I knew about - but never considered the energy - added to the soil with cover crops. Let's look at it solely from the perspective of gardening, since I am not going to have a real farm.
Clover, grass, and dandelions have different root systems in the lawn. Clover builds usable nitrogen while harboring beneficial insects that need the nectar and pollen generated. Grass is a nitrogen user. Dandelions do not compete with shallow roots but sends down taproots so embedded in the soil that American Indians called them lawn nails.
My neighbor has only grass and a few flowers in his front yard, with many bare areas eroded by heavy rains.
Our main rose garden has:
- Mints - Mountain, Cat, and Beel Balm
- Thistle - being dug out
- Burmuda grass - being dug out
- Crepe Myrtle
- Wild Strawberries galore
- Trumpet Vine
- Some hardy bulbs, like Daffodils, Giant Garlic
- Grape Hyacinth, and
- Several years of mulch and pine needles.
|Catmint stays in place (I hope) and|
provides another hang-out for beneficial bugs.