Clover is a type of plant that is something different for different people.
For some people, it is a key part of their lawn. To others, it is a pesky weed that needs to disappear from their garden.
Other people see it as a feed crop, while another group of individuals may focus on its religious symbolism, or general symbolism, or see it as something interesting and fascinating.
If you enjoy having clover in your yard, then this article is not for you.
However, if you desire to get rid of clover, then read on! In this article, we will tell you various ways you can remove it from your yard, and more!
What Is Clover?
The genus Trifolium, more commonly known as clover, is a group of 250 plants that all sit within the pea and legume family.
Clovers can be found on every single continent on the planet except Antarctica and Australia.
In the US you will be able to find several different types of clover, including crimson, white, and red.
These types of clover are grown as feed crops. However, only white clover will appear on home lawns.
White clover can be described as a low-growing plant that is native to central Asia and Europe.
It first came to the United States with the early settlers and spread anywhere and everywhere.
Clover has characteristically shallow roots, but it uses stolons to spread quickly above ground.
Clover prefers slit and clay soils that have low levels of nitrogen but high levels of potassium and phosphorus.
The leaves of clovers are perhaps the most iconic feature of the plant.
Clovers typically have three leaves, while some will have four. Finding a four-leaf clover is considered to be good luck in some cultures.
The leaves are heart-shaped.
Clover is very pervasive, and it can be identified with ease by those that have no gardening or lawn care experience.
However, there are many plants that people mistake for clover that are not clover at all.
This includes yellow wood sorrel. Yellow wood sorrel looks a lot like clover and they are both types of oxalis.
They have leaves that are almost identical, too!
However, white clover does not produce rounded flowers in abundance, which yellow wood sorrel does.
These wood sorrels contain small yellow flowers that have five petals each, which is how you can distinguish them from white clover.
Another type of plant that people mix up with white clover is known as black medic.
Black medic is taller than white clover. It can be distinguished from it by its oval-shaped leaflets and long stems.
Should Clover Be Present On A Home Lawn?
This topic is debated frequently, with passionate arguments presented by both sides.
Clover definitely has benefits. It is a brilliant, green color that works well with a variety of laws, and it keeps its color even throughout the very hot summer days.
There are other types of grass that fade and struggle under the sun.
Not only that, but clover can withstand urine from dogs, something with many other types of grass cannot.
Clover is able to grow well in the sun and does not require much maintenance to survive.
It does not need to be mowed, because it does not grow tall enough.
It survives and thrives even on the smallest amount of water, and it prefers unfertilized soil to soil that has been fertilized.
However, there are many downsides to clover. For one thing, it does not do well in areas where there is a lot of footfall and traffic.
For example, it does not survive for long with pets or children around, like in playgrounds.
Not only that, but in instances where clover is played on, it will stain clothes very easily.
These stains are a challenge to remove.
Additionally, it is important to note that clover and grass do not mix well together.
Clover grows in strange patches and clumps and gives off a cacophony or sloppy appearance to a lawn or garden.
Not only that, but nearly every type of grass needs a nitrogen-based fertilizer to survive and thrive.
They will need quite a lot of this fertilizer, which causes clover to die out.
On top of that, a lot of grasses need herbicides to keep weeds and broadleaves at bay.
However, while clover can help to prevent certain weeds from appearing, they will still appear in other spots where they cannot be treated with herbicides because herbicides will kill the clover on top of the weeds.
So, there are clearly strong arguments for both cases, and it is up to the individual whether or not they want clover to be a feature on their lawn.
If you do not, be sure to read the next part of our article where we discuss how to kill clover.
Do Natural Methods Successfully Kill Clover?
There are many natural herbicides that can be bought today.
These herbicides are still non-selective and will kill clover on top of the other weeds.
However, because they are non-selective they will kill any grass that you actually want on your lawn.
Now, in a warm season yard, one that is planted to zoysia, bahiagrass, centipede, Bermuda, or St. Augustine, it will be fine to use a natural herbicide to kill small patches of clover.
This is because this type of grass will fill any dead patches quickly.
However, in a cool-season yard, a yard that features rye, fescue, or bluegrass, you will need to reseed any area sprayed with the natural herbicide, so it does not seem worth it.
Top Tips To Help Prevent Clover
If you want to prevent clover from appearing on your lawn, then we have curated some top tips for you!
It can be helpful to mow tall when it comes to getting rid of clover.
This is because white lawn clover does not grow above three inches for the most part, so taller grasses will be able to shade it out.
Different grasses need to be mowed at different heights.
For example, St. Augustine should be mowed at four inches while Bermuda needs to be mowed at one inch.
For any recommended range, it is a good idea to mow at the higher end.
