Plant vs Weed
Since we are both into Horticulture and Agriculture in addition to beekeeping, we frequently get asked by friends and family plant or weed? However, we may not always bee the best ones to answer this question. We typically go by the definition of a weed is: “a plant growing where it is not wanted.” I think there are just a few species that we almost always call a weed because of how invasive or intrusive they can be in the yard or garden. But, other species that some call a weed, we may call a plant.
So, is the white clover in your yard a plant or a weed? This is one plant that many people may say weed, but we say plant. We love having clover in our yard. We mow our yard at 3” or 3.5” to allow clover to flourish because we believe clover can offer these key benefits:
- Clover is a legume, so it can fix Nitrogen in the soil and help supply Nitrogen to the grass.
- It will flower most of the summer and provides pollen and nectar to honey bees and native pollinators.
- Clover is drought tolerant and can stay green longer when the grass may start to brown out in summer.
We love clover so much, that you will even see white clover planted as a cover crop in our garden. We plant white clover as a cover crop to grow between the rows of our plants in the garden. It attracts pollinators, suppresses weeds, covers the soil, lowers soil temperature, and provides Nitrogen to the plants. Some may say it competes with our crops, but we feel the benefits exceed the negatives.
So, next time you are naming the white clover in your yard a weed, take a moment to think about weeds versus plants. We love to enjoy our yard that buzzes most of the summer with our lush white clover flowering within the grass. Also, seeing all the pollinators in the garden that visit the clover and our crops!