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Homeowner sparks discussion in search for low-maintenance lawn alternative: ‘A nice stepping stone’

“If you have a huge yard I’d think about what areas you use the most.”

“If you have a huge yard I’d think about what areas you use the most."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor found themselves in need of helpful advice on how to replace their lawn, and as usual, the Reddit community was more than happy to help. In this case, the poster was desperate to find a low-maintenance alternative to a traditional yard. 

Posted in the Native Plant Gardening subreddit, the Redditor suggested they may want to replace their lawn with white clover. They added, to help those who were kind enough to offer advice, that they live in the Atlantic hardiness zone 4b in Canada, which places them bordering the northeast United States. Hardiness zone designations help gardeners and growers determine which perennial plants are most likely to thrive in a given area.

The Redditor stated that they’d like to replace their lawn, adding, “I’d like to stick to native plants for this process as much as possible (I’m in Atlantic Canada, zone 4b). I asked for advice in a regional subreddit and got called pedantic for suggesting that white clover isn’t native to this continent, but every source I can find says it isn’t. What’s this sub’s opinion? Is it so widespread that it doesn’t matter?”

It’s important that the Redditor wants to stick to native plants. Plants that are native to an area generally thrive and contribute to a healthy ecosystem. They attract pollinators and local wildlife alike and don’t require much care as they’re acclimated to the climate.

As for the Redditor being unclear as to whether or not white clover is native to their part of Canada, it’s not, but white clover grows easily in hardiness zones 4 through 9.

In the comments section, the Redditor added, “The thing is I have a HUGE yard (compared to what I’m used to) that will take several years to fully make use of with my severely limited free time and money, and most of it is lawn.”

One commenter said, “White clover is a nice stepping stone. Helps support some generalist pollinators and some Lepidoptera species. I added clover and yarrow seeds to my lawn while I was still working on my plans to expand native garden beds and my native hedgerow.”

Another suggested, “If you have a huge yard I’d think about what areas you use the most. Leave that clover or grass. Convert the unused areas into native plant garden beds.”

Another commenter added a link, with plant species native to the area, saying, “What about native grass? According to this, you have 2 native sweetgrass species.”

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