How To Get Rid Of Clover In Your Lawn 10 Tips For Success Without Killing The Grass
Clover tends to grow continuously in a place where they once appeared. If they do not bother you, let them stay as they are beneficial. You can also keep track of them in a journal. If you dont like how your lawn looks with the clovers growing in it, get rid of them.
But first, are there any benefits to having Clover in your lawn?
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.
Can You Use Fertilizer To Kill Clover
You can kill white clover on your lawn using fertilizer. A well-fertilized turf prevents unwanted plants from growing and ensures your turfgrass gets proper nitrogen levels.
Organic fertilizers can work too. However, if the white clover has overrun your grass, consider standard fertilizer. The best examples to consider include:
If you prefer organic fertilizer, consider spreading some coffee grounds on your lawn. You can also use eggshells by adding them to your compost and then using the finished product as soil sediment or surface mulch.
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No Chemicals No Clover
With the above tips, you can rid your lawn of unsightly clover without resorting to potentially dangerous chemicals. Sure, these natural weed killing methods may take more time and effort than a chemical-filled herbicide, but they also pose little to no danger to animals and children playing in your yard.
Does Clover Belong In A Home Lawn
This is a frequently debated subject and passions run high on either side of the argument.
Without question, clover has certain benefits. Its green color matches many lawn grasses and it maintains that color even during the hottest days of summer when some grasses struggle and begin to fade. It is able to withstand dog urine, something that will kill virtually all desirable grasses. It can grow nearly anywhere outside of dense shade and requires little maintenance it rarely gets tall enough to mow, it can survive with very little water, and it actually prefers soils that arent fertilized.
However, clover also has certain downsides. It struggles under even moderate amounts of traffic. It will not survive in yards that are frequent playgrounds for kids and pets or home to sports played by adults. When it is played on it tends to stain clothing easily and its stains can be difficult to remove.
Ultimately it is best to go in one direction or the other. Either grow a microclover dominated lawn microclovers being a superior subtype of common white clover or grow one dominated by grass.
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Reasons For Clover In Your Lawn
You might be wondering what the reasons are for clovers in your lawn. Or what is causing clover invasion in your lawn. A healthy and well-fertilized lawn doesnt allow weed to grow. If the soil of your lawn is deficient in nutrients, dry and highly acidic soil, youre most likely to invite Clover to get over your lawn.
Lets have a look to learn about some of the causes of Clover in your lawn.
Clover loves acidic soil: A healthy lawn has a pH between 6.0 to 7.0. Too acidic and too alkaline soil promotes weed growth. Similarly, Clover can easily sprout up if your lawn has acidic soil.
Compact soil encourages clover growth: If the soil in your lawn is compacted, the essential nutrients such as nitrogen, oxygen, and water will hardly fulfill the plant requirements. Clover is drought resistant and doesnt need fertilizer to grow. Thats why it can grow well even on the compacted soil.
Poorly fertilized lawn promotes weed invasion: Normally, grass needs fertilizer for healthy growth and maintenance. In the absence of essential soil nutrients, weed invasion becomes easy. Clover plants make their nitrogen fertilizer by getting nitrogen from the air. It is the leading cause that these perennial weeds can grow even in nutrient-deficient soil.
Shorter turf provides an ideal medium for Clover to grow: Clover plants spread horizontally on the ground. If you mow your grass too short, these weeds receive sufficient sunlight to grow. Therefore, mow your lawn higher than 3 inches.
Deprive Clover Of Sunlight
If youve been wondering how to get rid of clover, weve got you covered. If youre dealing with a large clover patch and youre willing to sacrifice your grass, place plastic sheeting, or a large garbage bag, over the clover. Be sure to secure the perimeter so the plastic doesnt fly off. Keep the clover covered for a few weeks. Depriving it of sunlight and oxygen should do the trick will kill it .
To start over with new grass, first youll have to determine if you want to use seed or sod. This discussion will help.
