Tips and Tricks to Eliminate Clover from Your Lawn
There's no denying that a lush, green lawn is every homeowners dream. However, pesky weeds like clover can ruin your grass's overall appearance and health. While clover is not a prickly pain like Bindii, it's still an unwelcome guest on your lawn. That's why we're here to help you declare war on clover and restore your lawn to its former glory!
This comprehensive guide will explore tips and techniques for killing clover in your lawn. By the end of this post, you'll be equipped with the knowledge you need to achieve a clover-free, thriving lawn.
1. Know Your Enemy: Understanding Clover
Before you can effectively eliminate clover from your lawn, it's crucial to understand what you're dealing with. Clover is a small, perennial plant with trifoliate leaves and small, white or pink flower clusters. It can be challenging to control because it spreads through creeping stems and its extensive and robust root system.
Clover often appears in lawns with poor soil fertility, as it can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and doesn't require as many nutrients as grass. Therefore, one of the keys to clover control is to improve your lawn's overall health.
2. Choose the Right Herbicide
Just like with other pesky weeds, specific herbicides can help you tackle clover in your lawn. When choosing a herbicide, ensure it's safe for your type of grass. Here are two recommended products based on your lawn type:
- Couch Lawns: Surefire Dicamba M Selective Herbicide
- Buffalo or Zoysia Lawns (or if you're unsure of your lawn type): Surefire Buffalo - Bindii & Broadleaf Weedkiller
These herbicides target clover and other broadleaf weeds without harming your grass. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper application rates and methods.
3. Time Your Attack: When to Apply Herbicides
Timing is essential when it comes to applying herbicides. For the best results, apply the herbicide when the clover is actively growing and not under stress from drought or extreme temperatures. This will ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness.
In most cases, spring and autumn are the ideal times for herbicide application, as this is when clover grows most actively. Apply the herbicide on a calm, sunny day with no rain expected for at least 24 hours.
4. Boost Herbicide Effectiveness with a Wetter Surfactant
To increase the penetration and effectiveness of your chosen herbicide, consider adding a wetter surfactant (like Wetter 600) to the solution. A wetter surfactant helps the herbicide stick to and penetrate the clover's leaves more effectively, increasing the chances of a successful kill.
5. Monitor and Repeat Applications as Necessary
Clover can be a stubborn weed to eliminate, so it's essential to be persistent with your herbicide applications. Repeating the spray application may be necessary if the clover isn't dead after two weeks. This repeat spraying will also help catch any new clover plants germinating after your last application.
3. Improve Your Lawn's Health
In addition to using herbicides, improving your lawn's overall health is vital in the battle against clover. Clover thrives in poor soil, so enhancing your lawn's fertility will make it less inviting for these opportunistic weeds. Follow these steps to create a healthier, more robust lawn:
- Aerate your lawn to improve soil structure and encourage healthy root growth.
- Fertilise regularly with a balanced lawn fertiliser that provides essential nutrients for your grass.
- Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to promote deep root growth and drought resistance. Aim for about 1 inch of water per week, depending on your grass type and local climate.
- Regularly mow your lawn at the correct height for your grass type, and don't remove more than one-third of the grass blade in a single mowing. Taller grass may help shade out clover and discourage its growth.
- Overseed your lawn with a high-quality grass seed to increase turf density, making it more difficult for clover to establish itself.
7. Utilise a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
You can apply a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring or autumn to prevent clover from re-establishing itself in your lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides work by inhibiting the germination of clover seeds, stopping them from taking root in your lawn. Be sure to select a safe pre-emergent herbicide for your grass type and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper application rates and timing.
8. Embrace Organic Solutions
If you prefer a more natural approach to clover control, there are a few organic methods you can try:
- Corn gluten meal: Applying corn gluten meal to your lawn can serve as an organic pre-emergent herbicide. It works by inhibiting root development in germinating seeds, effectively preventing clover from growing. However, be cautious not to apply corn gluten meal to areas you've recently overseeded, as it can also inhibit grass seed germination.
- Vinegar: A vinegar (acetic acid) solution can be used as a natural, non-selective herbicide. Be cautious when using vinegar, as it can harm your grass if applied indiscriminately. Use a small spray bottle to spot-treat clover patches, avoiding contact with your lawn.
- Hand pulling: Although labour-intensive, hand-pulling clover can be an effective way to control small infestations. Be sure to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.
Clover may be a persistent and resilient weed, but you can eliminate it from your yard with the right approach and a combination of herbicides, lawn care, and persistence. Following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide will make you well on your way to a healthy, clover-free lawn.
As always, please get in touch with our friendly team if you have any questions or need additional guidance. We're here to help you grow a lawn you can be proud of. Happy gardening!