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Reason : Clover Prevents Weeds
We talk about mowing your lawn high to help prevent weeds. Mowing high helps prevent weeds because the taller the grass, the more it shades the surface of the soil and makes it difficult for weeds to establish. Clover, with its umbrella-like leaves, shades the soil better than blades of grass do, so it, creating a less optimal environment for weeds. If you have Clover in your lawn, you can even mow at a more normal mowing height . So, if you like mowing your lawn short, Clover can help you avoid having a million other weeds. See how the grass in the playing field of Microclover below has far fewer dandelions than the perimeter grass without Clover?
Whats Causing Clover In My Lawn
There are multiple reasons you could have clover sprouting up in your lawn, most of which have to do with your soil.
- Wrong Soil pH: The ideal soil pHhow alkaline or acidic the soil isfor most lawns is between 6.0 and 7.0. If your lawns soil is too acidic, it will be harder for grass to grow, and much easier for clover. Luckily, you can use soil amendments like lime to balance out the pH.
- Poor Nitrogen Levels: Clover thrives in soil with poor nitrogen levels. Grass needs nitrogen in the soil to grow well, while clover can obtain the nitrogen it needs from the air, effectively making its own fertilizer. Your soil may be low in nitrogen because youve used too much fast-acting fertilizer. While they promote rapid grass growth, they can ultimately lower your soil quality. Switching to organic fertilizer like manure or corn meal can help you avoid this.
- Compacted soil: Compacted soil prevents your grass from getting the nutrientsincluding nitrogenair, and water it needs. Luckily, you can break up compaction with a core or spike aerator.
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How To Get Rid Of Clovers In Your Lawn Without Chemicals
The biggest issue gardeners have in curbing the spread of clovers without affecting the grass around them. Luckily there are quite a few natural methods you can use to get rid of clovers naturally.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to get rid of clovers without chemicals.
1. Pull Them Out
Removing the clovers manually by hand is always the safest option. Using a pair of gardening gloves, simply pull the flowers, stems and roots of the clover out from the ground and discard.
2. Mow High
While mowing low will kill off your lawn, it wont really affect the clovers. Be sure to mow at least 3-inches above the grass, which will help to keep your grass strong and healthy. Meaning the clovers wont be able to take over.
3. Suffocate the Clovers
It may sound dramatic, but it can be incredibly effective. Simply place a plastic bag over the area you want to kill off. This will deprive it of sun and oxygen, and the clovers will eventually die out.
4. Feed With Fertilizer
Fertilizer boosts the soil nitrogen content, which will naturally kill off clovers. Any balanced fertilizer will do as it will help to boost the growth of your lawn and curb clovers from growing.
5. Use an Organic Weed Killer
There are many varieties of organic weed killers that can protect your grass and weaken the clovers. Be sure to check the label to ensure the weed killer isnt filled with any harmful chemicals.
6. Keep Watering Your Grass
7. Mulch as Much as Possible
8. Try a Vinegar Solution
10. Start Again
Whats Causing Clover In Your Lawn
Clover is hearty and quickly spreads, but it needs the right conditions. Understanding why clover is growing in your lawn can help you eliminate it or prevent it entirely.
- Poor nitrogen levels in soil: Clover thrives in soil with low nitrogen levels. Most unfertilized soil with grass or other plants growing in it will eventually become nitrogen-deprived. Once your nitrogen concentration dips, clover will readily set down roots and begin to spread, so fertilization is a good solution.
- Soil pH is off: In addition to low nitrogen levels, clover needs the proper pH to uptake nutrients from the soil. Most healthy lawns have a neutral to slightly acidic pH between 6.0 and 7.0. The more acidic your soil gets, the harder it will be for grass to grow, leaving less competition for clover that thrives in acidic soil.
- Compacted soil: Over time, your soil will naturally get compacted as you and your family walk over your grass. Compacted soil limits the root growth potential for grass, once again reducing the competition for clover. Aerating the soil is an excellent way to mitigate soil compaction.,
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Spray A Vinegar Solution
Create your own non-toxic weed killer with this natural home remedy.
- Mix one cup of vinegar with a cup of water and one drop of dish soap.
- Shake it up and spray it onto any patches of clover. The vinegar will dry out the clovers leaves, and the dish soap will make sure it sticks.
