HOW TO GET RID OF CLOVER IN LAWNS


How to get rid of clover in lawns




After all the effort of mowing, re-sowing and the hand-removal of perennial weeds most lawns have vastly improved by the time summer arrives. So now that the garden is formally open to the entertainment of guests, why is it that in a blink of an eye half of it has become infested with clover?

How to get rid of clover in lawns
Clover is unfortunately a persistent nuisance in lawns, with a root system which can form readily along the creeping, spreading stems. It is able to survive close mowing and on occasion can show a strong resistance to weedkillers.

It is a shallow-rooted, perennial weed that can thrive in moist, nitrogen-poor soil. It can be found on all types of soil, but is more commonly found on medium to heavy alkaline soils.

The reason why it is such a successful weed is because clover is able to fix its own nitrogen in specialist root nodules. It is able to outcompete your lawn as regular cutting stresses the grass, preventing it from growing strong roots. Over hot summer, with prolonged period of drought, it is not uncommon to see lawns browning off with the only sections of 'green' being the clover.

There are effectively two ways to get rid of clover. Either by applying a selective lawn weedkiller to kill of the clover plants, or by improving your cultivation methods.

How to get rid of clover by effective cultivation

How to get rid of clover by effective cultivation
As mention earlier, clover thrives in lawns low in nitrogen. This is because clover is able to produce its own nitrogen by using symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing bacteria which have evolved to live within the root system of many species within the legume family – Fabaceae.

By adding lawn fertilizer regularly over the growing period, effectively improving the drainage by using a hollow tine aeration and backfilling with horticultural grit, and overseeding your lawn several times over the growing season, you will help your lawn compete. Use autumn lawn fertilisers from mid August onwards. Six to eight-week after your first lawn feed application, apply sulphate of ammonia at 15g per sq m. It will increase the acidity of the soil which will act as a deterrent to the clover, while its nitrogen content will encourage the growth of the lawn.

Furthermore, setting your lawn mower to a slightly higher setting, and allowing longer intervals between mowing will gives the lawn the opportunity to grow stronger healthier roots that can spread and outcompete the clover. Rake the turf to lift the clover stems before mowing and always use a grass-box on the mower when clover is in flower to minimise seed dispersal

How to get rid of clover using selective weedkiller

How to get rid of clover using selective weedkiller
To kill off the clover in your lawn you will need to apply a selective lawn weedkiller. A selective lawn weedkiller is one which will kill the broadleaved weeds (dicots) in the turf.

Never use a regular weedkiller as this will also kill the grass, and always check the label to find out if it will work on the weeds in your lawn.

White or Dutch clover can be effectively controlled by dicamba, dichlorprop-P and mecoprop-P, which can be found as the active ingredients in Doff Lawn Spot Weeder, Westland Resolva Lawn Weedkiller and Bayer Lawn Weedkiller Ready to Use 3. You will usually require at least two application to eliminate clover plants.

Avoid applying weedkillers to lawns within six months of sowing or turf-laying as this can often often cause severe damage.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HAS ARTIFICIAL GRASS FINALLY COME OF AGE?
HOW TO CONTROL WEEDS IN THE LAWN
HOW TO GET RID OF BROWN PATCHES IN YOUR LAWN
HOW TO GET RID OF CLOVER IN LAWNS
HOW TO GET RID OF DANDELIONS IN LAWNS
How to get rid of moss in a lawn
HOW TO IMPROVE DRAINAGE IN LAWNS

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