Strawberry Clover Lawn- Is it Invasive Or Not?

Strawberry Clover is an herbaceous plant that is native to Eurasia and Africa. It is also in North America used as a cover crop or bee plant. Perennial clover varieties produce a very fast-growing, web of roots that are dense and they plant over disturbed soils. I’ve always wondered if this type of clover is invasive or not. Let’s take a look at the facts.

Strawberry Clover is a perennial, that was introduced mainly to be used for pasture and mixed with grass for silage.

It is not listed on any state or national invasive species lists. However, it does spread rapidly and tends to smother other weeds. Its roots can extend to a depth of 1 m.

Strawberry Clover is not usually used for hay due to its low stature, however, it is used in lawns, green manure, and permanent pasture. And it is a very good bee plant. This clover is viable on swampy grounds due to the fact that it tolerates waterlogging. Its flowers are clusters of pink, oval, and coned shapes.

This plant is extremely interesting in many ways. In this way, it grows substantially, and its strawberry fruit-shaped flowerheads are so peculiar. To learn more about strawberry clover keep reading below. I am very well reversed in all things that are Strawberry Clover, I have much to tell you about them.

How Tall is Strawberry Clover?

Strawberry Clover grows very low with deep roots, it can grow up to 1/4’’ tall. It is an excellent clover for orchards and vineyards. It tolerates heat and alkali and can be grazed off. It is noted for being able to establish on wet saline and also alkaline soils and can adapt quite well to wet meadows.

When Should You Plant Strawberry Clover?

Strawberry Clover should most certainly be planted in the late fall (dormant) or in spring. If there is adequate moisture which may require irrigation and the seedlings have time to be established before the cold temperatures they can be grown in the late summer.

How Much Seed Do You Need?

The planting rates of how much seed you will need are determined by the size of the seed. Seeds that are larger (like Fescue) can be planted at 10 lbs/1,000 square feet.

Can You Mow Strawberry Clover?

If you’ve just planted your Strawberry Clover recently you should wait till it’s at the recommended height of ¼” before you mow your lawn. This is usually about 3-6 weeks after you’ve planted your clover, however, it could take longer. You should definitely be gentle when mowing for the first couple of times. The seedlings will still be somewhat tender.

Fields of Clover

What are the Disadvantages of Growing Clover?

Clover is sometimes used to be a lawn alternative due to the fact that they need less maintenance and keep their green color a lot better than a lot of grasses do. However, unfortunately, there are features of the clover, like its unusually easy ability to attract pollinators which can be a potential drawback.

Why do People not Like Clover?

A lot of people have told me they are interested in changing their traditional grass lawn into a clover lawn. Which could mean you’re intentionally planting clover in your lawn or it could possibly mean that you’re only planting clover. Most people want a lawn made up of entirely clover. But that means you will have to re-seed your lawn every couple of years to keep it completely even.

Related: When Should I Dethatch My Lawn?

Here are some more potential disadvantages of planting clover:

  • The roots of clover can spread out rather rapidly. Reader beware, this means your clover roots can possibly end up in your flower garden.
  • If anyone in your household is allergic to bees you may not want to plant clover in your yard, because clover attracts pollinators which can be an obvious problem.
  • You can cause your lawn to have a patchy and unattractive look if you try to overseed your lawn.
  • If you ever intend to sit down on your lawn for any particular reason you will be surprised by the stains it tends to produce.

Will Clover Choke out Grass?

Some have the belief that clover if left untreated will eventually take over your entire lawn but that’s simply not true. The truth is, clover doesn’t typically choke out grass, and it can actually offer certain benefits as part of being a well-maintained lawn. This plant can add Nitrogen to the soil, and efficiently produces its own fertilizer, which ultimately means it can keep your lawn healthier.

Benefits of Growing Clover

If you’ve heard the news lately scientists are extremely worried about the ever so decreasing bee populations and how they are faring all over the world. Clover is a plentiful nectar source for bees.

  • If you only have a small lawn you may not have noticed but actually, clover is an awesome-smelling plant. Why do you think pollinators are always able to seek it out? The blossoms of clover have a beautiful aroma. And it’s a very attractive-looking plant to boot.
  • If you prefer to have a shorter lawn, clover is a great option. That’s due to the fact that clover tends to keep other types of invasive weeds from taking over your lawn.
  • Symbiotically, clover works with beneficial bacteria. The good bacteria attach to the clover’s roots. This ultimately helps your lawn absorb the nitrogen that’s naturally present in the environment. If you didn’t know nitrogen is what actually helps growth in lawns.

In Summary

Strawberry Clover is not an invasive species and it is not documented so anywhere. It can be a very beneficial plant to have on your lawn because it helps with the overall green growth and keeps invasive weeds from taking over and ruining it. Clover is an especially beautiful element to add to your lawn with an ever-breath-taking scent that can keep you in a good mood for days. The next time you see clover in your lawn think of the bees it will help nurture and keep alive for years to come.

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