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Clover ☘️

For centuries, it's been used as a domesticated ground cover plant. Clover nourishes other plants around it, by making trace minerals accessible and by fixing nitrogen from the air (it's a type of legume).

Just a few decades ago, it was considered an essential part of lawns. Clover seeds were always included with grass in seed mixes.

Then agricultural chemical companies convinced everyone it was a weed that needed to be killed, so they could sell both herbicides and lawn fertiliser.

You can still find "helpful advice" smeared across the internet about how to kill clover. All so that some rich asshole can sell people needless chemicals to dump on their lawn and make money from lawnmowers.

Monoculture lawns destroy biodiversity and use excessive resources to maintain, all of which contribute needlessly to CO2 emissions.

Ugh 🙄 yes yes, lawns bad. Some of y’all are so predictable.

But

The modern version of lawns are monoculture wastelands, maintained by poisons, fertilisers, and fossil fuel powered blade machines. Those are undeniably terrible.

Lawns which actually support biodiversity of both plants and insects wouldn’t be nearly as bad. If people would get over their obsession with short trimmed homogenous grass, I wouldn’t hate them nearly as much.

tl;dr Don’t micromanage a lawn. Cultivate a tiny grassland.

@InvaderXan The International Leporine Union approves of this strategy wholeheartedly.

@starcake Err, they’re clover seeds. I did say so in the image description, in case the thread wasn’t sufficient context.

@InvaderXan Ah, I was just skimming your profile and I only slept 3 hours last night so I missed the fact that it was a reply.

@InvaderXan I always feel so bad when people try to kill wood violets. they're native groundcover, and edible. please don't kill the little purple frens.

@neko That's so sad! Violets are one of my favourite flowers. And they smell so lovely!

@InvaderXan clover is a great green manure, and benefits all kind of insects.

Monoculture lawns should be outlawed. Along with the companies that sell that crap.

@GwenfarsGarden I couldn't agree more. Those companies have done so much harm.

I was a country kid. There was always clover in the gardens around me. I don't understand why anyone would want to get rid of it. It's so soft and comfy to walk on, too!

@InvaderXan @GwenfarsGarden

in Southern Germany and Austria clover is valuable enough there is a popular folk song about herding geese to a pond to stop them destroying it..

"Treibt die Gänse raus, in den Teich hinaus.
Wenn sie in dem Wasser baden, können sie dem Klee nicht schaden.
Treibt die Gänse raus, in den Teich hinaus."

youtube.com/watch?v=3wlElt75-B

@InvaderXan yeh, it is really soft on the tootsies. The whole thing is such a con.

@InvaderXan *snifs at the curious plants in the photograph, with their three, very symmetrical heart-shaped leaves, and cautiously nibbles* is it clover? or oxalis? *ponders*

@InvaderXan didn't know clover was a legume. We get it in my lawn; I don't use herbicides, just mow to keep everything from looking too scraggly. I always liked the way it looked there.

@InvaderXan It does have the problem of making your lawn more likely to sting you.

@aldersprig Better to risk bee stings than to risk widespread ecological collapse.

@InvaderXan

My yard is wild grass and clover and my neighbors hated it so bad they dug a trench between our houses and paved their yard.

@Chickiepup Ugh, some people are so weird about the entire concept of nature

@Chickiepup @InvaderXan
That would be illegal where I am. There's a city bylaw requiring residential properties to have 70% permeable ground cover (lawn, garden, gravel, etc; technically it could be permeable pavement but I doubt your neighbours would go to that effort) as part of their rainwater management strategy (both to avoid flooding and to protect stream ecosystems).

@Chickiepup @InvaderXan

I wonder if my comment was unclear. I meant your neighbours paving their yard over would be illegal here - not that you having a wild yard would be illegal here.

@InvaderXan I would love to have clover in my yard. If I had a yard. Plus some mossy rocks.

