Calvin's Blog

Emissions Free Turf: Final entry

It's the middle of summer, and the turf has endured countless footprints already.  Some from our neighbours that visit to help dad pick (and eat) the black raspberries!

We don't make any secret about our emissions free turf:  White Clover Rules.  When people eat our black raspberries, dad points out how effective clover is when building sustainable turf.

It self-fertilizes the regular blade grass, and the deep clover roots grab all the water they need from our clay subsoil.

In this video, Calvin summarizes the cutting requirements, while dad does the (moderate) walking.  We're proud that the lawn has cost $0 in the past 12 months to maintain.


P.S.  It's nice to be back from vacation...and dad enjoyed the break from picking our black raspberries.  Our 40 feet of organically grown canes produced over 10 000 berries this year!!  That's alot of happy neighbours that had to walk across our sustainable turf to get the goods, hehehe....

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Comments (6)

Dude, your lawn rocks!!!
We have a gasoline free mower too. Can your Dad come and push it around our lawn for us?

Dave Vanessa Maeve & Owain | September 4, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Your right, top dressing is the thing that must be done to help clover establish. Early this spring, I thought the clover had vanished! but it did reapear (patience is not one of my attributes) and the white clover is doing well in our shady areas too.

Melanie | August 26, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Hi Laura!

We have tried three different clover areas so far. The results are as follows (we have clsy subsoil):

#1 Front Lawn (as seen in the video). This area gets 75% sun. Top dressed with 2" triple mix, regular grass and white clover from the nursery. First year: almost all clover, 2nd & 3rd years, grass came back strong, and is now about 50% grass 50% clover. One weed every square meter per season now, very little weed invasion.

#2. Side lawn. 30% sun (Maple Trees). Top dressed 1" with triple mix last fall. This lawn is 40% grass, 50% clover, 10% weeds so far in the first season. We overseeded with white clover and drought resistant "enviro-turf". This grass has been growing faster than the clover this year, we have had a lot of rain.

#3. Existing lawn (mixed grasses) around boulvards etc. We didn't top dress at all, but spread white clover seeds last fall. Some areas almost total shade, others full sun. The clover has been VERY slow to get going in these areas...perhaps we didn't get the seeds in contact with the existing soil. It is filling in though, slowly, and we'll give it a few years to see how it does. 70% grass, 20% clover, 10% weeds.

Clover doesn't establish as quickly in the shade, but it continues to fill in slowly for us, so we're hopefull.

The biggest thing that appears to help the clover is the topdressing. In areas under trees, I would say the absence of water hinders the clover more than the shade (the maple trees take everything out of the soil before the grasses get it).

Hope that helps!

P.S. Once the clover gets going, prepare for the first year to be almost total clover. It takes a season for the grass to catch up.

Calvin | August 24, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Hi Calvin, great lawn! is it totally white clover? I have tried out a mix of white clover/drought tolerant grass in two areas, part of a front lawn where it has flourished (and crowded out the grass and reseeded itself from last year) and a hot dry boulevard, where my neighbour kept cutting it so it didn't flower and re-seed this year.

Do you have shady spots in your yard and if so, how has the clover done in the shade?


laura | August 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Sweet! I like the idea of white clover in the lawn. The white clover will fertilize the lawn with nitrogen. No bare feet though as the flowers attract bees. And that is a good thing also.

gary | August 9, 2009 at 1:59 AM

Hi Calvin,

Your grass looks lovely! Keep up the awesome work! Take a few rolls on it for me!

Sherry | August 8, 2009 at 8:32 AM
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