How To Kill Clover
1. Post-emergent, lawn safe herbicides are the most effective way to kill clover. Using a liquid post emergent herbicide will kill the clover without killing your grass. Post emergent herbicides are also useful in killing other lawn weeds.
2. Pre-emergent herbicides are effective in controlling the spread of clover but it is important to realize it will not kill existing clover.
Pre-emergents prevent new clover seeds from germinating. If you already have clover in your lawn you will need to use a post-emergent herbicide in addition to a pre-emergent.
3. Maintaining a healthy lawn is the best defense against clover, or any lawn weeds. When you have bare spots in your lawn, it is the weeds that will claim the real estate. Stick to a simple lawn care program to keep your existing turf lush.
How To Get Rid Of Clover In My Lawn
Clover is a common weed that invades lawns that lack maintenance or nutrients. Although it unharmful for lawns, some people prefer to get rid of it for the simple reason that its white flowers attract insects. Getting rid of the clover once it’s established can be difficult, but with the right tools and patience you’ll get it done. In this article, we share different methods to help you get rid of clover and control it.
Advantage #: Low Mower Deck
Another advantage clover has over your grass is that it doesnt mind being mown short. Mowing stresses your lawn, keeping your grass mown short gives clover a head start over and over. Many times on our blog we have recommended that homeowners keep their grass a little longer in order to help the grass stay healthy. Raising the deck on your mower and keeping your grass a little longer evens the playing field, so to speak, and helps your grass get ahead.
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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!
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.
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Clover Control: How To Get Rid Of Clover
Clover is one of the most recognizable broadleaf weeds on lawns and turf. Clover is a perennial weed that grows low to the ground and is very persistent where established.
Even though it is a weed, clover is actually a helpful addition to your lawn as it contains certain characteristics that keep your lawn healthy. If you’re keeping a nice uniform lawn, you may hate the sight of it and want it gone.
Clover weed prefers nutrient-rich, moist soils. Dry and shady sites are not ideal conditions for growth. The notable characteristic of clover are its three-leaves which are rounded. There are many different species of clover and they can produce heads or dense spikes of small red, purple, white, or yellow flowers.
If you have Clover on your lawn that you want to get rid of, our DIY guide can help. The guide below has been put together by lawn care experts and will show you what the best clover killers are to use to properly conduct clover treatment so this plant no longer dominates your yard.
A Yard Full Of Clover
Theres a patch of clover in my parents yard that has been there as long as I can remember. Its proved impossible to kill, although I dont think any of us have tried too hard. You see, this special clover patch is legendary for its production of four-leaf clovers, and we all think its more fun to find them than it is to have a perfect lawn.
While visiting this past Mothers Day, my mom quickly spotted these with her eagle eyes the same eyes that always caught me thinking about misbehaving and always spotted my lost hair barrettes when I was late for school. Shes always been the best at finding them!
Even in my own yard, its really hard not to like clover. It doesnt need much mowing and makes a great low-maintenance ground cover. Its soft as velvet, attracts bees , has pretty white flowers, and is responsible for yummy clover honey.
Up until the 1950s, clover seed was a standard addition to lawn grass seed. Its only recently that we started viewing it as a problem in the yard, although its enjoying a growing popularity as an organic lawn alternative.
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Fertilizer Rich In Nitrogen
It is often the lack of nitrogen that damages the lawn and promotes the emergence of clover. The application of such a fertilizer therefore eliminates this weed. Choose the type of fertilizer to use based on the condition of the clover in your lawn. If there are only small spaces covered by clover, choose an organic fertilizer. If not, apply a quick-release fertilizer to kill the weed immediately. Spray the fertilizer directly on the clover once a month, preferably in the spring, or according to the directions on the product label.
Quick tip: Clover is a plant that naturally produces nitrogen so you can get rid of it and use it as fertilizer for your lawn!
Step #1 Get The Right Products And Tools
Clover is easily damaged by many herbicides but its aggressive growth habit can often allow it to recover and return to the lawn. Eradicating it requires choosing the correct herbicide and applying it precisely. For cool season lawns, the best herbicide to use on clover is triclopyr. Triclopyr can be found as a standalone product or in blends where it is combined with other herbicides. I prefer blends as they fight dozens, if not hundreds of weeds with multiple modes of action. My favorite triclopy-containing four way is T-Zone, a devastating product that makes quick work of clover and other broadleaf weeds.
Why DoMyOwn?DoMyOwn.com offers professional-grade insecticides to DIYers while ensuring proper storage of chemicals. Couple that with their impressive customer service and knowledgeable staff, its the #1 choice.
However, there are situations where using T-Zone or other blends is not advised, most particularly in lawns with exposed tree roots. Most blends including T-Zone contain the herbicide Dicamba which can be absorbed by exposed roots and cause severe damage to the trees that have produced them. In cool season lawns with exposed roots, it makes sense to use triclopyr as a standalone product this one from Hi-Yield is excellent or combined in a homemade blend with Tenacity.
|Dismiss Turf Herbicide|
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Planting And Maintaining A Clover Lawn
- Clover lawns can be established by encouraging already-existing clover patches in your landscape, by seeding, or a combination of both.
- It is best seeded in early spring from mid-March to mid-April. It can also be seeded in fall. Tiny clover seeds are difficult to sow evenlyone way to improve your chances is to mix the seed in with some soil, sawdust, or sand. If you don’t have any in your lawn or nearby, you may need to add a bacterial inoculant to promote the best growth if you do already have it in your lawn, however, the inoculant is probably already present in the soil.
- After planting, use a misting attachment to water daily until you can see the seedlings.
- Existing clover patches can be encouraged by mowing with the blades set at 1.52 inches, which favors clover over most traditional turf grasses.
