While finding a four leaf clover might bring luck to some, not so to the avid lawn lovers among us!
Clover is not the nastiest of weeds to deal with, but it can still affect your lawn health and is usually a good indicator that something isn’t right in your soil.
‘Luckily’ clover is a relatively easy fix, so let’s have a look at why it’s in your lawn and what can be done to get rid of it once and for all.
What is clover?
Clover is a common lawn weed and in some parts of the country, it’s intentionally added to lawns to assist with drought. Some lawn lovers choose to live with a scattering of clover in their lawn, and depending on your grass type, the two may co-exist without being too much of an issue. It typically favours unhealthy, poorly fertilised lawns, so spotting clover may be an indication of a bigger issue with your lawn’s health.
When checking your lawn for clover, look for its distinctive oval shaped leaves that grow in 3-4 leaflets with a circular white marking that crosses all the leaves. The root system is rather shallow, with the stems creeping along the surface of the ground. Clover will typically produce a white or pink flower, so you can check for those too.
What does clover in my lawn mean?
In most cases, when you see clover growing in your lawn it means that there isn’t enough nitrogen. Clover is a legume plant, much like beans, lucerne or alfalfa, that actually draws nitrogen from the air, which it stores in its roots. When the roots die back, the soil draws in the nitrogen. But when your lawn already has enough nitrogen, the clover starts to struggle.
Clover growth can also be a sign that your lawn has been mown too short, is underfed or has been overwatered. All of these issues can be addressed by practising proper lawn care.
How do I kill the clover in my lawn?
The best way we find to kill clover is to look at your nitrogen levels and consider a higher nitrogen fertiliser program to effectively deal with any issues in your lawn. Specifically, a thorough spray treatment will kill off the clover roots and the nitrogen will be replenished back into the soil. Put simply, lawns love nitrogen while clover hates it, so reaching for a good quality fertiliser is a must. Broadleaf weed and clover specific sprays are also highly effective at killing off this not-so-lucky charm.
A very common way people use to try and control clover is by just mowing it down. But while mowing your lawn nice and short can keep clover under control to a certain degree, it won’t prevent it from growing back and cutting the grass too short could also damage your lawn. Clover has no issues with being mowed short and will likely continue to thrive, which is not what you want. Try to maintain a turf height of 3 inches when treating your lawn for clover.
If clover is growing because of an overwatered or overfed lawn, then the solution is proper lawn care and only watering the grass when it is dry.
What are the best clover-killers?
We recommend you use a high NPK fertiliser, specifically one with high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The LSA Fertiliser Premium Lawn Food is a good option and is going to improve the overall health and growth of your lawn while making it a nitrogen-rich environment that clover won’t be able to stand.
Just remember to always read the label for the best advice on application rates and be sure to water-in well after spreading on your lawn. We guarantee that after one or more applications your lawn should be in great condition, with significantly less clover action.
This weed-killer is a selective herbicide that will control your clover, as well as other common weeds like bindii, catsear and thistles. Amgrow Bin-Die comes in a concentrate form, so it will need to be diluted in a knapsack or pressure sprayer. It’s safe to use on most lawn varieties, including Buffalo, Kikuyu, Couch, Bent and Fescue.
This is an all-purpose weed-killer that can keep control of most common weeds––not just your pesky clover! It’s a ready-to-use herbicide agent specifically developed for use on home lawns. It even has a handy clip-on hose attachment, so it’s very easy to use.
If you have more questions about clover or the health of your lawn, our team at Coolabah Turf are more than happy to help. You can get in touch with us here.