July 8, 2023
For every person who I meet that wants to get rid of Clover in the lawn, there is another who wants to buy Clover seed for their lawn.
Those who pride themselves with a lush, green, weed free lawn don’t fancy Clover.. There is no weed spray that can be applied to eliminate Clover without harming grass. A mix of vinegar and water will burn off clover in sidewalk cracks and a gravel driveway, but Clover’s favorite place to live is in the grass.
Clover is a shallow rooted plant that grows best in full or partial sun. By raising your mower height to the highest level, you will have the grass growing taller, casting shade on the Clover.
Your best bet to eliminate Clover is to feed the lawn. Clover thrives in nutrient-poor soil, and by adding fertilizer with high nitrogen content, you will eventually outgrow the Clover. The best defense against all weeds including Clover is to keep the lawn growing healthy. This includes fertilizing, aerating overseeding, raising the cutting blade, and deep watering.
In the world of weeds, Clover is not the ugliest. Golf courses will often not bother trying to eliminate Clover because of its fine texture and small dark green leaves that blend closely with adjacent grass. It is during a draught that Clover makes grass look questionable. Clover is always dark green and patches of it stand out like a sore thumb when the grass next to it is allowed to turn yellow because of lack of water.
When Clover, a member of the pea family, detects low soil nutrient levels, it pulls nitrogen from the air, converting it into ammonium, causing leaves to green up. Clover is a low growing, hardy plant that can knock out Dandelions, Chickweed and other weed pests. And because it remains low, Clover rarely needs to be mowed.
If you want to be a friend to the environment, allow Clover to grow in your lawn. Clover’s small flowers, in white with brown bases are not particularly pretty, but are definitely pollinator’s friend. Clover will attract beneficial insects like bees and wasps, which will pollinate other plants and protect against less desirable pests such as aphids and scale insects.
Clover and grass make good company because Clover grows in poor soil, is drought resistant and is pest free. If grown on its own, Clover rarely needs to be mowed because it only grows 4 inches high.
To add Clover to a lawn, simply spread Clover seed over existing grass. Clover is a little more expensive than grass seed, but a half pound of Clover will cover more than 1,000 sq ft.
The most common Clover variety is White Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens). Other varieties with prettier flowers are Strawberry and Red Clover.