Lawn Care

By pjain      Published June 25, 2020, 7:52 p.m. in blog Gardening   

Lawn Gardening tips

Weed M

Dandelions

Do you need to dig 2' roots? Maybe you can just leave the roots in the ground. As a perennial plant they will often regrow, or eventually decay and enrich the soil food web.

Clover to feed lawn soils

  • Clover is among the first plants to green up and thrive in the spring, and it retains its green color even in drought conditions.
  • Clover prevents the mono-culture lawns, and boosts health of lawn soils.
  • Clover is a legume means that it actually makes its own nitrogen and fixes it in the soil i.e. it also supplies nitrogen for other nearby plants. Add this to the fact that clover is drought-tolerant, and we soon begin to wonder why we don't want clover in our lawns.

Several species of clover are widely used as forage crops for domestic animals and as a soil-improving crop in agricultural farming. Easily grown in a variety of conditions and high in nutrients, clover makes an ideal field crop for cattle and other grazing livestock. Clover's ability to fix nitrogen from the air enriches the soil, adding nitrogen for the following year's crop. Bees and other pollinators are extremely attracted to clover flowers, and clover is an integral part of their life cycle. While a lawn teeming with bees may not be for everyone, it is also a boon to larger environmental concerns.

In fact, clover actually was an intentional part of the typical American lawn prior to World War II. At that time, clover was a part of widely available seed blends, along with fescues, ryegrasses and Kentucky bluegrass. Because of its ability to thrive in poor soil, fix its own nitrogen and survive in drought conditions, clover was deliberately added to grass mixes in order to aid in the growth of the surrounding grasses.

Only after WWII, with the advent of suburbia, big industry, wall street darlings in the new world of plastics and chemicals, that clover became a villain. Soon, the chemical manufacturers were able to convince everyone that clover was bad, too— just another weed to eliminate in the quest for the perfect lawn.

Clover is broadleaved and succumbs to the new weed killer chemicals being sold to the public.

Control Spread in Gardens

To control or maintain their spread, cut the plants back before the seeds disperse into the wind. Tuck them under the mulch for a tidier garden, or let the plants compost in situ.

Composting Yard Waste to Prevent dandelions

Dandelions also make great compost heap additions, but they can go to seed even after they’re picked INSIDE compost pile. If you don’t want dandelions throughout your yard, turn the compost regularly so the heat of the mound can kill the seeds.

How they help or hurt Lawns

Before the invention of lawns, the golden blossoms and lion-toothed leaves were more likely to be praised as a bounty of food, medicine and magic. Gardeners used to weed out the grass to make room for the dandelions.

Now, most Americans think Dandelions to be nothing more than a lowly weed; a weed so terrible that, in the minds of many, it should be eliminated at all costs.

Help gardens in droughts

Dandelions protect the soil just by growing: the roots hold the soil together to help prevent wind and water erosion. Since the plants grow so quickly, they spread widely to cover bare soil and act as a natural mulch by providing shade and conserving moisture.

Why they are so tough

A perennial, dandelions have a long taproot that are brittle, and can go down 2' into the ground. So it is really hard to get rid of them.

Its leaves that rest on or close to the ground. This hinders other plants from growing nearby.

Its bright yellow flowers are displayed on hollow stems. On bright, sunny days, dandelion blossoms open by 8 a.m. and begin closing by 1 p.m. Flowers often remain closed during rainy or cloudy weather. Its bright yellow flower. Yet what we call a flower is actually not a single flower at all. It is composed of 50 or more individual blooms. When the plant’s seeds mature, they are equipped with delicate parachutes. When dislodged by the wind or an animal, these parachute-equipped seeds can drift for long distances. This allows dandelions to colonize sites far from the parent plant.

Dandelions aerate and condition distressed soil. The long, strong taproots of dandelions push through into dry, cracked, compacted earth, helping to break it up, create channels for air and water to penetrate, and maintain a loose soil structure that allows earthworms to do their work.

The plants draw calcium, iron, and potassium from deep in the earth into their leaves. When they die and decompose, they leave behind mineral-rich organic matter that nourishes the soil.

Clover to feed lawn soils

  • Clover is among the first plants to green up and thrive in the spring, and it retains its green color even in drought conditions.
  • Clover prevents the mono-culture lawns, and boosts health of lawn soils.
  • Clover is a legume means that it actually makes its own nitrogen and fixes it in the soil i.e. it also supplies nitrogen for other nearby plants. Add this to the fact that clover is drought-tolerant, and we soon begin to wonder why we don't want clover in our lawns.

Several species of clover are widely used as forage crops for domestic animals and as a soil-improving crop in agricultural farming. Easily grown in a variety of conditions and high in nutrients, clover makes an ideal field crop for cattle and other grazing livestock. Clover's ability to fix nitrogen from the air enriches the soil, adding nitrogen for the following year's crop. Bees and other pollinators are extremely attracted to clover flowers, and clover is an integral part of their life cycle. While a lawn teeming with bees may not be for everyone, it is also a boon to larger environmental concerns.

In fact, clover actually was an intentional part of the typical American lawn prior to World War II. At that time, clover was a part of widely available seed blends, along with fescues, ryegrasses and Kentucky bluegrass. Because of its ability to thrive in poor soil, fix its own nitrogen and survive in drought conditions, clover was deliberately added to grass mixes in order to aid in the growth of the surrounding grasses.

Only after WWII, with the advent of suburbia, big industry, wall street darlings in the new world of plastics and chemicals, that clover became a villain. Soon, the chemical manufacturers were able to convince everyone that clover was bad, too— just another weed to eliminate in the quest for the perfect lawn.

Clover is broadleaved and succumbs to the new weed killer chemicals being sold to the public.


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