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As noted elsewhere, the traditional turf industry and the various institutes and academic units conducting scientific studies related to turf regard white clover as a weed and are more concerned with getting rid of clover than with establishing it. Of course you can't use herbicides if you want clover in the lawn and some other practices of conventional lawncare, e.g., heavy use of nitrogen fertilizer, are also incompatible with maintaining clover.
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Because the patches stand out, they can look unsightly and often the first reaction is to get rid of them.
However, if the lawn is managed to encourage clover, it will eventually be distributed throughout the lawn and, with the associated grasses and herbs, contribute to a thick turf and a pleasing mosaic of leaf textures.
- David Patriquin Natural invasion versus seeding White clover (Trifolium repens) can be established by encouraging spread of naturally invading, wild white clover, or by seeding a new lawn/overseeding an existing lawn with white clover, or a combination of the two approaches.
When white clover invades a lawn naturally, it develops initially in discrete clonal patches of almost pure clover, each one derived from a single plant.
On the other hand, there is a voluminous literature on the biology and ecology of white clover in pastures; the earlier literature is well summarized in a 1983 paper by R. Fortunately, in practice it involves doing less, even far less than than is involved in conventional lawncare.