Fertilize The Lawn
To prevent clover it can be helpful to fertilize your lawn. This is the simplest way to prevent white clover from growing.
As previously mentioned, clover struggles to grow in soils that are rich in nitrogen, but most grass will be able to grow very well.
Some types of grass will need more nitrogen than other types of grass, but you should never exceed the recommended maximum when it comes to fertilizer.
It will be bad for your grass if used in excess.
3 Steps To Get Rid Of Clover
If you already have white clover growing on your lawn, then it is too late to prevent it.
Luckily, we have come up with three steps to help you get rid of the white clover on your lawn.
Let’s check out each of them in more detail.
Step 1: Find The Right Tools And Products
As we know, herbicides can easily damage clover.
However, thanks to its growth habits clover will easily recover from the herbicide and go back to growing on your lawn in no time at all.
So, you will need to choose the right type of herbicide and apply it accurately.
In cool seasons, a herbicide called triclopyr is the best one to use.
It can be found both blended with other herbicides in one product, or it can be a standalone product by itself.
Click here for an excellent triclopyr herbicide to help get rid of those pesky clovers!
- Active ingredient: Triclopyr, 2,4-D, Dicamba, & Sulfentrazone
- Designed for residential, commercial, and golf sites
- Yellow nutsedge suppression
- Fast visual response to reduce call backs or complaints
- Cool-weather weed control option (as low as 50°F)
However, as great as this first step is, there will be some circumstances where it is not advisable to use triclopyr blends.
This is because most of them will have Dicamba present, another type of herbicide, which roots will absorb. This can cause damage to the trees.
However, in cool seasons lawns that have roots that are exposed, you can use triclopyr provided it is used as a standalone product.
Click here for this excellent standalone triclopyr!
- Controls actively growing annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as Oxalis and Wild Violet.
- Can be used on perennial bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue ornamental turf.
- The 8 oz bottle of liquid concentrate is also used as a Bluegrass suppressor.
- Do not apply to Bahiagrass, Bentgrass, bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, St. Augustine, or Zoysiagrass.
- Application varies by dimension and grass type. See label for application instruction.
It is important to note that triclopyr is not suitable to use on lawns with warm-season types of grass. Other herbicides will be more suitable, like this one here.
- Visible results in hours - Reseed in just two weeks
- Covers from 14,000 to 18,000 square feet - perfect for large property owners
- Rapid and effective weed control for common and troublesome weed species in turfgrass
- Does not harm lawn grasses - Cool Weather Performance
- RESTRICTED: This product can NOT be shipped to the following states: AK, DC, MA, NJ,VT.
This product is suitable for all warm-season grasses with the exception of the St. Augustine varieties Bitterblue and Floratam.
Click here for a herbicide that will be suitable for the St. Augustine varieties Bitterblue and Floratam.
No matter the type of grass or herbicide you choose to go for, all of the herbicides will need to be applied using a sprayer.
You can find various sprayers on the market today, from small, hand-carried pumps that work best with smaller lawns, to push sprayers for large lawns and tractor-pulled sprayers for individuals with the biggest lawns!
Click here for the sprayer that we like the best!
- 2-Gallon translucent tank with 4-inch wide mouth opening for easy filling and cleaning
- Compatible with common fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides
- Brass wand and shut-off with adjustable brass nozzle
- Pressure relief system built into the tank
- Larger pump for more pump volume
However, no matter the type of sprayer you decide to invest in, it will need to have a nozzle that is of high quality and comes complete with a fan tip.
This is very important when it comes to getting rid of weeds.
Step 2: Choose The Right Time To Get Rid Of The Clover
Clover and any other weeds that you are trying to get rid of by using the herbicide method need to be in their active growth stage.
The active growth stage of clover is in the daytime with temperatures of 60°F at a minimum.
When you spray them with temperatures colder than this you risk lackluster results due to an incomplete uptake of your chosen herbicide.
However, you should never spray clover or any other weeds at a too-hot temperature.
This can also cause problems because temperatures of high heat will cause damage to grass that you actually want on your lawn, as well as killing the clover and weeds that you do not want on your lawn.
Let’s check out some herbicides you could use and the temperatures that they should not exceed!
- T-ZONE: 85°F
- Hi-Yield Triclopyr: 90°F
- SpeedZone Southern: 90°F
- Dismiss: 90°F
Additionally, it is important to note that if your lawn is wet, then you should avoid applying the herbicide.
This is because irrigation water, rain, or dew, all of the things that will cause wet lawns, will dilute any herbicide no matter how high quality the product is.
A wet lawn will stop the herbicide from being able to stick to the white clover or any other weeds.
