Is Clover Harmful To Lawns
In short, no! Clover is a weed that quickly infiltrates lawns, fields, ditches, and more. But, the weed is actually capable of fixing nitrogen in the air and soil and creating its own fertilizer, especially when you return clover clippings to the lawn after mowing. For this reason, clover is actually added to some grass seed mixes to promote an easy-maintenance lawn that looks thick and green.
However, many homeowners find common clover to be a nuisance that can make lawns look messier than straight blades of green grass. Clover also spreads quickly, so if you see it and dont want it, you need to take action immediately.
How Professional Weed Control Can Help
Using a professional lawn care service provides homeowners with trained specialists who have gardening expertise and reliable equipment to perform any lawn care service quickly and affordably.
Homeowners, especially those who dont have time or the physical capacity to weed their lawns each week, can receive high-quality lawn care treatments from companies like TruGreen that help lawns thrive.
How To Prevent Clover In Your Lawn
Whether youve managed to remove the existing clover on your lawn and want to stop it from coming back, or you just want to prevent it from appearing altogether, there are several things you can do. Below are the safest and most effective methods for avoiding clover and keeping it from returning to your lawn.
Also Check: Does Aarons Rent Riding Lawn Mowers
How To Get Rid Of Clover In Lawn
You can do everything correctly in your pursuit of a beautiful lawn, only to have it ruined by weeds. White clover is among the most troublesome perennial weeds homeowners face.
To combat this pest, you need to know how to kill clover in lawn but not grass, and then you can be on your way to get rid of clover without affecting your lawn. Before rushing out to kill clover in grass, you need to understand that it benefits your lawn besides its nice white flowers.
Clover grows quickly and is invasive yet is a useful weed for all lawns. Nitrogen permeates into the soil when clover decays, which is beneficial to your grasss growth. Clover acts like an umbrella, so when you want to keep your lawn short at an ideal 2.5 inches long, the clover shades the ground and keeps other weed seeds at bay.
Despite the benefits, many individuals want to get rid of clover in lawn. By the end of our guide, you can learn what kills clover but not grass and how you can stop clover growing more than you want.
Poor Nutrient Levels In Soil
In order to outgrow other weeds and plants, grass needs to be in soil thats rich in nutrients particularly nitrogen. As weve discussed, nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients needed by grass to grow. If the soil in your lawn becomes nitrogen deficient, the grass will struggle to grow, resulting in thinning or dead patches. However, since clover is capable of producing its own nitrogen, it will continue to grow and will eventually outgrow the grass in the lawn.
Also Check: Where Can I Buy Liquid Lawn Fertilizer
Spread Corn Meal Gluten
Cornmeal gluten will not kill existing weeds, however, it does have the ability to prevent the growth of new weeds by drying out the new weed seedlings roots before it has the chance to grow. Cornmeal gluten has the additional benefit that its also a source of nitrogen, further enhancing its ability to prevent weed growth. Take note that for this method, the timing of the application is crucial. If the conditions of the soil are too wet when you apply the corn gluten, the treatment wont have any effect. When applied in the right conditions, the treatment should remain effective for five to six weeks, after which it will need to be reapplied to continue doing its job. Try using the Indian Head Yellow Corn Meal for an organic alternative to pre-emergent weed killer.
Use Of Less Fertilizer/seed
This is also a simple way to get rid of clover in the lawn naturally because for this purpose you dont need anything just try to lessen the amount of fertilizer you used.
If you have a lot of clover in the lawn so you should use the low seed for germination which means use a low amount of seeds and fertilizer in the lawn as more fertilizer you used because extra fertilizer also occurs.
So if you used less in the amount your lawn grows well and also these clovers dont grow. So its an important step to remove clover in your yard that you should fewer fertilizer ingredients and seeds.
You May Like: Smallest Riding Lawn Mower Made
Also Check: How To Kill Wild Violet Weeds In Lawn
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!
How To Eliminate Clover From Your Lawn
This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 6,793 times.Learn more…
If youre sick of dealing with the clover growing on your lawn, have no fear! You can easily eliminate it and keep it from coming back. To get rid of clover thats already on your lawn, you could use a potent herbicide to kill it, or you could make your own natural herbicide as an alternative. If you want to keep clover from setting up shop in your yard, give your lawn the TLC it needs to be healthy enough to prevent the weed from taking root.
