Cover Lawn

(Question)

Hello. I plan to remove my grass lawn and plant a clover one as soon as my backyard dries up (St. Clair / Rogers) area of Toronto. Will a clover lawn attract a lot of bees to the point of being pests? I ask this because I have had a nasty reaction to a wasp bite. Thanks. Elaine

(Answer)

Elaine

We applaud your decision to try something other than a traditional grass lawn. As we all know grass has its disadvantages when it comes to the environment. I am not sure how large your lawn area is or whether it is a sunny or shady lawn so these comments are quite general. If you are concerned about an allergy to bees, clover might not be your best alternative though. Here is a blog that speaks to the pros and cons of a clover lawn:

https://ecoscapers.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/white-clover-a-lawn-alternative-with-pros-and-cons/

And here is another from the University of Minnesota that speaks to creating a clover lawn for the bees:

https://blog.lib.umn.edu/efans/ygnews/2012/03/a-bee-lawn-how-to-have-an-inse-1.html

That said different clovers bloom at different times. Red clover blooms early in the season, usually around April, so perhaps if you are in your garden a little less in the spring this is a solution. Here is an article that speaks to various kinds of clover:

https://www.aces.edu/dept/forages/clovers/clovers.htm

I have a lot of clover in my lawn at a farm north of Toronto and I don’t find it full of bees but during the flowering season I certainly have spotted some. The city of Toronto has created an article on grass alternatives, which might present other options such as a mixture of grass and clover, thyme or sweet woodruff. Have a look and see if any sound like they might work for you

https://www.toronto.ca/health/pesticides/pdf/gardening_lawnalternatives.pdf

I hope your find a great alternative for your lawn.