Are you seeing some beautiful white, yellow, purple, or red flowering mushrooming low in your yard? You must be seeing clover.
And sooner than later, you will be getting more guests-bees. Why? Clovers are a major attraction to bees.
Some people like these new attractive blossoms of nature, others not so much. Why will someone entertain clover in their garden anyway? Clover has some natural benefits, which the fans appreciate.
Nevertheless, if you want your turfgrass as grass with no weeds, you will never stand the growth of clover. Therefore, the faster you know how to get rid of it, the better for you.
You can get rid of clover by either using natural organic means or using inorganic herbicides. This article elaborates on how to get rid of clover in your lawn organically.
What is a Clover?
So, what is the clover weed anyway? A clover is a kind of pea-like plant, whose leaves are in threes. Few instances have seen the leaves in fours, or even fives. These are rare cases, though.
Despite your dislike for the weed, it is good to know that the weed possesses some benefits.
First, clover is a natural fertilizer, and it adds to your soil nitrogen. This is beneficial to your other plants.
Second, clover prevents the growth of other weeds. Given how tight clovers grow, it is difficult to get other weeds growing in your yard. They are green, anyway, before they start flowering, hence still conforming to the green nature of your lawn. And when they flower, even the critics will admit that these flowers don’t look that bad.
Third, they look attractive, especially when they start getting visits from bees. Besides, you can trap the bees for honey, which will be beneficial to you.
However, the plant can be a bone in your cupboard, since it easily overtakes your main plants. Plus, if you are allergic to bees or have little kids, you don’t want to have the plant bringing you other challenges.
Why Is Clover Growing in My Lawn?
Let me guess, it is the first time you are seeing clovers in your lawn. Or worse still, you have been having a challenge with clover every other season. Either way, if you dislike the plant, it doesn’t make a difference.
So then, what makes clover grow in my lawn? Several reasons, as defined below;
- Low soil quality: If your soil is poor in quality, that is, low in fertility, then this is a good ground for the growth of clovers. Moreover, the grass in your lawn grows weakly, which gives the clovers an opportunity to dominate.
- Low Nitrogen levels: Soil that has minimal or no nitrogen, then it will be readily inviting clovers. They always start in little spots, one here and another there, and by the time you realize, the whole lawn is infested by the weed.
- Compact Soil: Compact soil is almost similar to soil that is low in quality. This is because soil is compacted due to lack of organic matter, which disintegrates the soil. Compact soil encourages the growth of clovers.
- Low soil PH: Farming soil should only by slightly acidic, usually 6.5. If the pH is lower, the soil becomes too acidic for the lawn grass. On the centrally, it calls for the growth of clovers.
When Should I Kill Clover in My Lawn?
When to kill clover in your lawn is biased. This is because we realize the clover growth at different times. However, if you realize that your lawn has either of the challenges mentioned in the above sub-topic, then killing clover before it starts is the best time.
Let’s have an instance; if your grass seems to be growing slower and weaker than expected, this could be a sign of either of the above reasons. Since you will not know by just looking, you can have your soil tested.
Treating your soil heavily will kill the clover even before it shows on your lawn.
The next most popular method is to kill just when it starts sprouting. As mentioned earlier, clover starts growing in spots in the midst of the main plants. Plucking it in singles will be easier, preventing further growth.
But what if you just realized that your lawn has clover after seeing the flowers, are you doomed? You are not. At this point, you can still kill the weed completely.
What Will Kill Clover but Not Grass?
Clover in the lawn is mostly growing amidst the grass. You want to kill it while leaving your precious grass untouched, right?
Let me take you back, clover is a pea-like plant. Actually, it is in the pea family. Since the grass family is different from the pea family, there are herbicides that will kill either, while leaving the other. So, you can use an organic herbicide that affects the pea family, hence kill the clover while leaving out your grass.
Another way you can take care of the clover and not the grass is the manual uprooting of the clover. You will just loosen the soil surrounding the clover, then uproot the clover, while leaving the grass intact.
Then there is the prevention method, which not only prevents the clover but also kills already grown clovers. For instance, if you put a lot of organic fertilizer in your lawn, such as dried cow dung, this will finish off the clover. The grass will, on the contrary, become stronger.
