Everyone knows that a healthy, green lawn can significantly improve a Palatine rental property’s curb appeal. But for single-family rental property owners, traditional lawn maintenance can often be a problem. If you are dependent on your tenants for lawn maintenance, you should expect varying results. Many tenants do not have any knowledge of lawn maintenance or may not want to put in the time and effort required.
You can always do it yourself or hire professional landscapers, but both options will cost you both time and money. If you want to stop struggling with lawn maintenance but still keep a green yard, it may be time to consider planting clover. Here are some advantages of planting clover for single-family rental property owners.
Pros & Cons to Growing Clover
Unlike most lawn grasses, clover has many benefits that can help boost your rental’s landscaping and appearance. Clover is one of those plants that fix atmospheric nitrogen, which all plants need to grow. This means that planting clover will not just make your lawn a vivid green, it will also help nearby plants grow healthier.
With regular watering, clover usually stays greener longer than other grasses since they are drought-resistant. You could also notice that you will be spraying for bugs less frequently and have fewer weeds on the lawn. This is thanks to clover’s natural weed and pest deterrent properties. Finally, clover is very low maintenance. It does not need much mowing since it only grows to a few inches in height.
As with anything, these benefits also come with a few disadvantages. Clover can stain clothing and is less resistant to trampling compared to other grasses. If your yard gets a lot of use, this could be an issue. Clover also likes soil that stays moist, and it doesn’t do very well in very dry climates, like desert regions. There are many types of clover to choose from, but you would benefit most from choosing one native to your area.
How to Plant
Clover is easy to plant and grow in many parts of the country. You can add clover to an existing grass lawn by raking the top layer of soil and then seeding right over the lawn. As the clover grows alongside the grass, it also enriches the soil and makes the grass healthier. If you prefer to use clover as a groundcover without any grass mixed in, you will need to start with damp, cultivated soil.
Similar to what you would do for a lawn or wildflower garden, prepare the ground and then sow the clover seeds. Since clover grows quickly, you will soon enjoy your rich, green carpet of low-maintenance beauty.
You first need to choose the clover variety that best fits your climate and the soil in your rental property’s yard. Growing to a height of about 4 – 6 inches with pretty white flowers from time to time, the Dutch white clover is the most common clover used in lawns. One reason for its popularity is its resistance to drought, plus it doesn’t really grow very tall. The flowers, however, can bother some people and must be mowed every few weeks.
Micro-clover is an even easier variety to maintain. Micro-clovers are smaller than other clovers, with leaves half the size. It rarely blooms and, with occasional mowing, doesn’t grow above 4 inches high. Despite being around for at least a decade, micro-clovers are just recently gaining popularity because they are low maintenance.
A micro-clover lawn only needs to be mowed once a month or so, compared to weekly with most grasses. It is a very good option for anyone who wants less lawn maintenance but wants to improve a rental’s exterior appearance.
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