- Latin Name: Trifolium Repens
- Season: Perennial
- USDA Zones: 3 - 10
- Environment: Full sun to partial shade
- Height: 4 inches
- Bloom Color: White
Miniclover® (Trifolium repens) is a perennial clover only growing to approximately 4 inches tall making it ideal for a lawn alternative or to mix with your current lawn grass. It also works great as a natural fertilizer similarly to Microclover®. White clover takes nitrogen out of the air, bringing this most essential fertilizer "down-to-earth" by means of nitrogen-fixing bacteria living in nodes along the roots. Of course, all at no cost to you, in terms either of money or of maintenance. Miniclover®, a very small leaved white clover, also produces stolons so that it can spread itself evenly over the ground. Adding just 2 - 5% of Miniclover® to the turf seed mixture will result in a much-improved lawn. It has all the benefits of regular clover just packed into smaller leaves. Miniclover's ability to pull nitrogen from the air and fix or convert it to a usable form by the plants makes it a great companion for turf grass varieties just like Microclover®. This is due to nitrogen fixation benefiting the turf grass plants as well producing a healthy, dense, and naturally fertilized lawn that will require very little fertilizer maintenance. The dense clover growth alongside the growth of the turf grass will force out existing weeds as well as prevent the establishment of new weeds. In addition Miniclover® is very tolerant to low mowing heights just like Microclover®. Miniclover® is very low maintenance and it helps to carry this characteristic to what ever it may be planted with.
Use Miniclover® For:
- Lawn alternative
- As a lawn additive into existing grass
- Erosion control
- Cover crop
- Ground cover
- Use as a Microclover® substitute
Miniclover® is adapted to a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. Miniclover® tolerates wet and partially shady conditions, as well as drought. However, it can only tolerate wet conditions as long as the area is not flooded for long periods. The type of shade normally occurring in parks and on golf courses is not a problem for Miniclover® or Microclover®. Clover can also help aerate the soil, thus reducing concerns over soil compaction. Clover tolerates compacted soil better than lawn grass does. It has longer roots, enabling it to access water at deeper levels than most lawn grasses. If you're interested in cheap, low-maintenance alternatives to lawn grass, Miniclover® is the perfect solution and is easy to plant from bulk clover seeds. Add it to your existing lawn to improve overall lawn health or use as a complete lawn replacement.
If Miniclover® is not cut then the leaf size increases, the more it is cut then the smaller the leaf size. When Miniclover® is not mowed at all, the leaf size will be about 1/2 the size of White Dutch Clover. When it is mowed, new leaf heads form within a few days so it continually looks thick and lush. If it is not never mowed, it will get approximately 6 inches tall. If you mow it, it will want to quit growing just slightly taller than the height it was mowed at. For example, if you mow it at a height of 3 inches, it will head back out and quit growing at a height of approximately 4 inches. In other words, you can almost "train" its growing height with infrequent mowings. The turf is very dense, very lush, and very beautiful.
In the opinion of many turf managers, the wear tolerance of turf containing Miniclover® will be superior to traditional turf. The white clover permanently fertilizes the sward, thus increasing its wear tolerance. In addition, it weaves its stolons with the grass, spreading evenly and integrating its leaves homogeneously into the sward. Miniclover® will improve the performance of even the highest-ranking wear tolerant varieties.
The improved wear tolerance of Miniclover® is very important, particularly for areas of sports fields, where ground cover can be difficult to retain. Adding Miniclover® to the grass not only improves wear tolerances, helps to aerate the soil, adds natural nitrogen to the soil, but it also results in an improved tolerance to cutting, allowing lower mowing heights to make a good clover seed groundcover.
Mixed with grasses, Miniclover® grows around the grass plants and feeds them nitrogen. The nitrogen continues to be released into the soil during the growing season until the first night frosts occur. The nitrogen is therefore available when and where it is needed, and so there is no risk of leaching, nor is there a risk of fertilizer burning in the field. For turf managers, Miniclover® is the perfect permanent slow release N-fertilizer. It does not add any P or K, so if those nutrients are missing from your soil you many need to supplement them separately.
Additionally, Miniclover® is semi-aggressive species, filling in gaps quickly. It competes well with weeds, thus reducing the need for herbicides. A cautionary note to interject is that broad-leaf herbicides will also kill Miniclover® and Microclover® so be careful with your weed control. Miniclover® is not as aggressive as White Dutch Clover. This type of clover can completely take over a lawn whereas Miniclover® will not do that. It is just aggressive enough to fill in bare spots where traditional grass may not repair for months.
As nitrogen is continually available during the growing season there is a reduced presence of disease like red thread, rusts and Fusarium. Miniclover® fertilizes the grass and helps to maintain its healthy appearance. In essence, adding Miniclover® to a lawn acts as a constant drip feed.
Apart from being wear tolerant and sustainable, Miniclover® is also very cost effective and more cost effective than Microclover®. The price of either adding Miniclover® to an existing lawn mix or replacing a lawn completely is typically recovered during the first year after sowing because of reductions in the cost of fertilizer, weed control, mowing and irrigation.
Improved visual merit:
Clover remains greener much longer than grasses do, in both drought and cold conditions. Lawns containing Miniclover® are a brighter green earlier and later in the year. It has a good summer color, as it is particularly resistant to drought because of its deep rooting system.
Normal white clover looks considerably different to turf grass as the leaf blades are twice the size and may stand out like a sore thumb. Miniclover® has such tiny leaves when mowed and short stems, that from a distance it blends in very nicely in to the appearance of the lawn. Miniclover® does well in partially shaded areas that receive at least some direct sunshine during a day. Miniclover® is evenly distributes itself in lawns; therefore, it doesn't have the patchy and weedy appearance as seen with ordinary white clover.
Overseeding Existing Lawn: Seed at 1/2 - 1 lb per 1,000 square feet
Planting Straight Miniclover®: Seed at 1 lb - 2 lbs per 1,000 square feet