Finally, you can suffocate the clover in your lawn. Seriously? Yes. You can cover the clover plants with plastic bags. This will prevent oxygen and sunlight from getting in, hence killing them.
How to Get Rid of Clover in a Lawn Without Chemicals
Wondering how you can get rid of clover while going all green? You are not lost. Below is a list of the most effective methods to kill two birds with a single stone;
- Mow the lawn grass higher: Clover grows very low., while grass can grow as high as you let it. Instead of mowing the grass so low that the clover grows on top of it or is at level, consider the other way.
Mow the grass at a higher level, so that it dominates the clover. This way, the grass will finally overtake and choke the clover, consequently finishing it off.
- Uproot the clovers in the lawn: Whether the clovers are in singles or dense, you can always uproot it the traditional way. However, ensure that you don’t just get rid of the stalk. If dense, you can use a spade or a hoe to dig around the clovers so as to loosen the soil. Then uproot them from the bottom of the stalk, hence the ability to pull out the roots.
- Use a mixture of dishwash and vinegar: This method has been highly commended by those who have used it.
Add strong vinegar, especially if the clovers are fully grown and flowered, to dishwash. Spray on the specific parts of the lawn with the clovers, directly above the weed. Ensure that the mixture does not land on the other plants and grass, since it is acetic and will kill them too.
- You can start by treating the lawn: Add organic manure to disintegrate the soil and enrich the soil. When you plant your preferred plants, say grass, it will be strong.
The clovers, on the other hand, will not even get a chance to get back to your lawn. This way, you will get rid of the clovers that were probably a constant nag on your lawn.
- Use corn gluten meal: This is a super-efficient method. Sprinkle corn gluten all over the lawn in large quantities. This will kill the clovers and any other surrounding plant from the roots.
You can plant a new lawn, but you will have done away with the clover. You will obviously treat your lawn with nitrogen and organic manure with your new plants.
How to Get Rid of Clover Mites
One thing that should relax your mind on clover mites is that they are not harmful to you or your pets.
On the flip side, they will not only feed on clover but also affect the grass and other plants in the lawn. The worst part is that they breed and multiply at a fast rate. And to imagine that they also get indoors and start affecting the furniture, people and pets.
So, is your clover-infested lawn already bringing an extra mites nuisance? Let’s get the show on the road on how to get rid of the mite organically.
- Use Soap or even laundry detergent and water on the mites. If the clover mites are already in your house and on your pets, you can apply a soapy mixture to the infested areas. The mixture will not just remove the mites, but also kill them and their eggs.
- Water your lawn frequently. The clover mites will always lay their eggs on dry places, with sunlight as a catalyst. Thus, keep your lawn all wet to get rid of the mite. This will kill both the mite and the eggs while preventing further breeding.
- Finally, you can sprinkle baking soda around the house. If you have made the conditions unbearable on the lawn, the mites will shift into the house.
Deny them the habitation by in your house by sprinkling baking soda, which is harmful to them. By doing this, you will completely get rid of the clover mites.
How to Get Rid of Clover in Flower Beds
Below are a few tricks that you can use to get rid of clover in your flower beds, all organic and free of chemicals. However, unlike grass, most flowers are affected by anything that affects the clover. But don’t worry, the following methods have been tried and worked out to get rid of clover in flower beds;
- Pluck the clover in the flower beds manually. Spot the clovers and loosen the soil around the roots by hand. Then uproot the clovers, getting rid of them from the roots.
This method will work on both the newly sprouted and fully grown clovers.
- Cook the clovers. Using plastic bags, cover the clover leaves, and suffocate them. End goal? Deny them of plant life necessities, such as oxygen. Within a less than a week, the clovers will have withered plus died out, while the rest of the flowers blossom.
- Add organic nitrogen fertilizer in large quantities to the flower beds. In turn, you will jeopardize the conditions favoring the growth of clovers. Of course, you can first pluck the clovers or suffocate them. Use this method to prevent further growth of the weed.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Clover
Is your lawn crawling with yellow color? Obviously, the yellow clover flowers a lot, actually more than the rest of the clovers. Each clover has 3 to 5 flowers. With a dense clover growth, the yellow must overtake the probably serene green lawn.
