lawn care, and has been gaining popularity around the world as a natural solution for healthy, self-sustaining, low-maintenance lawns. You can get the look of a lush, dense, manicured lawn – without the intense maintenance required with conventional turf grass. Microclover is tough enough to handle foot traffic and playing, while also being soft and comfortable. Plus, planting Microclover will help eliminate the need for fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides for a safe and healthy environment. Microclover is a must-have for a self-sustaining, drought-tolerant lawn that looks beautiful.
Why Plant Microclover?
- Increases drought tolerance to save water
- Its compact, low-growing form means less mowing or no mowing
- It grows vigorously via stolons, which provides an even, lush appearane, while crowding out weeds and eliminating the need for weed-killers
- Clover is cold-hardy and stays green from spring through fall, keeping your lawn greener and longer, naturally -- eliminating the need for fertilizer
- Clover deters grass-loving grubs and beetles, common lawn pests, keeping lawn grass healthier and eliminating the need for pesticides
- Highly durable, yet soft and cushiony, it is an attractive solution for high-traffic areas including lawns, athletic fields, golf courses, parks, slopes, etc.
Read on or jump to a section to learn more:
What Is Microclover?
Microclover is a tiny clover that was developed by plant breeders to include all the benefits of full-size clover, engineered for the attractive, low-maintenance lawns. This tiny white clover spreads densely and evenly, preventing weed growth and creating a soft yet highly durable surface for high traffic areas. It flowers much less than typical clover.
Like all clover, it fixes atmospheric nitrogen (nitrogen from the air) into a usable form in the soil, which acts as a natural fertilizer for grass. Plus, Microclover has been bred to stay green from spring to winter, giving that attractive deep green color to lawn areas, naturally.
Microclover can be planted in partial shade, but performs best in full sun.
Microclover is safe for septic area plantings – it spreads by stolons and does not have deep roots.
The Benefits Of Pairing Microclover & Grass Seed
While it can be planted on its own, it is often recommended to plant Microclover and lawn grass seed together. Here is how these two plants work together for a self-sustaining lawn.
- When paired with grasses, it acts as a natural fertilizer for a lush, self-sustaining lawn. Microclover grows quickly, helping to establish a lawn more quickly than grass seed alone.
- Microclover plants are evenly dispersed via stolons, resulting in an attractive blending of grasses and clover. Dense, vigorous Microclover and grass will crowd out weeds and prevent new weeds from establishing.
- Eliminating the need for fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides will make your lawn easier than ever to maintain, and it’s also healthier for the people and pets enjoying the space, and healthier for our soil and waterways.
- Microclover can also help reduce lawn pests – grubs that feed on grass roots will not eat Microclover® roots, and adult beetles and bugs will be deterred from laying eggs in Microclover.
Recommended grasses to plant with Microclover:
How To Grow Microclover
When To Plant: In spring, you can sow Microclover as early as two weeks before your last frost date. In fall, sow at least 8 weeks prior to your first average frost date, so that perennial clover plants have time to establish root systems before freezes hit. Clover prefers cooler temperatures for germination and growth, so avoid planting at the hottest time of year.
- With a brand new planting, or in cases where you may be replacing your lawn, we recommend removing existing growth to prepare the soil for planting. Methods include rototilling, hand tools, or solarization - you can see further details in our guide: How To Prepare Your Site For Planting Seeds
- If you are overseeding your existing lawn, first mow it to be about 2-3 inches, and remove the clippings. Then rake your lawn to remove dead grass and loosen the soil to prepare for seeding.
Sowing Seeds: Using the recommended coverage rate, scatter seeds densely and gently rake them in or compress seeds for good seed to soil contact. We recommend reserving about 10-15% of seeds so that you can fill patches that may occur.
- All new plantings should be kept damp for best results with germination. Water regularly so that your soil is like a wrung-out sponge: evenly hydrated but not soggy. Water as needed to ensure that your soil doesn’t dry out.
- Once established, Microclover is drought tolerant and will need little supplemental watering. In the long-term, richer/wetter soil will encourage more aggressive and lush growth of clover.
No Fertilizer Needed
- The benefit of Microclover is that it does not need fertilizer! Avoid the use of herbicides because they will damage or kill Microclover.
- Microclover will stay green from spring through fall, but in winter, Microclover will go dormant and turn brown.
- Mowing Microclover will encourage the plants to form their characteristic tight, miniature habit.
- In areas where you want to maintain Microclover at its minimum height, regular weekly mowing is recommended; once you achieve the size and look you’re going for, you can reduce mowing to as little as once per month.
- In areas where it is not mowed, Microclover may grow to the taller end of its size range, with larger leaves.
Seeding Rates For Microclover & Lawn Grass Seed
For individual clover seed coverage rates, and lawn grass seed coverage rates, please see the “Plant Information” chart on each individual product page.
All rates below are recommended for machine spreading. If spreading seeds by hand, add 25% to 50% more seeds. It is wise to withhold some seeds for filling in any bald areas that appear.
If planting Microclover alone in cleared, prepared soil:
- 1/4 lb covers 250 sq ft
- 1/2 lb covers 500 sq ft
- 1 lb covers 1,000 sq ft
- 5 lb covers 5,000 sq ft
- 10 lb covers 10,000 sq ft
- 25 lb covers 25,000 sq ft
- 50 lb covers 50,000 sq ft
If overseeding Microclover into an existing lawn: It’s recommended to use about 10% of the recommended seeding rate.
- Lawn grass is thick and vigorous, and it creates a barrier that will prevent most new seeds from germinating.
- If you plan to seed Microclover into an existing lawn, be sure to mow close to the soil surface and aerate first. This will introduce air, water, and nutrients into the soil and give your seed a better chance of taking hold.
- Water regularly to ensure your soil doesn’t dry out.
If pairing Microclover and lawn grass seed to start a lawn from scratch, use 5% Microclover and 95% grass seed.
- 5 lb grass seed + 1/4 lb clover seed
- 10 lb grass seed + 1/2 lb clover seed
- 25 lb grass seed + 1 1/4 lb clover seed
- 50 lb grass seed + 2 1/2 lb clover seed
If planting standard clover and lawn grass seed to start a lawn from scratch, use 15-20% clover seed and 80-85% grass seed
- 5 lb grass seed + 1 lb clover seed
- 10 lb grass seed + 2 lb clover seed
- 25 lb grass seed + 5 lb clover seed
- 50 lb grass seed + 10 lb clover seed
About our Pelleted Microclover Seeds:
Our Microclover seeds are pelleted, or coated in an inert organic material that smooths out the irregular shapes of each unique seed and leads to hassle-free seeding. Pelleted seeds become rounder, heaver, and more uniform, which encourages even distribution when using seeding tools. Pelleted seeds that are direct seeded are usually more evenly spaced, which lends to more even, uniform coverage.
Shop Seeds For Your Low-Maintenance Lawn
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