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Dish Soap Is What Kills Clover But Not Grass
If you are looking for a natural weed killer to kill off your clover problem, you can create a home made weed killer. Many gardeners have reported excellent results when used as a spot treatment.
- Spray bottle
To make this simple DIY weed killer spray, fill the spray bottle just shy of full with vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients.
Spray generously on clover as a spot treatment for clumps or use it as a spray for dandelions or other ugly weeds that sprout where you dont want them to. When spraying, do so with caution, as this weed killer may kill surrounding plants.
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.
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So What Causes Clover To Grow
Clover has a tendency to occur in nitrogen deficient soils, and it is an automatic indicator that your soil needs a nitrogen boost. It is a legume, meaning that it can get nitrogen from naturally occurring air. It has no need, therefore, to be in soils that are nitrogen-rich.
Nitrogen deficiency can happen due to several reasons. Some of them are:
Apply Sugar And Water
Sugar, any type of cane or raw sugar will do, that is well watered onto the clover will help to kill it and remove it from your lawn.
This will not immediately remove the clover from your yard, but it will kill the roots while it helps strengthen your lawn, so the clover won’t be back next year.
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What To Do After You Get Rid Of Clover
Now that you know how to get rid of clover from your garden, the task should be easy enough for you. You can give microclovers a shot as well if you dont mind your lawn looking slightly less than pristine. It will also be beneficial to the lawns soil. Lay down grass seed in the bald patches left after the clover patches are eradicated.
Do not forget to follow the advice Ive already given you about keeping clover at bay. Feed your lawn correctly, water adequately, dont mow too low, and so on. While youre laying down seed, you can try over seeding. This strategy gives your grasses the upper hand when it comes to fighting weeds. Also, if your budget allows, you should totally buy high-quality grass seeds that have little to no weed seed mixed in.
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What Is The Best Time To Spray Clover In Your Lawn
Most lawn owners and gardeners keep on searching about the best time to spray Clover on the lawn. Heres your answer. The best time to spray Clover is fall. The reason is, during the summer season, plants divert their energy towards the growth of the parts that are above the ground. Mostly, the herbicides burn the top parts of plants if applied in the summer. But these herbicides fail to kill the roots that can grow again.
During winters, the plants focus on root growth. Therefore, if herbicides are applied in the fall, they can effectively kill the entire weed.
After applying a weed killer, let it dry on the surface of the leaves. Dont wash the leaves immediately.
It may happen that you wont be able to notice the leaf twisting and cracking of the stalks during fall, as you normally see in the summer weed killer application. However, in the upcoming spring, the Clover or other weeds will be reduced in number or killed completely.
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Why Is Moss Taking Over My Lawn
If moss is taking over your lawn it suggests to me that your lawn is not in the best condition for growing vibrant lush green grass. Moss will thrive in completely conditions to those that make grass thrive so if moss is taking over your lawn you may have to take action to alter, maybe severely alter, the condition of your lawn.
Some of the conditions that may be the cause of moss taking over your lawn could be that:
- The pH of your soil is not ideal for grass
- Your soil may not be draining properly and moss likes the damp
- The soil may be compacted which leads to poor air circulation and drainage
- Your lawn may be getting too much shade
You will be glad to know that you will be able to take action and sort most of these issues however if you think its just a case of applying herbicide and your moss problem will be solved you are mistaken.
If you want to permanently stop moss growing on your lawn you have to change the condition of your soil under the grass otherwise when you use herbicide to remove moss it will simply grow back over time.
Do Natural Methods Work For Killing Clover
While there are many natural herbicides on the market that are quite effective they are all non-selective. This means they will kill clover, other weeds, and any desirable grasses as well. Using these to kill small patches of clover might be okay in a warm season yard meaning one planted to bermuda, centipede, zoysia, St. Augustine or bahiagrass as these grasses will quickly spread and fill in any dead spots, but in a cool season yard meaning one planted to bluegrass, fescue or rye using them will likely require reseeding any areas that were sprayed.
