Thursday, 1 May 2008

Plant Some Weeds In Your Lawn

I found this quote the other day...
The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement - Anonymous
Having a beautiful lawn can be an all consuming focus of gardeners and homeowners. You'd be right in thinking that a well manicured lawn can be an asset in the garden, but part of the reason why lawns are such hard work, is that we are trying to maintain a completely false state in our gardens.

The perfect lawn that everyone is striving for is a monoculture. Mother Nature and monocultures are not friends. She does her best to mess up anything that even resembles one.

One of the most maligned plants in a perfect lawn is clover. How can I get rid of clover in my lawn, is one of the most common questions I am asked.

First, you need to identify the plant - there are 2 plants that moonlight as clover, Trifolium(Clover) and Oxalis. They are easily identified by their flower.

Clover - Trifolium

Sorrel - Oxalis

Sorrel just looks pretty but isn't the good, industrious Clover. Trifolium is a nitrogen fixer. This means it works hard to take nitrogen out of the air and put it into your soil. Your hungry grass on the other hand, does its best to use Nitrogen up and always wants more. If your lawn is looking anaemic and yellow, generally speaking, it is short on Nitrogen.
Most times, we like to take the easy route out - we apply bag after bag of fertiliser to try and put the Nitrogen back into the soil.

Maybe its time we let Clover and grass share some space. We'd probably all be the happier for it.
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