Are to trying to figure out how to get rid of clovers from your garden? Clovers are a common garden problem and can sometimes invade and kill your grass.
As such, many home gardeners are looking for quick fixes on how to prevent and kill off clovers. The trick, however, is knowing how to get rid of white clovers without destroying the lawn.
Are you noticing a clover issue in your garden Here’s everything you need to know to identify, manage and remove clovers from your garden safely.
When you’re trying to grow a healthy lawn, there’s nothing worse than noticing a sudden invasion of clovers across your yard. At the same time, they do hold some benefits, especially for your soil.
When left uncontrolled, clovers can take over your garden. So, how does one solve this common garden problem?
What are Clovers?
Clovers are herbaceous, perennial weeds with over 300 species. These smaller plants usually grow leaves in threes and produce small fluffy blooms, which are usually white with a slightly browned centre.
Our most common connection to clovers is, of course, the lucky four-leaf clover. However, despite the association with good fortune these plants have a tendency to creep and grow at an incredibly rapid rate, eventually damaging your beautiful green lawn.
What is most important is that once you’ve identified clovers invading, you know how to get rid of clover in lawn without chemicals.
Identifying the Types of Clovers
There are many different varieties. However, the most common which you’ll likely find in your yard is the white clovers. Most clovers are either annual or perennial and will grow depending on your region.
Here are the 5 most common clovers:
- White Clover – Trifolium Repens
White clovers can be found in gardens all over the world. They are incredibly adaptable and can grow in most soil conditions.
- Red Clover – Trifolium Pratense
Red clovers grow mostly in soil which offers an incredibly high level of calcium. They are easily established and quite environment hardy.
- Crimson Clover – Trifolium Incarnatum
Boasting a bold colour, the crimson clover is a winter annual, blooming big and bright. It’s great for bees and other pollinators.
- Alsike Clover – Trifolium Hybridum
Alsike clover is mostly used as a pasture plant. Due to its high nutritional value, it’s great for grazing livestock.
- Suckling Clover – Trifolium Dubium
This variety of clover is incredibly hardy and has a unique ascending habit.
How To Get Rid of Clovers in Your Lawn Without Chemicals
The biggest issue gardeners have in curbing the spread of clovers without affecting the grass around them. Luckily there are quite a few natural methods you can use to get rid of clovers naturally.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to get rid of clovers without chemicals.
1. Pull Them Out
Removing the clovers manually by hand is always the safest option. Using a pair of gardening gloves, simply pull the flowers, stems and roots of the clover out from the ground and discard.
2. Mow High
While mowing low will kill off your lawn, it won’t really affect the clovers. Be sure to mow at least 3-inches above the grass, which will help to keep your grass strong and healthy. Meaning the clovers won’t be able to take over.
3. Suffocate the Clovers
It may sound dramatic, but it can be incredibly effective. Simply place a plastic bag over the area you want to kill off. This will deprive it of sun and oxygen, and the clovers will eventually die out.
4. Feed With Fertilizer
Fertilizer boosts the soil nitrogen content, which will naturally kill off clovers. Any balanced fertilizer will do as it will help to boost the growth of your lawn and curb clovers from growing.
5. Use an Organic Weed Killer
There are many varieties of organic weed killers that can protect your grass and weaken the clovers. Be sure to check the label to ensure the weed killer isn’t filled with any harmful chemicals.
6. Keep Watering Your Grass
Especially if you have used a weed killer, you will need to keep your lawn well-watered to ensure your grass doesn’t die off. Be sure to water deeply after every application of weed killer.
7. Mulch as Much as Possible
Mulching is a great way to keep weeds at bay for most plants. This is especially effective when clovers start to creep into your flower beds and take over your plants. Regular mulching will help to deter this issue.
8. Try a Vinegar Solution
Vinegar is an ideal, non-toxic weed killer. Besides the initial smell, it’s great at curbing weeds, pests, and so much more. Try treating your grass with a vinegar solution of 1 part vinegar, 1 part water and 1 part dish soap.
9. Feed Your Soil with Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds will actively stimulate grass growth and counteract clover growth. Feed your soil every now and then with cold, used coffee grounds every few days or weeks, allowing it to keep your grass strong and curb the growth of clovers.
10. Start Again
If your garden is full over-grown with clovers, sometimes the best idea is to just start your lawn all over the garden. Pull all the grass and clovers, treat the soil and then re-plant your grass seed.
Of course, there are also some incredibly effective methods to get rid of clovers with chemicals. It will definitely kill the clovers, but it may also affect your grass.
How to Prevent Clovers in Your Garden
They do say that prevention is better than cure, and there are many things you can do to prevent a clover problem in your garden.
You’ll want to:
- Feed Your Grass Regularly. Sticking to a strict feeding schedule throughout spring and fall will help to boost the nitrogen levels in your soil and prevent clovers from growing and spreading.
- Keep Your Lawn Healthy. Strong grass won’t be easily taken over by clovers, so be sure to keep up with good mowing and irrigation practices. If you have thriving luscious grass, there won’t be any space for the clovers to grow.
- Use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide. Natural herbicides can be applied to the soil as a general precautionary measure. It’s best to apply when the soil is around 55°F. You can check this using a soil moisture meter.
- Boost Your Soil with Corn Meal Gluten. Cornmeal gluten releases valuable peptides into the soil that will prevent clovers from growing. As with fertilizer, it will keep your grass healthy and curb clover spread.
Should I Remove Clovers From my Garden?
While it is important to know how to get rid of white clovers without destroying the lawn, it’s equally as important to know why. Clovers do have many beneficial properties, so you don’t always have to get rid of them if you don’t want to.
Did you know that clovers can actually help to fertilize your lawn? Clovers have a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria in the soil. Sometimes, growing clovers can actually help your grass grow and recover.
More so, clovers prevent the spread of harmful weeds. You can also find micro-clover varieties that give you all the benefits of having clovers on your lawn without the unsightly drawbacks.
Wrapping Up Our How to Get Rid of Clover Guide
So, now you know how to get rid of clover in lawn naturally, and not so naturally should you choose so. Keep in mind that clovers do have certain gardening benefits, so unless they’re causing a major issue, you can leave them to grow in your garden.
Always ensure you keep up with regular garden practices like fertilizing, mowing and watering to ensure you have strong, healthy grass that won’t be easily taken over by clovers.
Follow these tips on how to get rid of clovers, and you’ll have the luscious, luxurious grass you’re looking for.