Grass seed and Clover seed recommendations

Hello Everyone,
I am planning on seeding some bare spots in my lawn with grass seed. I’m looking for the best bang for the buck as seed is getting really expensive. I don’t need some high end bluegrass. My lawn is mostly sunny and I’m in zone 6a. Also, looking to start spreading clover in the orchard. Any recommendations for clover types? I guess my only requirement for clover is that it doesn’t grow faster than the grass.

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Not sure where you are located but checking with local elevators usually produces good results for me. They can give you good advice on which varieties grown best in your location.


Don’t know about grass down there. Around here, various perennial rye grasses are cheap compared to top end bluegrasses (which die out during many of our winters anyway).

For clover in lawns, it’s tough to beat white dutch. Back before the herbicide industry made us think a monoculture of grass was the “best” lawn, most grass seed mixes came with a percentage of white dutch clover added.


Does it work to just scatter the clover seed over the lawn, or do I have to take extra measures?

I frost seed clover up here. The freeze/thaw action pulls the seed into the soil. You could probably broadcast clover seed before a heavy rain and get at least fair results.

For lawn agree that white Dutch is best choice, in orchard add mostly crimson clover, alfalfa, and hairy vetch for nice color and attractions of more pollinators. All are nitrogen fixing, each year I add some wood chip mulch in my orchard. The nitrogen fixers help break it down over the years forming a perfect topsoil. The carbon cycle is put to work!
Kent wa


This is my end goal eventually. My orchards are mostly all short dutch clover… if you dont mow at all they will smother out most all weeds…also by not mowing until they go to seed then high mowing with a bagger mower you can catch seed and spread it for free to areas that you know have less cover. I am adding red clover here and there…as well.

My local Southern States sells seed for pretty cheap and i buy 5lbs or so instead of paying the big bucks for the sacks.

I mix mine in a bucket of manure and spread it by hand before it rains…



Didn’t work for me. I did it twice - in fall and in spring, no single clover to be found. I am not sure if I paid good money for bad seeds or it needs something special…

Dutch white (perennial) clover seems like a good choice. There are however multiple cultivars available.

Clover cultivars can roughly be divided into leaf size groups.

I like the turf clover or micro clover group of cultivar’s.

Those stay much lower (1"-6") than regular Dutch white clover that grew to ~16"-20" for me.

Although with regular mowing, even the larger and larger leafed cultivars tend to produce smaller leaves.

And the micro clover can get leaves quite a bit larger than you find in the documentation if left completely unmowed.

S184 is a “micro” cultivar i often see sold as one of the smaller clover types.

oversowing (sowing an spot where gras already grows) is a bad idea. The clover does not seem to develop from seed there.

If personally seen this with a patch of pure clover next to pure gras (lawn) that did not manage to seed a single clover in the gras in the past 2 years.

The clover does form runners however. And those are capable of growing into existing gras lawn.

sow clover and gras at the same time.
Sowing after gras has grown or existing lawn has no effect.

Transplanting older patches off clover to holes in an existing lawn will slowly let the clover spread.

you can also sow pure clover seeds (without gras seeds)
the clover holds up remarkably well to light to medium foot traffic (like an orchard receives)

And some of the micro cultivars don’t get much taller than 4" or maybe 6" max. This in my mind is an acceptable Hight and thus you can skip mowing altogether.

below 2 pictures.
First in winter (sub 1" height). (see P9=9cm or little less than 4" black plant pots for scale)
second picture in end of summer / fall where the clover has some larger leaves and is higher (sub 6" height)

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Trying to get clover growing in a thick, lush lawn will be difficult. It needs soil openings to become established. Sod forming grasses do a very good job of preventing other things from growing.

Here ,clover won’t grow without lime and phosphorus application.
If lime is applied to bring pH above 6.5 + phosphate fertilizer.
Usually it will just appear. And thrive.
I often have a drink bottle of clover seed with a small hole in it tied on tractor dripping seed as I mow .
If it likes it ,it will spread .
White Dutch clover, you can mow short 2-3 in.
.Ladino clover, likes being mowed taller basically just clipped at the top to keep other weeds out. 6-8 in.
Red .likes it taller and less frequent mowing. 1-2 times


That’s an interesting observation about clover only growing from seed on bare patches.

I’ve tried to intersow white clover in my patchy lawn with only a little success, I thought maybe I wasn’t watering it properly or that it didn’t like my clay soil. Maybe I’ll try a bare experimental latch this year!

My neighbor says if you keep the grass cut short enough to see the soil, the clover will sprout. I have been broadcasting a mix of white, red and crimson. I mostly just spread it where there is bare ground from tilling, plastic mulch or animal disturbance. I use a Solo chest mounted broadcaster which does a nice job with clover seeds. It is like a game where I imagine I am shooting flowers out of a rail gun… tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk I just spread about 30 lbs today over roughly 2 hectares of almost bare soil (3rd and final pass). I look forward to how it progresses this summer!

What do people think about the ideal grasses for orchards, festuca rubra rubra or others? What are your experiences with them?

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I consider clover a weed on our steep hillside and mostly have it snuffed out. Grasses more fibrous roots and thatch debris do a better job holding things in place for the dormant season. Isn’t there also a bit of controversy regarding our native pollinators reliance on quick and easy nectar?

Mostly for erosion control, I prefer monoculture of non-native grass compared to non-native legumes. I also prefer the aesthetics of fine fescues to clover. Not the color, but year round interest in our climate.

We have dead spots in what used to be thick stands of low mow fescues from not dethatching. Thinking of sticking some native forbs in spots instead of pure fescue. Been trying to get Purple Prairie Clover going in spots and might actually see flowers soon.

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Red fescue (festuca rubra) is in a lot of low mow and shady seed mixes. It’s more creepy than moundy. Not sure how it would complement or compete with fruit plantings.

I like how buffalo grass is behaving. It creeps under the drip line but not aggressively and is easily pulled back. The fescues are harder to control but outcompete the weeds better.

The Old World grass monoculture is for paths and firebreaks. Most of our hill is native warm season grass with an evolving prairie going. The amount of pollinators and insects have exploded with the native wildflowers and grasses. I can’t believe how many insects I just saw on my plums!

I have to wonder if all those insects would be on those plums if there was a field of clover underneath them.

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