Do you have a lawn that is covered with clover? Does your lawn contain white flowers that make you uncomfortable? It could be that you’re concerned about the Clover attracting bees and making it more likely for your kids to get stung? This article is for you if you’d like to have more grass and less Clover.
What is Clover?
This plant or weed is a perennial, broadleaf weed common throughout the U.S, and it has three features; round leaflets on a long stalk and small, round white or pinkish/purplish flowers. Alfalfa is related to the clover as it is a legume in the pea family. Being from the legume family, clover has the unique ability to fix nitrogen in the air and soil, creating its own fertilizer, which is why it was originally added to grass-seed mixes for easier-to-maintain lawns. Clover has been said to be more resilient than other broadleaf weeds, drought-tolerant and its low-growing habit evades mower blades, and it can quickly spread.
How to Kill Clover without Weed Killers
If you ever have a clover infestation it should tell you something very important about your lawn’s health, and most importantly about the health of your soil.
At the same time, if you begin seeing Clover on lawns, you often see that your lawn themselves may also be turning brown or yellow in color, as well as possibly having slowed growth and looking generally in poor overall health.
What Do Clovers on your Lawn Indicate?
If you have clovers on your lawn, it can be an indicator of low Nitrogen levels in the soil, as clover requires soil with low nitrogen levels because this plant can pull its Nitrogen requirement from the air.
Most plants need nitrogen in the soil, and that’s why it’s so important to feed our lawns with nitrogen in the form of organic Lawn fertilizers, standard lawn fertilizers, or by leaving the clippings on the lawn after mowing.
Whenever the soil on your lawn starts losing nitrogen, the lawn will become poor in health, and a lawn in poor health will be highly prone to other weeds, pests and diseases, and will not have the necessary strength to fight off these infestations naturally by itself.
If you recall the important basic principle of prevention being better than the cure in lawn care, you can see the importance of keeping our lawns in optimum health so they don’t suffer problems which may later require chemical treatments. We will now talk about how to get rid of this clover infestation.
How to Kill Clover Without Weed Killers?
Now, chemical solutions can be toxic, and all pesticides are the bane of an organic lawn and so, in keeping your lawns weed-free, you may want to avoid weed killers as our “prime directive” as Captain Kirk in Star Trek used to say.
Now that you know all this, let’s kill that Clover in the best way possible.
As we have said before, clover hates nitrogen in the soil, and our lawns love it, so let’s start right there.
Use a Fertilizer
If your lawn’s clover infestation isn’t too severe, try an organic fertilizer in place of standard lawn fertilizer using the manufacturer’s rules.
And also if your lawn has a lot of Clover, and therefore high nitrogen-deficiency, it’s time to put some of our organic ideals aside at least just a little while you get this problem under control – but we still will not use herbicides.
- For this particular case, i suggest you use the high-quality standard fertilizer on the lawn, not organic and not slow release, also apply the fertilizer at manufacturers recommendations (and no more). And ensure the lawn is being watered properly – and only when needed – and only watering deeply.
- Refrain from over-fertilizing – this can make our lawn sick and wash most of the fertilizer away into the open environment.
As time goes on your lawn will begin to spring back to health, while the Clover will being to suffer, eventually the healthy lawn will begin to weed out the Clover on its own, also if you need another application of fertilizer 6-8 weeks later, do so.
If you want to, you can also help the lawn to get rid of the clover with some hand weeding of the larger weeds.
Some expert would recommend the use of standard fertilizers because organic fertilizer will just not have the guts that we need to get this job done!
But at the end of the day, don’t think that this method will act as a weed killer – it is an overall management plan to get Clover out of the lawn and keep it out, so allow a couple of months for treatments to work.
Is Clover Good?
If we take a look at it from another angle, clover can be actually quite useful to your soil as it increases the amount of nitrogen levels in the soil of your lawn.
This increase in nitrogen can be good for the plants on your lawn. As nitrogen enables plants to grow in a healthy way.
Also clover being a broad leave plant prevents other weeds from establishing themselves in your lawn as, the leaves would block sunlight from reaching them.
So, in summary, a little clover on your lawn wouldn’t hurt you, as it could benefit your plants in a lot of ways.
Keep the Lawn in Good Health to Keep Clover Out
The art of keeping clover out of your lawn, as well as most other weeds and diseases, is overwhelmingly a case of keeping the lawn as healthy as possible, including keeping up nitrogen levels needed by the lawn soil.
But for those of you who have already begun implementing a good quality year-round organic lawn fertilizing program, all these practices will be enough to help keep the lawn in good health and keep Nitrogen levels high enough in the soil that Clover will not take over again.
If you need help with your lawn care, feel free to contact Care Green for complete landscaping services around the Dallas-Forth Worth area.