- In the middle of summer, stop mowing to encourage clover to flower and seed.
- Once established, most clovers are low-growing and require little or no mowing, unless you wish to discourage bees by mowing to prevent summer blooms.
- Never apply herbicides to a clover lawn.
- It is a short-lived perennial and may require reseeding approximately once every three years to maintain consistent coverage. It may successfully reseed naturally, however, or wild clovers may move in and take over aging stands.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Clover In Your Lawn
Does your lawn have clover? Do you just detest the sight of it? Believe me, I know how that feels. But while clover may not look so great in your all-green lawn, especially white clover, it has its benefits.
However, if you are looking for how to get rid of clover in your lawn, I have put this guide together to offer you a solution.
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What Exactly Are Weed And Feed Products
So does weed and feed kill clovers? Before we answer this question, lets look at what exactly are these products. Weed and feed products provide Nitrogen-rich fertilizer on the lawn. They are mixed with herbicides like the common Dicamba and 2, 4D. They kill broadleaf weeds by carrying the active ingredients from the leaf surfaces to the roots thus killing the whole plant. Both broadleaf and tender leafed weeds including clover can succumb to any of these herbicides.
In these herbicide products, there are granular as well as weed and feed formulas that prevent weed seeds from germinating. The broadleaf weed and feed formulas are effective against most string weeds including clover.
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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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How Do I Control White Clover In My Lawn
How do I control white clover in my lawn?
White clover is a creeping perennial. It is a common plant in many Iowa lawns because it is a prolific seed producer and adapts well to mowing and other lawn care practices. Its presence is often a sign of low nitrogen fertility.
White clover in lawns can be controlled through proper fertilization and the application of broadleaf herbicides. Late April/early May, mid-September, and late October/early November are excellent times to fertilize Kentucky bluegrass lawns in Iowa. Broadleaf herbicide products that contain 2,4-D, MCPP, dicamba, or triclopyr provide good control of white clover. Fall applications are more effective than late spring or summer applications.
Weed And Feed Products
Weed and feed products contain a combination of fertilizers and herbicides, such as 2,4-D. Generally weed and feed products are applied twice a year, at least 30 days apart. Apply the product to the lawn and actively growing weeds after March 15 and before October 1 for best results. Use the 3 1/2 setting with rotary spreaders and 5 3/4 setting with drop spreaders.
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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.
When The Natural Methods Fail Using Weed Killers For Clover
Now, we have covered how to get rid of clover in grass naturally. However, if all of these methods fail, you can resort to using commercial herbicides for broadleaf weeds. Those are the products that contain active compounds such as Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, Mecoprop, and Dicamba.
These chemicals cause deformed growth in broadleaf weeds but do not damage the grass. However, they are far from benign substances through constant exposure and accumulation, they can harm other creatures, including humans.
That is why it is better to spot-treat the problematic weeds than to apply the herbicides broadly. Since they do nothing to prevent the weeds from sprouting, there is no point in doing so anyway.
Green tip: Avoid Weed and Feed products. As Weed-and-Feed is applied non-selectively and broadly, you will introduce much more toxic materials than necessary. That can have a myriad of negative impacts on the environment, the wildlife, and eventually your health.
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Use A Diy Natural Remedy
Sometimes a little DIY concoction can come in handy when combating clover. Spraying vinegar mixed with some dish soap can spot-treat clover patches.
Leslie Rutland, who runs the SeasonedHomeMaker.com blog, says she uses a mixture of 30% vinegar, 70% water, and 2 tablespoons horticultural orange oil in a heavy-duty spray bottle, and spot-treats clover in her Central Texas yard.
But heres the key: It should be applied in the heat of the day, above 75 degrees on plants that dont have any dew or rain on their leaves, says Rutland.
Theres also corn gluten meal, which works as a natural preemergent herbicide by inhibiting the seedlings of clover. And it doesnt hurt established grass.
To keep the winter and spring weeds to a minimum, I apply corn gluten as a preemergent in September and February. If the Texas weather is unusually warm and wet, I will reapply after four to six weeks, says Rutland.
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.
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Does Clover Spread Quickly
Yes. Without a doubt, yes. Once clover is established, it will come back over and over until measures are taken to ensure that it wont. Also, clover is a type of plant that will self-seed. This means they spread their seeds into the soil, instead of spreading their seeds into the wind to see where they end up.
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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Get Rid Of Dandelions
To kill dandelions, be sure to tackle them in the fall, when nutrients are transferred from the leaves down to the roots . An organic and effective way to get rid of this invasive weed is to use vinegar. The acetic acid in it makes for an all-natural herbicide. Apply it directly onto the leaves of the weeds. To increase the strength of store-bought vinegar, boil it down before application. Youll want to pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the effected area. Within a few hours, youll notice the leaves have withered and turned brown.
Let Your Clover Boom To Help Bee Colonies
However, if you are not allergic and have older children , please consider letting it bloom. Bees are threatened around the world by a mysterious condition called colony collapse disorder . When a hive is struck by CCD, the worker bees spontaneously abandon the hive and disappear, leaving the queen, a few larvae, and the immature workers to starve. The cause of CCD is still unknown, but it is believed to affect hives stressed from habitat loss, parasites, and pesticide use most drastically.
Honeybees are the primary pollinators for a third of all human food crops. Some, such as almonds, are 100% dependent on honeybees to produce. If honeybee populations continue their rapid decline, food prices are likely to increase dramatically. To learn more about this crisis, please visit The Pollinator Partnership or the Xerces Society.
Homeowners can help by ceasing their use of chemical pesticides and insecticides, and letting their clover bloom.
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