Spreading clover seed on a Halifax lawn

Clover Lawn

My front lawn is particularly difficult, but not atypical of front lawns (or sometimes back lawns) in Halifax.

It was established on shallow soil, there are tree roots through it and from late May on it is shaded by Norway Maple.

Every now and then the city digs part of it up for water and sewer stuff or sidewalsk and replaces the old topsoil with sandy “manufactured topsoil” which makes it even more droughty.

I will get around to diversifying the area with garden beds, but in the meantime, if it’s looking particularly ratty in the spring, I spread clover on it in April or early May.

A pound of Dutch white clover seed costs about 13$ at Halifax Seed; that’s enough, they say, for about 1500 sq ft of lawn.

The big challenge is how to spread the very small seed evenly and not too heavily.

Here’s my recipe:

Mixing seed and soil in garbage can top
Click on image for larger version

1. Fill a garbage bin top, the larger type, with “Black Earth” or similar product costing 1-2$ per bag.

2. Add a big handfull of lime pellets (20 lbs cost about $6 at Halifax Seed) and mix into the soil.

3. Cover the soil with a small palm-full of Dutch White Clover seed to give a density approx as shown at in the middle photo at right; then mix it into the soil (bottom photo at right)

Spreading soil-seed mix

4. Spread the mix on the lawn to give coverage more or less as shown in the top photo at left. This section of lawn took 2 bags/4 garbage bin tops of Black Earth.

5. Spread it out with a rake to more evenly cover the lawn (middle photo at left)

6. Tread lightly over the lawn to press the soil down a bit

I applied the soil-seed mix more densely next to a walkway where there was some salt damage (bottom photo at left).

‘Will follow-up with some photos after the clover gets established.

Lawn on July 24, 2019

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