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Clover weedHow to Control Clover

They say that four-leafed clovers bring good luck, but when you have a lawn full of the normal three leaved clovers, you don’t feel very lucky, especially if you’re trying to maintain a lush grassy green turf. What many people don’t know is that clover growing on your lawn is actually a good thing, if you ignore the eyesore of it messing with your uniform turf. How?  Clover actually helps convert nitrogen from the air into nitrogen found in the soil, thus making your turf nutrient rich and healthier wherever they are present.

In fact, clover is so beneficial to lawns that some grass seed companies include clover in lawn mixes to disperse it among turf so that lawns take advantage of clover’s special nutrient-grabbing skill.

But if you hate the sight of clover and you want to get rid of it from your lawn, we here at Solutions will tell you how. Our DIY lawn care experts have some tips and tricks on how to eliminate this invasive weed from your lawn.

As always, before we approach a plan of attack regarding how to kill clover (or ANY weed for that matter) it’s best to learn about the weed, it’s tendencies and it’s ideal conditions. Once we know what makes this weed tick, we are then better equipped to tackle this weed through the use of cultural methods that put clover at a disadvantage and professional chemicals that can kill clover fast.

Shop below for our top recommended herbicide products for getting rid of closer and scroll further to learn more information about this invasive plant.

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How To Get Rid of Clover: Solutions 4 Step Process

Step One: Identification. Before moving forward with control and removal, it’s important to make sure that the weed you are encountering on your lawn is in fact clover and not some other similar looking invasive weed. Proper identification of the weed you wish to remove from your lawn will help you to understand what the weeds tendencies and characteristics are and can also point you in the right direction of which products can best treat that particular weed.

This is important because some common lawn weeds have a high tolerance or resistance to certain weed killers. There are also herbicides out there that are specifically labeled for oxalis while others are not. If you mistakenly ID a weed on your property as clover when it is not, you may accidently purchase a herbicide not meant to tackle it and it will lead to ineffective results and will be a waste of money for you.

Thankfully, clover is quite easy to identify. Clover stems consist of three small leaves (or leaflets) that are petal shaped and have a white "v" or crescent on each leaf, and are about a half inch long. There are several different common species of clovers with perhaps the most common being white clover. White clover has The flowers are very small and are white or light pink. The small blooms form a spherical cluster that looks like a small ball of white petals.

As always, if you are unsure whether or not the weed you are seeing is oxalis or something else, you can contact us at identification@solutionsstores.com and send us a photo of your weed and we will identify it for you and suggest treatment options.


Step Two: Inspection. Once the plant has been properly Identified, you can then move to the inspection process. Clover is quite easy to spot in lawn and usually blooms between early spring or late in the fall. This perennial broadleaf weed and is also found growing in fields, ditches, and other low-maintenance areas. Clover grows low to the ground and has a shallow root system.


Clover often pops up in lawns that are under-fertilized or not fertilizer properly. The weed is a big absorber of nitrogen and if you have a lawn that is low in nitrogen, it is basically an invitation for clover to take over. Testing your soil is important to see what you turf soil is lacking so you can properly feed it and make your lawn nutrient rich so clover cannot compete.


Step Three: Control. There are a number of different herbicides you can use to control clover in your yard. What you choose largely depends on where the clover happens to be growing. Timing is also very crucial to attack the clover when it has finished blooming because that is when the plant is the most susceptible to herbicide applications.

A three way herbicide like 3-D Herbicide Triplet Alternative does a great job against clover as well as 2 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer.  Use a super fine mist with a handheld sprayer to get great control. The best time to spray clover is in the fall after September after it is done flowering. A surfactant is also recommended to be used to treat clover so the herbicide sticks to the plant to kill it.


Step Four: Prevention. If you're able to successfully eliminate clover from your lawn, you need to be diligent in making sure the problem doesn't return. A pre-emergent may be a good preventative measure especiailly if the problem is an annual occurence. Aside from this, clover can be prevented from proper fertilization. Maintain a good fertilization schedule for your lawn so your lawn is getting adequate nitrogen in the soil.


