If you have had it with maintaining your lawn but are not ready to pave over it, consider planting clover. This small green plant is cost-effective, low-maintenance, and drought tolerant. If you eventually decide to go back to planting grass, the soil will then, be nitrogen-rich and ready to accept the seeds. It also will not have any weeds because clover chokes out nearby plants. Clover will also attract butterflies and honeybees, so you’ll be helping pollination out as well!
You will need:
Step 1: Strip the lawn so the yard is a plot of bare soil. Purchase ¼ to ½ pound of Dutch clover seed for every 1,000 square feet to be covered. Seeds should be planted during spring.
Step 2: Rake the soil and get it as flat as possible. Mix some soil and the clover seed in the wheelbarrow. Clover does best in moist, fertile soil with a pH of about 6.5. Mix seed until there are about four seeds for each square inch of dirt.
Step 3: Spread the dirt and clover mixture on the plot of dirt. Cover the area with a ¼-inch layer of soil or straw mulch. Do not pack the dirt or mulch too tightly and lightly water the soil with the garden hose. Do not walk on the area for at least one week. Keep the soil moist during this time. The clover should begin sprouting within two weeks.
Step 4: Once clover has grown, reduce watering to once per week or less but water deeply so deep roots form. Let the clover flower and seed because this maintains the lawn. Clover reaches a maximum of six inches high but typically is much shorter. Therefore, most people do not mow clover lawns after the clover has established itself. However, weeds can be an issue during establishment so mow the lawn during this period so the clover remains just three inches tall. This allows it to outcompete weeds and grasses.
Step 5: Reseeding may be required after approximately two or three years.