How To Get Rid Of Clover On Your Lawn

Reading time: 6 minutes

Imagine stepping out onto your lawn, feeling the soft, lush grass beneath your feet, only to spot patches of stubborn clover disrupting the perfect green carpet.

Clover might have its charm, especially if you're hunting for that lucky four-leaf variety (fun fact; four-leaf clovers are super rare. For every 10,000 three-leaf clovers, you’ll find just one four-leaf! But when it comes to your lawn, it can be a pesky intruder.

This blog is your ultimate guide to evicting clover from your yard and reclaiming your grassy paradise. From easy identification tips to effective removal strategies, we've got everything you need to ensure your lawn stays the envy of the neighbourhood.

Four leaf clover weed
Photo credits

How to Identify Clover

Clover, primarily white clover (Trifolium repens), is easily recognizable. Here are its key characteristics:

  • Leaf Structure: Clover typically has three small leaflets forming a single leaf. Occasionally, you might find the elusive four-leaf clover.
  • Flowering: It produces small, round, white, or pink flowers that bloom from late spring to early fall.
  • Growth Pattern: Clover grows low to the ground and spreads quickly, forming dense patches.

Spotting clover early in your lawn is the best way to keep it from taking over your space. Regular lawn inspections can help you catch it before it spreads extensively.

Tips on Getting Rid of Clover

Clovers are pretty persistent weeds. They can thrive in poor conditions and can creep up on your lawn. Before you know it even exists, it’s made a nice home in a small part of your lawn. Here’s what you can do to eliminate clover:

1. Manual Removal

Pulling: Manual pulling can be effective for small patches of clover. Grasp the clover close to the ground and pull gently but firmly, removing the entire root system to prevent regrowth.

Digging: For larger patches, you may need to use a small garden spade or digging tool. Carefully dig around the clover, ensuring you remove the entire root system. This method is labour-intensive but effective for certain isolated areas.

2. Selective Herbicides

Selective herbicides are designed to target broadleaf plants like clover without harming your grass. This is basically your best bet. But we wouldn’t recommend a DIY route for one reason: certain herbicides might damage your grass and other surrounding plants. It’s important to know herbicides and choose one that doesn’t affect your turf.

Our team uses special control solutions that are completely safe, eco-friendly, and effective. You can get rid of clover and other weeds like dandelions all at the same time. And if you see any weeds popping up after our weed control service, you can be sure we’ll come back and reapply for absolutely no cost.

3. Vinegar Solution

A mixture of vinegar and dish soap may be an effective natural herbicide. Mix one cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of dish soap and spray directly on the clover. This method is best for small infestations and should be applied on a sunny day for the best results. Be aware that vinegar can also harm your grass, so apply carefully.

4. Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal can inhibit clover seed germination. It's a natural pre-emergent solution best applied in early spring or fall before clover seeds have a chance to germinate. One thing to note; this isn’t the best solution if you’re planting seeds because it targets all seeds. This method won't kill existing clover but may help prevent new growth.

5. Staying on Top of Your Lawn Care Practices

Finally, it all comes down to lawn care.

  • Mowing: Mow your lawn regularly at a height of around 3 inches. Clover prefers shorter grass, so keeping your lawn a bit taller can help shade out and discourage clover growth.
  • Watering: Water your lawn deeply but infrequently. This promotes deep root growth for your grass, which can help it outcompete clover. Clover is more drought-tolerant than grass, so keeping your lawn properly watered can give grass an advantage.
  • Fertilizing: Clover thrives in nitrogen-poor soil. Applying a nitrogen-rich fertilizer can help your grass grow more vigorously, outcompeting clover. Use a fertilizer to provide consistent nutrients over time.
Clover weed in the grass
Photo credits

What’s Causing Clover to Grow on Your Lawn?

Clover growth in your lawn can be influenced by several factors. Understanding these causes can help you take preventative measures and maintain a healthy, clover-free lawn. Here are the primary reasons clover might thrive in your lawn:

1. Nitrogen-Poor Soil

Clover is a legume, meaning it has the unique ability to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in its root nodules. This allows clover to thrive in nitrogen-poor soils where grass may struggle. If your lawn lacks sufficient nitrogen, clover will have a competitive advantage.

2. Soil Compaction

Compacted soil can inhibit grassroot growth, making it difficult for grass to absorb nutrients and water. Clover, with its shallower root system, can more easily establish itself in compacted soil. Regularly aerating your lawn can help alleviate soil compaction and improve grass growth.

3. Poor Soil Quality

Soils that are low in organic matter can create an environment where clover thrives. Clover is more adaptable to poor soil conditions than many grass species. Healthy soil with appropriate nutrients and organic matter can help improve soil quality. Check out our SoilBooster for this.

4. Thin or Bare Spots

Thin or bare spots in your lawn provide an open invitation for clover to establish. These areas may result from poor grass growth, heavy foot traffic, or other factors that damage grass. Regular overseeding can help fill in these spots and prevent clover from taking hold.

5. Weed Seeds

Clover can be introduced into your lawn through weed seeds in soil, compost, or mulch. To prevent clover from spreading, make sure these materials are free of weed seeds.

Addressing these underlying causes can create a lawn environment that’s less hospitable to clover and more conducive to healthy grass growth. Don’t forget regular lawn maintenance, proper fertilization, and good watering practices are also key to preventing clover and maintaining a beautiful, lush lawn.

FAQ About How to Get Rid of Clover

Is clover bad for my lawn?

Weeds aren’t generally ‘bad’. But there are reasons why we may not want them growing on our lawns:

  • If you like a lush green uniform look, you wouldn’t want to see clover. Clover can make your lawn look uneven and patchy, detracting from the lush, green expanse of grass that you may strive to achieve.
  • Clover competes with your grass for essential resources like sunlight, water, and nutrients. Its presence can weaken the grass.
  • Removing clover from a lawn creates a smoother and more even playing surface, reducing the risk of tripping or slipping while enjoying outdoor activities with your family and friends.
  • Once clover establishes itself, it can be challenging to remove.

Can I use homemade remedies to kill clover?

Yes, homemade remedies like vinegar and dish soap solution may be effective for small patches. However, for larger infestations, professional weed control services might be more efficient.

How often should I fertilize my lawn to prevent clover?

Fertilize your lawn up to four times a year, depending on the grass type and soil conditions. A nitrogen-rich fertilizer can help grass outcompete clover.

Is it necessary to remove clover manually?

Manual removal is effective for small patches, but for larger areas, a combination of control treatments and improved lawn care practices might be necessary.

Green Drop weed be gone poster

Hire the Weed Control Pros

Tackling clover in your lawn can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be a solo effort. Whether you're dealing with a few small patches or a full-blown clover invasion, professional help can make all the difference.

Green Drop’s expert weed control services are designed to restore and maintain the beauty of your lawn using proven techniques to eliminate clover and other weeds while promoting healthy grass growth.

Don't let clover steal the spotlight from your lawn—book your service today and let our skilled team transform your yard into the lush, green paradise you deserve. Your dream lawn is just a few clicks away!

Book Your Beautiful Lawn Package