- You may need to spray over a series of weeks to kill off the clover completely. Unfortunately, the vinegar can damage grass, so spray the solution carefully.
Clover Enriches The Soil With Nitrogen
All clovers are legumes , which means that they are nitrogen-fixers pulling nitrogen abundant in the atmosphere and fixing it within their root system with the help of some beneficial bacteria.
That means two things.
- Unlike regular turf, clover doesnt need any nitrogen fertilizer .
- It will enrich the soil itself with nitrogen, meaning that nearby plants will grow better and stronger.
Perhaps there is a deeper reason why clovers have been considered a lucky plant for so long!
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How To Eliminate Clover
Though it is possible to remove clover from your lawn by hand, its far easier to apply a 3-way herbicide to combat clover and keep your lawn healthy. There are plenty of herbicides that can do the trick, including organic weed killer options that will target clover but not jeopardize your overall lawn health. Such broadleaf herbicides are best used for spot treatment purposes.
Its important to enact such clover control measures as soon as you notice it. Doing so helps prevent the spread of clover plants and helps maintain a beautiful lawn.
There are a few other ways to eliminate clover. One is by mixing vinegar with dish soap and spraying any clover patches on the lawn. You can also cover it with plastic sheeting or a garbage bag to deprive it of the oxygen and sunlight it needs to grow.
After clover is eliminated, you may have to fill in any bare spots in the lawn with grass seed.
Pull The Clover By Hand
The best method to get rid of clover right away happens to be the most direct: pulling it out by hand.
This is definitely a minor chore but it does not have to be a time-consuming one. With some proper preparation, clover will pop out easily.
To remove clover from your lawn, start by soaking it in water for at least 30 minutes. This will aid in the loosening of the soil and make removing the roots intact simple and easy.
Set up a sprinkler near the spot to handle this unless you want to water it with a hose yourself. Then, with a trowel or weeding tool, carefully loosen the dirt around the base of the clover.
If the grass is still present in the affected area be careful not to harm its roots if you can. With a little luck, there wont be a blemish on your lawn to deal with if you have grass left behind.
After it has been loosened, grab the clover plant at the base with both hands and pull it out of the dirt. The entire plant should come out easily, including the roots, if done correctly.
Hand-pulling may be the surest method for controlling clover in your lawn if you keep an eye on young infestations.
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Clovers grow in most temperate and subtropical parts of the world, excluding Southeast Asia and Australia. The plants are useful as livestock feed and can also be used as green manure. The clover flowers are highly attractive to bees and clover honey is a popular by-product of clover cultivation.
How To Get Rid Of Clover 11 Clever Ways To Kill Clover In Your Lawn
When large amounts of clover have been removed, you can sprinkle. The dish soap helps the mixture stick to the clover. For small areas covered in clover, mix a few drops of dish soap with a few drops of vinegar in a spray bottle. Put 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a spray bottle with 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 34 cup of water.
Getting rid of clover organically from a lawn involves a consistent effort of covering the clover with topsoil, sprinkling grass seed and shading out the clo. In time, the vinegar will dry out the clover leaves and kill the plant. Letting your grass grow a little longer can help to eradicate this weed. For small amounts of clover, removing the.
A few words of caution, though. Lever the trowel upward to lift the roots out of the soil. The most common is white clover. Heres a natural weed control remedy many gardeners find effective: If you want to increase its effectiveness, you can also add a cup of salt to the mix.
Why get rid of white clover in your lawn. One way to prevent clover from invading your lawn in the first place is to apply corn gluten over your lawn annually in spring. This will aid in the loosening of the soil and make removing the roots intact simple and easy. Put 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a.
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Herbicide For White Clover
Killing white clover with herbicide is also a common way to deal with this weed, especially over larger areas. The problem with using herbicides is that the only herbicide effective at controlling white clover is non-selective weed killers. These herbicides will kill the white clover, but will also kill any other plants it comes in contact with.
Herbicides also may not kill the root system of mature clover, which means that they can grow back. If you decide to use herbicides for getting rid of white clover, the best time to do this is on a warm, cloudless and windless day.
Knowing how to get rid of white clover from lawns and flower beds can be a bit tricky, but it can be done. Patience and persistence while getting rid of white clover will pay off.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.
