One of the most common and annoying lawn weeds is the clover. These little weeds can spring up quickly and be very unsightly for your lawn. If you’ve dealt with them before, you’ll understand just how difficult it can be to truly get rid of them; they almost seem to spring up overnight. Let’s take a look at this pesky weed, and what can be done to get rid of them and prevent them from coming back.
Clover is Actually Beneficial
Before we jump into how to get rid of clover, it’s important to note that clover is actually quite beneficial for your lawn. Clovers are natural fertilizers, and will actually help keep the surrounding grass healthy and fed. They can also help prevent other, more harmful weeds from springing up in the nearby areas.
For that reason, don’t think that you absolutely have to remove all clover from your lawn. It’s mainly an aesthetic choice, and leaving clover to grow will not negatively impact your lawn’s health.
Another potential perk is that flowing clovers can attract insects like bees. For those without small children this can be seen as a perk, but also might be reason enough to remove them.
Getting Rid Of Clover
For those still looking to get rid of clover, here’s a few different ways to deal with it depending on the severity of the growth.
Catch It Early
As with many things the earlier you catch the problem the easier it is to deal with. That’s why it’s important to start looking in early to late spring to see where the clover is starting to pop up. If you can catch it early, you may even be able to simply pull it out before it spreads too much. If that’s not possible, it’s still always easier to deal with a small, contained area of clover than waiting for it to spread through your lawn.
Homemade Weed Killer
A popular homemade weed killer is to mix vinegar with dish soap. To make this, you can take a gallon of vinegar, dump it into a large sprayer, and then add a few drops of dish soap. This is a fairly effective weed killer, and can be used to eliminate clover.
Note that it does work best the earlier you catch it, and can negatively impact the surrounding lawn so use it sparingly. If it’s late into the season, this may be ineffective at killing the clover, and is best used in the spring when it first starts to show.
Another good option for smaller areas is to cover it with a black trash bag. This will deprive the clover of sunlight and oxygen, which will eventually kill the plant. This is best done for small areas, and will certainly kill any grass that also winds up under the bag.
Keep Up With Nitrogen Rich Fertilizer
Clover grows best in lawns that are not nutrient rich, so don’t let that be your lawn. Using a nitrogen rich fertilizer is a great way to not only keep a healthy lawn, but also make it less inviting for clovers.
This is a long-term play, and may take a couple of seasons to see the full effect. This is something you should be doing if you’re dealing with the clover another way to prevent it from coming back. You also get the added benefit here that this will help prevent many other pesky weeds, so there really is no excuse not to do it if you want a healthy lawn.
Many people think that mowing the clover low will help get rid of it, but the opposite is actually true. A low lawn is beneficial for clovers, and will encourage it to grow back.
What you want to be doing is to mow the grass a bit higher than you normally would. About 3” high will be a bit more than most people will tend to do, but will help your grass crowd out the smaller clover. This can eventually help the grass take over, and push out the clover.
Commercial Weed Killer
There are also a number of commercial weed killer options that will kill clover. Many of these are formulated to be safe for lawns, so you can spray without fear of collateral damage.
I prefer to use these for larger problems where the above options are not enough or too time consuming. This is also a good option to get the quickest results as some weed killers can start to show results in as little as 1-2 weeks.
Overall, while unsightly clover is not a detrimental lawn problem it can certainly be unsightly and be difficult to contain. If you still want to remove it, hopefully the above tips have helped. Let us know if you’ve had clover problems in your lawn, and if you tried any of the above or if we missed your favorite clover removal technique.