The house we bought 2 years ago had a nice lawn. Good sized with green, thick lush grass. The previous owner had a contract with ChemGreen or whoever… There’s still chemicals and stuff in the shed. But that’s not my thing. So I haven’t done anything except let Betsie chomp at it for the past two summers. And it’s not as green or lush as it used to be.

I think the biggest reason is that Betsie mows the grass so darn short! The max setting is just above 2″.

These days it seems like people are finally ready to think about moving to no-cut grasses or lawn replacement ground covers. I know I’m thinking about it for the back yard (maybe mint). For the front yard my only big plans are some type of vegetable/fruit garden… and they’re just plans. I want to have something for Bets to mow. Right now I’m leaning towards picking up some clover seed. Clover? Yep. Here’s some reasoning:

Ideal Qualities of a “Carpet” for Outdoor Living:

1. It stays a luscious green all summer, without being irrigated profusely (i.e., it’s drought-tolerant).
2. It is free of weeds, obviating the need to apply herbicides. Your carpet competes so well for growing space that the competition is choked out.
3. It doesn’t need to be fertilized.
4. It is also relatively pest-free, so that you don’t have to bother spraying pesticides on it.
5. It aerates the soil on its own, so that you don’t have to worry about counteracting soil compaction.
6. It is soft to walk on.
7. It attracts beneficial insects, including honeybees.
8. It rarely has to be mowed.
9. It doesn’t suffer the discoloration from dog urine known as “dog spots.”
10. And if, despite all these benefits, you should ever want to replace it with a different kind of green carpet, it helps you to do so by improving the soil on its watch. Its ability to aerate the soil and pump nitrogen into it means that succeeding generations of plants using that soil will be better off.
From here:

The biggest disadvantage to clover lawns seems to be that people don’t want lots of bees for their kids to step on. That’s where Betsie comes in. She’ll cut those pesky bee-attracting flowers off before the bees even know they’re there. This isn’t really a plus for me personally, but I can live with it.

Honestly, I’m not sure how the clover will do – but it should be better than the weeds that I have creeping into the yard from all sides now. The grass that’s there doesn’t grow at all in the shade under the trees, and the grass that’s there doesn’t seem to do well at keeping weeds out when it’s cut really short. Hopefully the clover will do better.