Have Some Grassy Weeds You Want Gone? View Our Grassy Weed Control Section


Clover Background Information

Clover or trefoil are common names for plants of the genus Trifolium which literally means “three-leaved”. There are about 300 species of clover in the leguminous pea family Fabaceae. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution with the highest diversity found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, but many species also occur in South America and Africa, including at high altitudes on mountains in the tropics. They range from annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial herbaceous plants. Clover can be evergreen. The leaves are trifoliate (rarely quatrefoiled, cinquefoil, or septfoil), with stipules adnate to the leaf-stalk, and heads or dense spikes of small red, purple, white, or yellow flowers; the small, few-seeded pods are enclosed in the calyx. Other closely related genera often called clovers include Melilotus (sweet clover) and Medicago (alfalfa or Calvary clover).

As we noted in the intro, this weed actually can bring a mountain of benefit to your lawn and as such we recommend possibly tolerating the clover just for the sake of reaping the benefits they provide in keeping your lawn green and healthy. Clover is actually related to garden peas, and like peas, it fixes or takes nitrogen from the air and puts it into the soil. This helps grass grow lush and green. Clover also is a great source of food for wildlife from rabbits to deer, and its flowers provide nectar for honey bees and other pollinating insects. If you don’t want it to spread and take over your lawn, then you can simple mow the flower heads off to prevent seeding. However if you want them gone from your lawn, there’s a way to do it through the herbicides we carry.


Have A Lawn Issue That Isn’t Clover ? Check out Our Lawn Care Main Category!

Learn More About Clover

In lawns, the persistent clover (trifolium) is one of the most recognizable weeds on lawns and turf. Perennial and low-growing, clover (also known by other names such as trefoil and medick)is actually a helpful addition to your lawn as it contains certain characteristics that keep your lawn healthy. However landowners wanting a uniform turf may find it unsightly and want to get rid of the weed.

Some notably species of clover is the White or Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) which are large-leaved and has an open habit of growth. They are named as such because their flowers are typically white but they can also be pink. Another common species of clover is the yellow trefoil which is small leaved. Trefoils are an annual weed which forms a flattened, circular map of overlapping thin wiry stems. Their flower heads are pale yellow. Clover weed prefers nutrient rich, moist soils. Dry and shady sites are not ideal conditions for growth.

Control Products for Eliminating Clover

When pursuing natural means of weed control, like mulching or digging out clover, isn’t doing the trick, chemical treatment can be used to eliminate the weed. You should, choose one of the recommended weed killers shown in the list below. Repeated application may be necessary about 6 weeks later to treat clover since it is a persistent weed. The ideal times to treat White Clover is during late May or early June when the weed is actively growing for the best results. Visit our knowledge base for advice and information on the application of our various weed killers. Once the weed has been neutralized or controlled the bare area should be replaced with a combination of suitable soil and turf seed to aid recovery.

Solutions Pest & Lawn is your trusted advisor and provider for professional quality do-it-yourself lawn maintenance and weed control. Our exclusive lawn care and weed elimination products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers. We also have highly-trained and industry-certified representatives that are ready to answer your call or email about any lawn, weed or pest control questions. Check out our selection of clover control products and if you ever need help selecting the best product for you, contact us and we can point you in the right direction depending on your preference and turf circumstance.

Better Safe Than Sorry: Equip Yourself With Protective Safety Equipment Before Spraying

Clover Control Methods

Clover be controlled by pulling the weed out if you only have a little patch you are dealing with. However if you have a large area to tackle than chemical control is a convenient way of eliminating weeds.


Clover Application Tips and Recommendations

  • Clover is controlled best by a three way herbicide or any herbicide containing dicamba so the above herbicides will be most effective on clover, so choose what you wish according to your preference and budget.

  • The best time to apply herbicides to clover is actually the fall after September after it is done flowering.

  • What you may notice with clover when spraying herbicide is that the chemical/water solution will bead up on the plant due to surface tension. This is why we would recommend using a surfactant. A surfactant is a chemical that breaks down the surfact tension of whatever chemical it is mixed with so it can seep into plants better and doesn’t bounce off.

  • Use a hand-pump sprayer with a fan tip nozzle. Spraying a fine mist is best when applying herbicides to clover.

Additional Resources On Clover

Clover Management Guidelines--UC IPM


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