Well maintained American lawns are an environmentalist's nightmare! Water, fertilizer, herbicides, constant mowing (unregulated carbon monoxide pollution). insecticides... the carbon footprint of American lawns is worse than coal burning power plants, seriously.
Between the electrical energy (most polluting energy sector) required to produce these toxins that do not degrade in the environment (like they want you to think), the diesel fuel needed to bring them to market, the plastic bags that contain them, the unintended insect and plant deaths from applications, the toxic runoffs poisoning our waters... as well as the homeowner mismanagement of these poisons-Nice Lawns are toxic wastelands and a monocultural desert, devoid of diversity. and the typical American dream of having a "NICE LAWN," I think, dates back to the 1950's, moment in time better forgotten.
I see homeowners walking behind their chemical spreaders and I pity them, that's not something that I will EVER do EVER again, thanks to white clover.
Just to let you know, I am on my fifth decade in this industry, and have a four year BS in ornamental horticulture. I have a supervisor's license in chemical applications, but after mulling over how dessicated lawns get in the increasing summer desertification events like this weekend's, I totally reject the conventional American lawn- a concept originating in the post-war chemical companies' proliferation.
In the pre-war years, clover was added to grass seed as an essential ingredient for a healthy lawn. The symbiotic bacterial relationship clover has fed the turf so homeowners did not need to (there was no synthetic fertilizer at that time). The clover blended nicely with the turf grasses and looked nice, controlled weeds on it's own with out any herbicides.
Over the years, I have invested THOUSANDS of dollars in my lawn, doing battle with the realities of yearly droughts, thin soils, full sun, no irrigation systems. It seemed that every fall it looked like I had never spent one minute and no dollars on my lawn- it was all for nothing! I would do my methodical American duty and fix it, again and again and again.
As the dim-wit light bulb above my head grew bigger and brighter, I looked for suggestions from my "thinking outside the box mentality." Sometimes, whilst mowing the lawn with earbuds cranking to drown out the noise and a beer squeezed between my thighs, I enter an alternative world in an altered state. I notice things not many other people see. I notice how the lightning bugs rise up out of the grass when I mow the lawn in certain areas. Altered mowing states conjured up visions of the lightning bugs possessing spiritual personalities like the beings in the movie "AVATAR." Since then, I do not mow those areas at dusk when they rise up out of the grass.
I notice also that where the clover is, there are NO WEEDS. The lawn is darker green, and there are honey bees and bumble bees, butterflies flitting about.
White clover out competes weeds, and seems to be a hormonal growth suppressor, keeping the height of turfgrass short like clover is. Clover is ALWAYS well-fed, and ALWAYS dark green.
You can see the patch of clover/turf in the middle of this picture. Turf and clover, nothing else. Where clover/turf is, there are no other weeds.
Clover slugging it out with some sort of weedy grass. Where clover is, no weeds.
The temp is 95f with a heat index of 105 and climbing. I'm going home from work now and will finish this dissertation later.