Clover is best known for bringing good luck if you find a four-leaf one. But if you did not win the lottery yet because you can only see the regular three leaves, then what’s the point of leaving it to grow on your lawn?
Trifolium Repens, for brilliant people, or simply clover for the rest of us, is a perennial plant widespread in the US and other parts of the world. It often has three-toothed leaflets, and a fragrant spherical flower develops when it grows and matures.
Bees are attracted to the clover flower to produce honey, and it’s also an excellent plant for pasture to feed livestock. But, if you do not make honey or raise livestock, lawn purists usually do not like to see it on their lawns, and here’s why.
Is Clover a Problem?
It is a problem for lawn purists if they prefer a more uniform backyard look. But, beyond lawn aesthetics considerations or matters of preference, it indicates an imbalance in your soil’s chemistry.
For a lawn care technician, if clover starts invading a yard, it means that there is a pH imbalance or nutrient deficiency.
Of course, if the soil is not fertile, plants cannot grow. We have seen in previous articles the importance of proper ph balance or correct nutrient levels. All these things play a crucial role in the health of the grass plants and their ability to utilize the nutrients in the soil – resulting in green color and vigor.
As it takes over your lawn, it will help produce more nitrogen but to the detriment of aesthetics.
If its growth is a sign that your lawn has been inappropriately fed, it is also a sign that your lawn may have been overwatered. Most homeowners try to get rid of it, often by cutting their lawn shorter to make it look better, but it will grow back and continue to do so unless you modify the chemistry of your soil.
How to Control Its Growth?
Clover is also a very resilient plant. It will resist well to heavy foot traffic and create a big competition with other weeds. If you cut it short, it will grow and come back every year as other perennials do.
That said, there are two facts about clover:
- Its root system is shallow.
- A higher nitrogen content in the soil chemistry will slow down its growth.
If clover creeps into your flowerbeds, raking it removes it from the ground surface, but if you need to reduce or eliminate clover from your lawn, you will find it extremely difficult to pull it. Therefore, applying simple lawn care, best practices can take care of it significantly if you increase the nitrogen content in your lawn treatment.
The latter is a paradox.
Clover will naturally increase nitrogen in nitrogen-deprived soil through their shallow root system. But clover is also very susceptible to nitrogen. So, if you want to get rid of clover, consider increasing nitrogen levels in lawn treatments to take care of clover.
What Else Should You Do To Reduce Clover Growth?
If the perspective of seeing clover on your lawn is not your definition of a beautiful lawn, the best way to reduce clover species is to enforce the best lawn care practices:
- Do not overwater your lawn. Just water your lawn if it is dry, especially if you aerated it. An abundantly wet lawn is the perfect environment for weed seed germination, including clover.
- Feed your lawn with treatments based on your lawn’s chemistry. Before treating your lawn, go for a soil analysis to identify your soil chemistry and imbalances.
- Apply a post-emergent herbicide in addition to a pre-emergent if clover has badly already taken over.
- Keep your mowing height over 3.5 inches when treating your lawn.
Keeping these top principles at the core of your approach will help control clover species and their territorial expansion.
If you do not want to see clover on your lawn, it can be eliminated as any other plant or weed. So if you prefer a uniform lawn with limited species, apply the principles we shared with you in this article.
The most important is maintaining a thorough lawn care plan and implementing the best practices. As always, if you need help, get in touch with our team.