Use An Organic Weed Killer/herbicide
Finally, you can use an organic herbicide, like A.D.I.O.S, to get rid of clover. These solutions are safe for human contact, and theyre non-toxic, so theyre great if you have children or pets. Youll need to mix most natural weed killers with water and then apply with a spray bottle to the clover. Options like A.D.I.O.S. available on Amazon or at your local garden center wont kill your grass but will work wonders for clover and other weeds, like dandelions.
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Kill Clover In Grass With Plastic
A surefire way to kill clover is to deprive it of what it needs to thrive, which are oxygen and sunlight. Use a garbage bag or other type of plastic sheeting to cover the clover patch. Secure the sheeting down with stakes or heavy objects to prevent it from blowing away.
For best results and to increase your chances of not killing the surrounding grass, only use this method on more extensive patches of clover. Within a few weeks, the plastic sheeting will kill off the clover and any future seeds.
This is also a great way to get rid of crabgrass patches in the lawn or other weeds that occur in a specific area. It also requires very little effort. If you have the time, smothering is an ideal solution for weeds.
Physically Remove The Clover
To organically treat and remove clover from your lawn, work toward restoring the nitrogen to the grass.
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Getting Rid Of Clover Organically
Keep in mind that clover only appears in lawns where there is low nitrogen. It is actually nature’s way of strengthening your lawn when the clover grows, it adds nitrogen back into the soil. Eventually, your grass will grow stronger and will choke the clover out. If you can’t wait for this to happen, or if clover is a chronic problem in your yard, there are other ways to deal with it.
Removing The Clover By Hand
In some cases, you can actually dig the clover out of the ground, to remove it from your lawn without the need for weedkillers or other chemicals.
You may remove some areas of grass in the process, but its easy enough to overseed these bare patches, as we have discussed a bit below.
To remove clover, dig around it using a small gardening fork or hand trowel. Clover roots do not go very deep, so the main difficulty in this process is cutting through the initial layer of foliage, especially if clover is growing on top of existing grass.
Pull the clover out of the ground carefully, including its roots, and place it in a bucket or wheelbarrow, to prevent clover seeds from spreading onto other areas of your lawn.
If you see any roots, leaves, or seeds left over, try to carefully remove them from the soil. If doing this would be too difficult, it might be a good idea to smother the affected area for a week or two, to ensure that any remnants of the clover have time to decompose. We have explained how to do this below.
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Why Some People Want Clover In Their Lawn
On a side note, it might surprise you to know that some people actually choose to add clover to their lawn. This is due to the fact that clover prevents weeds, fertilises your lawn by adding nitrogen, attracts bees, is soft to walk on, makes your lawn appear greener and shades the soil well. In fact, back in the 1950s and 60s, the optimum lawn mix was around 20% clover. For all these reasons, many people encourage the growth of clover in their lawn and even add in additional microclover to give more uniform clover coverage.
However, if you prefer the look of a smooth, velvety lawn without the distraction of clover flowers and wide leaves, youll need to thoroughly remove this prolific weed. Heres how to do it.
Improve The Quality Of Your Turf
The most important factor in learning how to get rid of lawn weeds of all kinds is to ensure your grass is healthy. As David Hedges Gower, the founder of the Lawn Association says, clover is normally a sign of a poorly maintained lawn. For instance, it particularly thrives in nitrogen-poor ground.
There are, however, some simple steps you can take to improve the conditions of your turf and the soil beneath.
David says to start by looking at your soil. ‘Check the pH and see if it’s suitable to be growing grass,’ he says. In most cases, the optimal level is between 6.0 and 7.0. Soil that is too acidic can make it difficult for grass to grow, and easier for some types of clover. It can be balanced with soil amendments, such as lime.
Also, ‘check your compaction levels,’ says David. ‘Clover often does well in poor soils that are very compacted, so start to hollow tine aerate your lawn at least once a year.’
What’s more, if you’re creating a new lawn by planting grass seed, and want to reduce the risk of clover invading it, ensure you pick a good species that is weed-free. It’s worth paying extra for a better quality mix.
Improving the conditions of your lawn will help the grass, rather than the clover, to grow stronger
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