Let’s get the show on the road on a few simple ways you will get rid of the yellow clover;
- Apply corn gluten meal on your backyard lawn. If you apply lots 0of corn gluten on the lawn, every plant on the lawn will be affected. However, it is worth it if the yellow clover was already overtaking the lawn.
You can thereafter treat the lawn, either with organic manure or nitrogen fertilizers, and adding lime to reduce the soil acidity.
Now you can plant your preferred lawn flowers or grass, with no tension that the clover weed will return.
- Use the dishwash and vinegar mixture on your flower or grass lawn. You will have to target the individual or groups of clovers specifically. This way, your beloved lawn plants will remain intact and healthy, given that there will be no more competition of nutrients.
- The obvious yet effective way to get rid of the yellow clover is to uproot the plants. Ensure that you uproot it entirely from the roots so that you don’t give it a chance to be back.
Whichever method you prefer, getting rid of the visible clover is not enough. Address the root issue, which calls for enhancing the soil quality. Going natural does not mean it will be difficult. Use animal waste and also plant remains to disintegrate the soil. Moreover, a variety of these will ensure that the soil gets the nutrients it had a deficit in.
How to Get Rid of White Clover Without Destroying the Lawn
White clover refers to the regular clover, only with white flowers. When they flower, your lawn will appear white from the flowers, hence white clover. If your aim is to destroy the white clover and leave the rest of the lawn plants unaffected, here are some ways;
- Suffocate the white clover. On each burr clover plant, cover the leaves with a polythene bag tightly, and leave it at that. This should do the trick, as the bags will prevent the plant from accessing oxygen and sunlight, which are essential requirements of continued growth. Hence, they will wither away and dry up, thus finishing off the white clover.
- Pluck the clover plants. As mentioned earlier, even the plucking is methodical. You need to loosen the soil surrounding the roots. Remember that the more grown the clover is, the stronger the roots become, hence the need to dig up the soil more.
- What about trying to add lime into your soil if the soil pH is the issue. Once the clovers are out of your lawn, of course, having used one of the above 2 methods, add lime to the soil. A balanced soil pH will discourage the return of the clover. Thus, white clover will be a thing of the past on your lawn.
How to Get Rid of Burr Clover
Burr clover is a type of clover, which grows taller. It also differs from the main clover in that it is rather sticky, especially on clothes. The shortest is 6 inches, while the tallest goes up to 20 inches tall.
How do you get rid of burr clover, especially since it is taller? Actually, most of the methods used on the normal clover will work on burr clover. Have a look at the instance below;
Using vinegar. Mix three units of vinegar with one unit of water. If you spray the mixture on burr clover, it will wither away and dry up within no time.
Alternatively, you can use the common dishwash and vinegar mixture. It will have the same effect on the burr clover, drying it up.
Burr clover is also as a result of poor soils, so correcting the condition of your lawn soil is the ultimate way to eliminate burr clovers.
How to Make a Homemade Clover Killer
You can kill clovers using a simple homemade solution. You don’t have to get a readymade solution from the store, especially if you are adventurous or have time to try out a new experiment.
Usually, it is a mixture of dish wash and vinegar. Let’s have a look at the procedure;
You will need;
- A spray bottle
Step by Step Procedure on How to Make a Homemade Clover Killer
Step 1: Put one unit of dishwash and three units of vinegar. If the clover is fully grown and dense, using stronger vinegar is recommended.
Mix the ingredients.
Step 2: Now, you can put the mixture in a spray bottle, and it is ready to be used on the clovers.
Step 3: Spray the dishwash and vinegar mixture on the individual clovers. If the clovers have grown together densely, the spraying will be more comfortable. However, if they are in the midst of grass or flowers in the lawn, then you will need to be careful. You should spray closely on the clovers.
The mixture is capable of killing the clovers within a few days, and that too completely.
Clovers can be a pain, especially when you want your lawn uniform. And the challenges they bring with them, both the bees and clover mites, make it worse.
Thus, having some tips on how you can deal with clover is the best thing you can do for your lawn. This is regardless of the type of clover or the plants they grow within your lawn.
Now the ball is in your court. Get rid of clover in your lawn naturally and with the confidence of the success.