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Best Professional Lawn Care: Trugreen
If youre looking for a professional lawn care company to help remove or prevent clover and other weeds, TruGreen is one of the best options. This company offers comprehensive lawn, plant, and tree care. It uses natural fertilizers that can kill off and prevent clover from taking over your property, and its other products and services will further beautify your grass even beyond weed removal.
TruGreen is a massive national lawn care company that services 48 states and Washington, D.C. Homeowners in just about every corner of the country will have access to the services, except for Hawaii and Alaska. The plans are plentiful and varied, with affordable options for maximizing lawn health, garden appearance, pest prevention, and more. Browse TruGreens customizable plans to learn more about the company and how it can serve you.
- Large variety of plan options tailored to homeowners wants and needs
- All services are backed and performed by TruExpert Certified Specialists
- Services provided in 49 states
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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Pick The Right Herbicide
Many types of herbicides can be used effectively to kill clover, but without the right product, this weeds aggressive growth habit means that it will likely recover and regrow quickly. The type of herbicide you should use depends on what type of grass you have:
For cool-season grasses, the best type of herbicide to kill clover is triclopyr. Triclopyr can either be purchased on its own or as part of a blend of other herbicides. While the blended products are capable of tackling more weeds, it isnt recommended to use them on lawns with exposed roots. Most herbicide blends contain an ingredient called Dicamba that can cause severe damage to trees if taken up by their roots.
For warm-season grasses, you should never apply triclopyr as you would on cool-season grasses, as this type of herbicide is not suitable. Instead, use a herbicide that has been specially formulated for southern or warm-season grasses.
There are some granular herbicides on the market, which are usually sold in combination with fertilizer as a weed and feed product. However, these products are notoriously unreliable at providing effective weed control in the same way that a liquid herbicide does.
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Use Nitrogen On Clover
Because clover thrives in environments void of nitrogen, you can control it with a nitrogen-rich weed-and-feed formula. One well-reviewed product to try is GreenView Weed and Feed. It killed most of the clover and dandelion within two weeks and the lawn is already starting to get that deep, dark green hue, says an Amazon reviewer.
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Why Is There So Much Clover In My Lawn
There are multiple reasons you could have clover in your lawn, most of which have to do with your soil condition and soil fertility.
- Wrong Soil pH: The alkaline or acidic soil of the soil is measured by its pH. This is usually between 6.0 and 7.0 for most lawns. If your lawns soil is overly acidic, grass will struggle to grow, while clover and other broadleaf weeds will thrive. Luckily, soil amendments such as lime can help to level the pH and prevent clover growth.
- Poor Nitrogen Levels: Clover is a perennial weed that thrives in low-nitrogen soils. Grass needs nitrogen from the soil to thrive, whereas clover can get its nitrogen from the air and thus its own fertilizer. You may have used too much fast-acting fertilizer, resulting in a nitrogen deficiency in your soil. While they promote quick grass growth, they might ultimately degrade the quality of your soil. You can avoid this by using organic fertilizers like manure or cornmeal.
- Compacted soil prevents your lawn from accessing the nutrients, air, and water it needs. With a core or spike aerator, you can naturally break up compaction in your lawn and help stop clover in your lawn.
Clover Provides Food For Bees And Butterflies
Clover species have very sweet, nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators honey bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and hoverflies.
In times of great pollinator crisis, this is a nice way to contribute to the fight for our planets health. However, it may have a downside .
Side note: if you are afraid of wasps, good news. Clover doesnt attract many yellowjackets or hornets since the shape of its flowers makes it difficult for wasps to access their nectar.
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How To Get Rid Of Clover
If you want your lawn to resemble the lush fairways of a golf course then clover is the stuff of nightmares. It invades your lawn, and because most varieties hug the ground closely it can be tough to spot and destroy early. Before you know it, clover is among your grass, stealing territory and conquering your yard.
The good news is, there are several ways to get rid of the clover in your lawn. Whether you prefer an all-natural approach for clover control in lawns or you decide you need to take more drastic measures, there are several effective approaches for removing clover. But before learning about how to get rid of clover, first, we should get to know the enemy.