@InvaderXan wait really.. shit. we always had clovers in our lawn, it's not a lawn to me without clover..
They are so gorgeous. And as a kid you start looking for that fourleaf when you're really bored, and have adhd :D

@maloki @InvaderXan We used to have lotsa clover-looking weeds that have weird fruits that explode when touched, it was a fun experience to play with those plants

@InvaderXan Was the idea to push that narrative because their pesticide happened to not be able to exclude clover the way it excluded grass?

@tty Basically. Those pesticides don’t harm monocot plants (like grass) but kill dicots (everything considered to be “weeds”). Someone had the bright idea to use aggressive marketing to push the idea that a lawn must contain grass and nothing else.

@InvaderXan I feel like I've seen this kind of story so many times: company fucks around with chemistry, makes a thing that *kinda* works, and then they spin a narrative to makes its side effects seem desirable

@tty Oh, it’s worse than that. It absolutely works to murder everything that isn’t grass, and it absolutely works at causing nitrogen deficient soil as a result. This was a calculated plan with the aim of making people attempt the futile task of permanently removing “weeds”, with the sole aim of making money. And then all these people with their weird ideas about lawns would effectively become dependent on buying more chemicals to maintain their wasteland lawn. It’s insidious.

@InvaderXan there is a lot here in the garden where i live and the bees LOVE it! more than almost every other plant (although the marjoram is also very popular)

@InvaderXan also if you MUST have flat greenery to walk on, \o/ MOSS LAWN \o/

@InvaderXan I once tried to leave my front lawn alone to grow whatever and however. After a few months I got a notice from the municipal authorities that a neighbour had filed a complaint saying my lawn was unsightly and disrupted the “beauty of the neighborhood.” 🙄 (I knew which neighbour it was, and they’ve moved out of the neighborhood, fortunately.)

@shahaan The people who make these complaints are the same kind of people who pour concrete over their gardens and put that nasty fake plastic grass on it.

@InvaderXan they did exactly that! Minus the fake plastic grass. Oh and they were racist AF so good riddance! 🙏

@shahaan @InvaderXan Our campus authorities have put concrete over a pretty big area of land that used to have shrubs and the likes to provide car parking, which everyone could do on the edge of the paved streets anyway. Now, they'll find a solution for the flooding that's gonna happen this year because of this numbness of the mind.

@viv @shahaan As much as I may hate monoculture lawns, I hate needless concrete much more

@InvaderXan Likewise! India is so obsessed with concrete that the administration thinks using concrete = infrastructure development. They even relaid a lot of roads to use concrete instead of tar claiming that the former needed less maintenance. Only for them to crumble when the rains came.

@InvaderXan IIRC the modern idea of a "lawn" evolved from the estates and manors owned by lords and the like, who had an army of servants to trim everything back with scythes.

@InvaderXan Joh's grandparents had the strangest lawn I've ever encountered. It was deep and plush and made of multiple grasses -- one of which I don't even know if it was a grass, it had multiple leaves on each frond, like tiny, soft ferns. They mowed it, but couldn't get at most of it because of the sheer depth and the way the top would fold and pack, protecting underneath.

I remember bringing it up and they complained about it but it was the most amazing lawn I'd ever encountered.

@InvaderXan it felt like a faerie lawn to me and it was wild to me that they didn't love it.

In the places where they let it grow, it was truly wild and strange. I wish the whole of their garden had been let to go wild.

@vicorva This sounds absolutely delightful, honestly! I always love patches of grassy wild land like this!

There was a place near where I was staying a few years ago which was full of grass that had been allowed to grow tall. It was waist height and I loved it. I used to lie down in it and read books there. Until someone mowed it all down one day. I was so annoyed...

@InvaderXan Oh that's lovely! There was a public park that was hill and woods near where Joh lived when we were teenagers and it was let to grow all spring until late summer except for some mown paths for people to walk down. If you sat in it for a while, animals would come up to you.

Saw adders approaching multiple times (or certainly, dark snakes that gently rustled the grass). Whenever they got close they would veer off, being peaceful creatures. Never seen them anywhere but that long grass.

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