So, the best time for an individual to use herbicide on white clover is on a dry day with no forecasted rain for at least twenty-four hours.
Additionally, it is a good idea to mow your grass before spraying the herbicide on the white clover.
It is not advised for other types of weeds because it will reduce the size of the weeds and make them a more manageable target for the herbicide to tackle.
However, it is important to note that the opposite is true for white clover.
Tall grass will stop your chosen herbicide from reaching any clover that is low-growing.
However, you should wait at least 24 hours before mowing so you can allow some time for the herbicide to work.
Step 3: Mixing And Spraying The Herbicide
When it comes to making a herbicide mix, it is best to add half of the water that the herbicide label calls for.
Mix it with the correct amount of herbicide mix (this will be specified) once you have added it to the sprayer.
It is best to mix with a paint mixer (drill-attached or manual.) Alternatively, you can shake the sprayer until you believe it is mixed well.
The next thing you need to do is add a surfactant.
It is important to note that only certain herbicides will need a surfactant, and some will do just fine without.
Mix the surfactant into the existing water-herbicide mix. Then, you will need to add a marking dye.
Marking dyes are useful because they help you to see what white clovers you have marked and which ones you have missed.
Finally, you need to mix the other half of the water that was specified on the herbicide label.
Do one last mix, and your herbicide should be ready to go.
Now, you can choose between spraying the lawn altogether, which is known as broadcast spraying, or you can target specific patches of weeds or white clover, which is known as spot spraying.
In most cases, spot spraying will be the more responsible and effective choice.
Broadcast spraying is most appropriate when the individual has a large lawn with clovers that reach far and wide, rendering spot spraying impractical.
Now, depending on the type of spraying you choose, the rate and herbicide mix ratio will differ.
So, it is important to check the label correctly before mixing and spraying.
If you decide to broadcast spray, then the herbicide mix should be applied equally and evenly across the lawn in its entirety.
This seems like an obvious point to make and an easy thing to do, but it is actually more difficult than it initially appears.
We recommend that beginners practice broadcast spraying with water first to make sure they can do it properly.
Once confident you can spray correctly, then you can go ahead and broadcast spray the white clovers with the real thing.
When it comes to spot spraying white clovers, it is best to spray the clovers so they get damp, but no more than that.
In this situation, less is definitely more, because housing herbicide in excess will cause damage to the grass you want to keep on your lawn.
So, there you have it! There are many arguments to keeping or removing clover from home lawns.
If you are an individual who would prefer not to have it growing on your lawn, then we have a safe and easy way to remove it.
First, you need to choose the correct natural herbicide.
Different herbicides will work best with different types of grass, so you need to make sure that you are choosing the best one for your lawn.
Then, you need to pick the best time to remove the white clover in the lsen, typically during a sunny day with no rain forecasted for the next twenty-four hours, provided the weather does not exceed the specific temperature that the herbicide cannot handle.
Finally, you need to mix the herbicide with water and other products correctly, and decide which type of spraying is best for you.
We hope this article tells you all you need to know about removing clover from your lawn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Clovers Help Increase The Population Of Bees?
It is true that bees like clover and will pay them frequent visits.
This is an argument used by both the for clover and against clover on home lawns.
For one thing, the population of bees is in decline and making sure they have a good supply of flowers is important in ensuring that they recover.
However, having a lawn full of bees can prove to be an issue, especially if you have children who like to play in the yard.
If you do want to help the bees but don’t want a lawn full of clover, then you can compromise by having other bee-friendly flowers present in controlled flower beds in various other places of your household.
For example, you could have daisies, sunflowers, or marigolds.
What Are Clover Mites?
Clover mites are small insects that eat lawn grass and clover during the summer and hotter months in the year.
They do not damage plants all that much and they do not present any danger to pets or humans.
However, clover mites reproduce in large numbers and unfortunately, they have been known to invade homes.
While clover mites are not unsafe, seeing them in your home can be discomforting and unpleasant.
You will normally find clover mites on window curtains or other types of fabric.
Luckily, you can remove them with ease by using a vacuum cleaner.
However, sometimes an insecticide will be necessary to remove them altogether.
How Rare Are Four-Leaf Clovers?
Four-leaf clovers are thought of as a symbol of good luck in many countries and cultures.
This results in many people searching for them amongst masses of three-leaf clovers.
Unfortunately, finding a four-leaf clover can be difficult indeed.
While the odds are not 1 in 10,000 as people say, they are still 1 in 5,300. However, that shouldn’t stop you from looking, and we wish you the best of luck with your search!
When Will Clover Flower?
Clover typically flowers during the spring and will continue to flower throughout the entire summer.