2. Verges (the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street) are often salt damaged and/or compacted and/or periodically physically disturbed which makes them highly susceptible to invasion by weeds such as plantain, giving them a scruffy appearance. Overseeding a difficult to manage verge with clover (or a clover-grass mix that is a bit heavy on the clover) in the spring makes the vegetation greener and thicker and the weeds to be smaller. Compare the top and bottom photos at left. There was probably as much or more plantain in the top situation than in the situation in the bottom photo, but it didn't stand out.
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There are two keys to this approach to managing weeds: (i) good distribution and persistence of clover; (ii) managing nitrogen to avoid excesses or extreme deficiency. See Establishing Clover in Lawns for details.
A minimally maintained verge overseeded with clover.
A minimally maintained verge not overseeded with clover.