Bob Vila Radio: Clover

It's a great debate among gardeners: Is clover a pesky weed or a pretty ground cover?

If you want to spark a raging debate among gardeners, ask them how they feel about clover. Some homeowners will give you a list of herbicides to kill it off, others will sing its praises as a naturally green, drought-tolerant ground cover.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON CLOVER or read the text below:

Clover

Photo: shutterstock.com

In springtime, common white clover forms a lush green carpet that rarely draws any complaints. Come summertime, though, hot weather makes the clover produce its distinctive white flower, which depending on your point of view is either a thing of beauty or a blight on your lawn.

If you love the clover, you don’t have to do much to encourage it. If you want it gone, the greenest option is to skip the chemicals and strengthen your grass instead. Mow your grass high, and water deeply but not too often. Frequent light watering makes your grass dependent on you, while letting it dry out between waterings encourages roots to grow deep and strong.

One final note: White clover is very attractive to bees, so if someone in your family is allergic to bee stings, you don’t want to encourage clover in your yard. If you have clover, you’ll have bees.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.