This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Clover grass is one of the best grasses for enriching a soil that is cultivated in our country. It also makes good hay, if well cured; yet there is always a good deal of uncertainty about making it into good hay. As a crop for hay we consider it the least valuable in this respect; but as a crop for plowing under, or feeding off by cattle, no crop of grass can begin to enrich the soil like Clover. Much has been said and written in regard to plowing under a crop of Clover as a green dressing, or feeding it off by cattle. Both ways are good, and both have their advantages. If a soil is to be renovated in the shortest possible time, we think it can be done best by plowing under one or two green crops of Clover when in full bloom. If a longer course is wanted, the best way is to feed off the crop by cattle through the season. This grass, unlike many other kinds, will continue to grow up through the whole season as many times as it is fed off. The better way is, where a large crop of Clover has covered the land thick, and when it is in full bloom, turn in as much stock as will feed it down in the shortest time. Managed in this way, very little old grass will be left to dry up, but all will be fed down together; and then a new crop will be constantly growing through the whole season.
The roots of Clover grass extend a great way into the soil, and they are very enriching - much more so than any other grass we know of - so that it has become a proverb among improving farmers, that when they can get Clover to grow well on their farms, they can grow anything else. The roots of Clover strike deep into the soil, so that when it gets well rooted it will stand a great drouth.
For "lawns, or private grounds," connected with country residences, we think, a mixture of Red Top, White Clover, and Blue Grass, sown together, would make a good covering for grounds of this character. What such grounds want is a covering of grass in the shortest possible time, and one that will form a close, tight sward.
However, much of this will depend on the after cultivation. Lawns require to be sheared, or fed down by sheep, a number of times in the course of the season, in order to get a close, tight, firm sward.