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.
How to identify clover?
Clover is a perennial plant that grows almost everywhere in lawns, alleys, flower beds, and even vegetable gardens. It is quite easy to identify with its leaves which are made up of three leaflets or its small white flowers in round clusters.
White clover is one of the most common weeds in gardens, it can grow in many different places, but it is especially found in sparse lawns where competition from grass is low. White clover grows in a creeping fashion and develops roots where a stem node touches the ground. The flowering period for clover begins in April and ends in September. The fight against clover must be done throughout the year.
Different techniques to get rid of clover
1. Manual removal
Clover is a difficult weed to eradicate because it is a stolon plant, which means that its roots form a real network of connections in the soil. For this reason, one of the only effective ways to remove them is manually, with a weed knife. When you start to notice clovers appearing in a few parts of your lawn, you can easily remove them by hand before they start to flower. When you pull the clover, be sure to soften the soil with your fingers or use the weed knife to break up any remaining roots that you may have missed.
2. 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!
There are several herbicides available to get rid of weeds. Those in use in Quebec make it possible to control a very broad spectrum of weeds, including clover. It is advisable to consult a lawn treatment expert who will help you choose the safest and most effective herbicide.
Apply the herbicide directly on the clover, making sure it does not affect other plants. Be aware that herbicides may not kill the root system of mature clover, so it may grow back. If you decide to use this type of chemical, the best time to do so is on a hot cloudless and windless day. These weather conditions will help the product react better.
This chemical compound will burn the weed. When the soil is wet (after a rainy day) apply ammonium sulfate which is designed for lawns. Otherwise, you can wet the grass with a hose before applying the product. Be sure to pour it only on the clover so you don't damage other parts of the lawn. It is recommended to get professional advice before using this compound. If you don't know how to use it, you risk messing up your lawn.
5. Natural products
The use of chemicals is potentially dangerous for nature, pets and humans, so many people contact lawn treatment experts or opt for natural solutions to control clover. Here are some tips:
• Spray a mixture of dish soap and vinegar on the clover
You can mix a small amount of white vinegar with the same amount of dish soap in a spray bottle filled with water. Then spray the solution on the weed while avoiding surrounding plants or grasses so as not to damage them.
• Use corn gluten
Corn gluten is a natural herbicide that may be effective in killing this grass. Use the powder and sprinkle it on the clover. Drizzle on the corn gluten once applied and allow the area to dry for 2 to 3 days for the product to react. You can reapply it after 4-6 weeks if the clover is still present on your lawn.
• Place plastic on the clover
Place a plastic garbage bag or tarp over the plant and secure the edges with stones. Deprive the clover of sunlight and oxygen for a few weeks in order to kill it. This solution is only applicable if the clover occupies a large area of ??your lawn.
Preventive methods to avoid the appearance of clover
This method ensures the proper maintenance of your lawn and therefore prevents weeds such as clovers from growing there. Fertilizing the lawn once a year in the spring helps keep it healthy and less vulnerable to weeds.
The importance of mowing
Be sure to mow your lawn when needed and make sure the grass is higher than clovers. It is best to set your mower at a height of 8-10 cm to prevent the grass from being cut too short. This way, the grass will eventually dominate and smother the clover, blocking the sunlight that nourishes it.
Water your lawn once or twice a week to prevent the growth of clovers. When the lawn in your garden has the necessary nutrients, weeds cannot grow there. Avoid your lawn getting dry and nutrient deprived since it will not be able to protect itself. For best results, water it once or twice a week to keep it healthy.
Vertdure specializes in lawn treatment, we offer personalized packages according to your needs and we have 30 branches across Quebec. If you would like more information about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us!