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25.6.07

Clover In The Garden

My neighbor considers clover to be a weed and any that shows up in his lawn is quickly eradicated with chemicals. I'm of the opinion that clover is a beneficial "weed "in the garden because it attracts good insects like bumble bees and adds nitrogen to the soil.

  White Clover Red Clover


"Clover is a genus of about 300 species of plants in the pea family Fabaceae. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution; the highest diversity is found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, but many species also occur in South America and Africa, including at high altitudes on mountains in the tropics.

They are small annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial herbaceous plants. The leaves are trifoliate (rarely 5- or 7-foliate), with stipules adnate to the leaf-stalk, and heads or dense spikes of small red, purple, white, or yellow flowers; the small, few-seeded pods are enclosed in the calyx."

source: Clover

The photo of the white clover bloom is from my garden. The red clover bloom is growing in an empty lot behind the burdock I posted previously. I've tried in the past to introduce the red one into my garden but haven't had any luck, fortunately for my neighbor. I love the scent of the white bloom but I am not sure if the red clover bloom is scented or not. As a kid I found two four-leafed clovers and every time I come across clover I have to stop and make an inspection.

If you're a vegetable gardener after you've harvested your crops plant clover to add nitrogen to the soil and prepare it for the following year. Just make sure it is the annual form and not the perennial as that can eventually compete with your other plants for nutrients in the soil. And if you're really hungry you can even eat clover after you've boiled it for about ten minutes, it is high in protein.

8 comments:

  1. I am an oddball that loves clover! Did you ever make clover bracelets and necklaces as a child?
    And bees love it and we all know that bees are a good judge of...good stuff in the garden. I live in a community (the homeowner's association) where it is said that we have a 'clover patrol'. I've never seen them, but I am told they exist. They give you a warning if you have clover to get it gone and if you don't they do it for you, along with a fine. Hmmm, it makes me want to go and plant some!! You write about some of my favorite things!

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  2. Chris,

    I'm glad there's another person out there that loves clover! We can be oddball gardeners together.

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  3. I love clover as well, in fact I bought a red-flowering variety just this spring called 'Wizard's Cap'. It hasn't flowered yet, but I'm very excited! I also have a yellow-flowering wild one called 'Hop Clover' that's very pretty. More info:http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/trifoliumaure.html
    I agree with Chris-the bees know which plants are worthwhile, even if suburban Nazi's (I mean homeowner's associations) don't!

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  4. Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for that link. It is a very pretty one.

    LOL @ the homeowner's association.

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  5. I linked to this post in a post titled 'picking clover' at my blog. I hope you don't mind.

    http://thegardenaworlduntoitself.blogspot.com/

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  6. This clover flower reminds me of being a yound child. My brother would always pick flowering weeds for my Mom because he thought that's what a gentleman should do. I think any weed with a flower is beautiful. :)

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  7. Hey ldybug thanks for stopping by and sharing the story from your childhood. Pretty neat...my nephew picked a few for my sister and it brought a smile to my face to know that at two he's already picking up on this ritual of ours.

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  8. I'm about to till up the grass on my half acre and plant white clover. I used to be a stickler about my lawn. I still am I just learned of the beauty of a clover lawn. I also am going to plant clover in my garden as a weed deterrent. As I see it the root structure is to short to compete with most plants and it also fixes nitrogen.

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