Four Leaf Clover 600

Being In Clover

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The name shamrock comes from the Gaelic seamrog, which means "little clover."

The name shamrock comes from the Gaelic seamrog, which means “little clover.”

white-clover-living-mulchKnown around the world as a symbol of good luck, the four-leaf clover may be tough to find, but when you happen across one, you not only get hope, faith and love symbolized by the first three leaves, but luck as well!  Then again, a fourth leaf only happens naturally in about 1 in 10,000 clover leaflets, so you’ll have to have some good luck to begin with (and good eyesight!) to find one in your yard or local park.

However, today we thought the common relative of the well-known four-leafed mutation deserved a little love too.  Three-leafed clover is very common, and actually pretty cool in its own right.  Trifolium repens, or white clover as you probably know it, is what grows most often in people’s yards, and is a member of the pea family (it’s a legume).

Bee-and-CloverBlossomIt’s also the most common nectar-producing honey plant, creating the basis for the most familiar type of honey; clover honey is the basic Wegmans honey you find on the shelf in the cute little bear bottle.

It’s a good fact to remember because if clover is growing in your lawn, bees will definitely be attracted to it.  And not only bees — other wildlife, particularly rabbits — love a good clover leaf & flower lunch.  However, if bees don’t bother you and you like seeing bunnies hopping around your yard, it does green up quickly in the spring and stays short and green through the hot summer season.  Plus it’s soft to walk on for kids and animals, unlike some other broadleaf turf plants.

If you're not a fan of clover, Bonide's Chickweed Clover & Oxalis Killer will do the trick.  It kills hundreds of different broadleaf weeds, including those in the creeping family (like clover).

If you’re not a fan of clover, Bonide’s Chickweed Clover & Oxalis Killer will do the trick. It kills hundreds of different broadleaf weeds, including those in the creeping family (including clover).

Clover Uses:

  • Controls erosion on banks and hillsides: Clover roots well, holding back the soil
  • Animal feed: Clover can grow in most terrains & is inexpensive to maintain
  • Honey production: Clover naturally attracts honeybees
  • Farming: Clover is often used in crop rotation since it returns nitrogen to the soil, enriching the soil for future crops like corn & wheat
  • Lawn turf: Clover is a good mix-in seed for lawns due to its short growth habit, ability to grow in a variety of poor soils, and tendency to remain green through periods of summer drought

And as for the title of this post, to live or be “in clover” is to live a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity according to the Oxford English Dictionary.  So, here’s to a fun & safe St. Patrick’s Day, and a season of our gardens being (figuratively OR literally) “in clover” all year.

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