Read Also: Who Sells Stihl Lawn Mowers
Clover Fertilizes Your Lawn
Clover has a symbiotic relationship with good bacteria that attach themselves to its roots. This bacteria absorbs nitrogen from the environment which helps give the grass its green color. Where you have plenty of clover you will notice the grass is thicker and greener. You may worry that clover will overtake your lawn, but that wont happen. Clover actually helps your lawn thrive. Without clover, your lawn could dry out and turn brown from the summer heat, but with the clover it could stay green and lush.
What Conditions Does Clover Thrive In
Before we can combat the clover menace, we must first know it what it likes, what it doesnt, and how it thrives.
Generally, clover is an opportunistic plant that may be problematic at any time your grass is thin or failing.
Clover thrives in full light and well-drained soil. Its resistant to heat and cold alike, as long as the temperature isnt extreme.
It will die when frozen or become dormant in extreme heat. Clover is drought-resistant but will also grow well when water is abundant.
Clover thrives in compacted soils and grows particularly well in lawns that are regularly kept short.
When grass is short, it cant outgrow the clover and block its access to sunlight. This allows clover to flourish and in turn outcompete the grass.
Clover is also more tolerant of acidic soils than grass, which means it can quickly take over a lawn with unmoderated soil.
Various species of clover can thrive in high and low acidity soils alike, so you wont necessarily be in the clear just because your lawn is one or the other.
In the end, clover sort of hangs around waiting for an opportunity to move in, and then establishes itself in your lawn before quickly overtaking the delicate grass when it is struggling.
You can have a nice-looking, well-manicured lawn one week and the next it will all be clover.
Read Also: How To Fix Bald Spots In Lawn
Microclover Provides The Benefits Of Clover Without The Drawbacks
You have the option of planting microclover if you would like to have all the benefits of clover without the drawbacks. Microclover will flower much less prolifically than white clover, but is still potent enough to spread evenly throughout a lawn. Lawns grown with microclover tend to be healthier, greener, and have less weed growth than those with no clover at all.
Treat Clover With Herbicide
There are herbicides on the market that have been specially formulated to kill clover and other weeds without harming or killing the surrounding grass. Spraying a selective weed killer on the problem patches in your lawn will get rid of the clover without weakening the grass, giving the grass a better chance of outcompeting the clover in growth. We recommend using the Ortho WeedClear Weed Killer, as it promises to get rid of clover along with a number of other weeds, all without harming the surrounding grass.
You May Like: Where To Buy Lawn Mower Air Filter
Apply Corn Gluten Meal
Pick up some corn gluten meal at your local gardening center and spread it over your grass, following directions from the manufacturer. The product destroys weeds like clover while fertilizing the grass by releasing organic matter into the soil, drying out clover seeds, and making the weed hard to sprout.
Why You May Want To Keep Clover In Your Lawn
You may not like the look of clover, but it can actually benefit your lawn.
- Natural Fertilizer: Clovers symbiotic relationship with beneficial bacteria allows it to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere. Ultimately, it can make your lawn greener and more lush. However, this will keep it growing and outcompeting your grass.
- Weed Prevention: Mowing your lawn high will prevent weeds from growing, including clover. But if you like short, neat grass thats under 3 inches, letting clover flourish is a solid option. Clovers leaves cast shade over the soil, making it hard for other weeds to take root and grow and compete with your grass.
Recommended Reading: How Much Are Riding Lawn Mower Tires
What Do Clovers In Our Lawns Indicate
The presence of Clover in lawns can be an indicator of low Nitrogen levels in the soil.
Clover requires soil with LOW Nitrogen levels because this plant can pull its Nitrogen requirement from the air.
Lawns love Nitrogen in the soil, and thats why its so important to feed our lawns with Nitrogen in the form of Organic Lawn Fertilisers, Standard Lawn Fertilisers, or by leaving the clippings on the lawn after mowing.
As soon as lawn soils begin to lack Nitrogen the lawn will become in poor health. And a lawn in poor health will be highly prone to other weeds, pests, and diseases, and will not have the necessary strength to fight off these infestations naturally by itself.
When we remember the important basic principle of prevention being better than the cure in Organic Lawn Care, we see the importance of keeping our lawns in optimum health so they dont suffer problems that may later require chemical treatments. So, lets get our lawn back to good health, and keep it there.
Valuable Methods To Kill Clover But Not Grass
Identifying clover is relatively straightforward. If your lawn is spotted with pink or white flowers that attract bees and butterflies, you have clover. Another easy way to determine if it is white clover marring your luscious green lawn is by their leaves. White clover features three leaves that form a petal shape.
