The feelings of happiness are limited when the hobby gardener discovers four-leaf clover with a lawn. Pretty buds notwithstanding, nobody wants this weed invasion in their green carpet. I have the top 5 tips on how to safely remove clover.
Tip 1: Fight manually with persistence
In order to remove the widespread white clover from the lawn, hobby gardeners with a near-naturally cultivated garden opt for manual control. Since white clover is less stubborn than its peers, there is a good chance of success.
In the early stages of infestation by sorrel or thorn clover, the following methods can also be used to reliably remove the weeds:
- Grasp the clover together with the taproot with the weed puller , shake it slightly, and remove it from the lawn
- Use a spade to lift larger infested areas out of the ground
- Repair the resulting gaps with reseeding or pieces of rolled turf
Plucking the clover out of the lawn by hand only works sporadically. All clover species have a deep taproot that they use to anchor themselves to the ground.
As long as only a tiny remnant of this root remains in the ground, the scourge of the hobby gardener happily continues to sprout.
Correctly recognize clover in the lawn
The most important types of clover that can colonize your lawn differ significantly both visually and in their ecological system.
Since the most effective methods of combating result from knowing the respective clover species, the following table lists outstanding features for reliable identification:
|Recognize the 3 most important types of clover||white clover||wood sorrel||Horn clover|
|growth height||5-20cm (2-8 inches)||5-15cm (2-6 inches)||10-30cm ( 4-11 inches)|
|heyday||May until October||April to June||June to August|
|flower color||White||white with violet veins||yellow|
|flower shape||spherical||goblet shape||cute|
|Indicator plant for soil quality||low in nutrients, calcareous||low in lime, acidic||low in nitrogen|
Tip 2: Constrict the clover with foil
Manually removing clover from the lawn requires a not inconsiderable amount of effort, combined with a good deal of perseverance. You can put clover through the wringer in a less sweaty way by preventing the weed from photosynthesizing.
This is achieved with a black film that does not let through a single ray of light. How to proceed:
- Cover the area of the lawn infested with clover with weed foil
- Weight down the foil edges with sand and stones or fix them in the ground with plastic anchors
- Leave the opaque covering in place for 4 to 6 weeks
When you remove the foil, both the clover and the turf will have retreated. Unlike the weeds, however, the blades of grass will recover if they are provided with an extra ration of fertilizer. To remove clover, however, this method is only recommended for small lawns.
Tip 3: Tackle clover in the lawn mechanically
If clover has spread invasively over the entire lawn, hobby gardeners are at a loss with manual methods. Mechanical support from the scarifier is required to effectively remove the weeds . April and September are the best dates for this type of weed control. How to do it right:
- Mow the lawn as short as possible on a dry, overcast day
- Work the grass surface in a checkerboard pattern with the scarifier
- Fertilize and water repeatedly over the next 7-14 days
Scarifiers are special devices that scrape the soil 3-5 millimeters deep, combing out the clover and moss. What remains is the blades of the lawn, which quickly close the gaps that have arisen thanks to the subsequent supply of nutrients.
If you remove a large amount of clover when scarifying, reseeding in particularly bare spots will promote lawn growth.
If you are struggling with particularly stubborn clover on your lawn, consult the lunar calendar. Perhaps there is something to it when experts recommend the full and waning moon periods as the ideal time for weed control.
From the new moon on, the weeds gather fresh strength for a new beginning. By then, the clover should have been finished off.
Tip 4: Use chemistry to tackle the evil at the clover root
If clover cannot be removed with either manual or mechanical methods, there are three alternatives to choose from for the further procedure. Either turn the lawn into a meadow, create a new lawn or swing the chemical club.
Two aspects play an important role in the choice of the preparation. The agent must be especially suitable for use on lawns and must be effective against dicotyledonous weeds.
On the other hand, much-vaunted panaceas such as Roundup or glyphosate make short work of everything green – including your lawn.
Proper use of herbicides against clover
In order for a weed killer to be able to remove clover from the lawn for a long time, important preparatory work and the optimal weather conditions come into focus.
Mild, frost-free weather is ideal. The soil should be warm and dry. How to increase the effectiveness of herbicides against clover in the lawn:
- Fertilize the lawn about 2 weeks beforehand (the stronger the growth, the better the effect)
- Do not mow the lawn before using the weed killer
- No rain may be announced for the first 8 hours after application
- Do not apply in direct sunlight, as the preparation then dries too quickly
Put on protective work clothing consisting of trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. Prudent hobby gardeners also put on respiratory protection. Since these are liquid preparations, we recommend using a watering can.
The fine spray from a pressure sprayer could drift off to the surrounding beds. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the watering can of all herbicide residues afterwards.
Tip 5: Effectively prevent clover in the lawn
Regardless of the type of clover, growth in the lawn always indicates a deficiency. So that you don’t have to bother with removing weeds in the first place, professional lawn care serves as an effective prophylaxis.
Pay attention to the following care factors, take away the livelihood of clover in the lawn:
- Carry out a pH value test or a soil analysis every 2-3 years
- Depending on the result, lime the lawn and fertilize with horn meal in the spring
- Strengthen the lawn in the fall with a potassium-rich fertilizer
- Do not mow deeper than 4-5 cm ( 1.5- 2 inches) so that no sunlight reaches the weed seeds and they germinate
- In dry periods, water the grass surface regularly
- Never let clover bloom in the garden, as the seeds can be carried by the wind to the lawn
Liming the lawn to prevent clover is a double-edged sword. Lawn lime works effectively to combat white clover and wood sorrel, as the preparation raises the pH value. However, if you are dealing with lime-loving thorn clover, you can even use the remedy to help the weeds.
Tired of the weekly lawn mowing in the summer? Then create a flower lawn as the happy medium between a uniform ornamental lawn and a knee-high meadow of wildflowers.
This stroke of genius is achieved thanks to a combination of slow-growing grass varieties and small, hardy flowers. Mowing takes place here only 2 to 3 times per season.