Each of these leaves is about half an inch long, with a white crescent shape prominent on each one. White clover generally blooms in the early spring or late fall. The best time to get rid of clover is when it first begins to bloom.
Read Also: When To Apply Weed Killer To Your Lawn
Use Organic Weed Killer
Organic weed killer might sound too good to be true when it comes to controlling lawn weeds, but a new one was recently introduced for clover control. Adios, an organic weed killer, will weaken and kill the clover in your lawn without harming any of your grass.
To use, spray Adios directly on the clover. As the clover weakens and dies, the grass will take over where the clover once was. Make sure to water your lawn correctly. If you apply Adios to a stressed lawn from lack of water or extreme heat, there is a higher risk the product will kill your grass as well as the clover.
Ideally, water your yard twice a week. Deep watering, where the grass receives one inch of water, is recommended. The perfect time to apply Adios is the day after a deep watering.
How To Identify Clover In Your Yard
There are three types of clover that are most commonly found in lawns: white clover, red clover, and microclover. White and red clover are easily identified by their sphere-shaped clusters of tiny blooms and trio of petal-shaped leaves, each leaf bearing a white crescent or a V shape and measuring approximately one-half inch in size. The clover plant normally grows to no more than four to six inches in height although it can reach as much as 12 inches in height.
White clover can be found blooming from early spring until late fall. Red clover begins to bloom in late March and continues into April and can continue to bloom into early summer. Microclover is identified by leaves that are approximately half the size of white and red clover leaves. Once microclover has been mowed it may grow back at only one-third its original size. Microclover has significantly fewer flowers than red or white clover and its growth is denser and more far-reaching than the red or white varieties.
Microclover looks more uniform than other varieties of clover found in lawns, especially after its flowers have been removed by mowing. It grows lower to the ground than its counterparts. The fact that all varieties of this plant tend to grow close together makes it easy to spot clover patches in your yard.
Also Check: Who Sells Yardman Riding Lawn Mowers
Feed Your Lawn Regularly To Control Clover
Controlling any weed is best done by stopping the problem before it starts. Nobody wants to regularly battle weeds in their lawn, and if you are, that is a sure sign of a problem with the way you are caring for your lawn.
Clover thrives in yards that are underfed as the weed makes its fertilizer, as it pulls nitrogen from the air, not the ground. Proper lawn care requires feeding it with the appropriate fertilizer four times a year. These fertilizers provide your lawn with all of the nutrients necessary to grow strong and thick.
You can use commercial or organic fertilizers when fertilizing your lawn, as both produce excellent results. Always follow watering instructions included on each bag of fertilizer for a healthy and happy yard. The thicker your lawn the better, as lush greens crowd out weeds like clover.
After killing clover, if you have large patches of dirt, lay down some grass seeds and cover with a thin layer of mulch. Water the seed regularly to promote new growth. Follow the instructions on the package for fertilizing and mowing.
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.
Read Also: How To Start Your Own Lawn Service Business
Clover In Lawns: It Was On Purpose
Prior to the 1950s, a standard practice was to add clover seed to lawn-seed blends. Clover effectively competed with other weeds and provided a fairly low-maintenance lawn by providing nitrogen to the grass. Some grass seed blends today continue to include clover seeds.
The suburban, middle class, along with single-family homes with carpets of lawn, grew significantly after World War II. Some of the chemicals developed during the war were now becoming available commercially to homeowners. The first residential herbicides were available in 1945 and was used to kill broadleaf weeds, which includes clover. This made it more convenient to eliminate clover from lawns than promote it.
Although were seeing a trend to again introduce clover to lawns, most homeowners continue to prefer the clover-free, weed-free lawns that have been in vogue for the past seven or eight decades. These folks want to kill clover in their lawn.
Should I Get Rid Of Clover On My Lawn
Leaving clover on your lawn or killing/preventing it is a personal preference. There are some benefits to leaving it, including natural fertilization for your soil and drought resistance for your lawn. Youll have to weigh these against the downsides like increased bee activity and patchy appearance to decide what is best for you.
Read Also: How Many Lawn Treatments Per Year
How To Kill Clover Without Chemicals
by Alec McClennan, on April 28, 2020
Does your lawn look like the lawn pictured below? Are you seeing a lot of white flowers in your lawn and don’t like the look of them? Maybe you’re concerned about the Clover attracting bees and making it more likely for your kids to get stung? If this is your lawn and you’d like to have more grass and less Clover, keep reading to learn more.