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Is there any way to deter the invasion of clover in my lawn? Even after mowing it is still so visible. My husband wants me to use weed and feed to get rid of it, but I'm looking for an organic solution, if possible. Thanks! - Meagan
Using Weed and Feed products for any reason is a bad
idea, especially to try to get rid of clover. Let me
explain. Prior to World War II, white clover was part
of everyone's lawn, but that all changed after the war
when synthetic weed-killers were first introduced.
An unfortunate side effect of those synthetic weed killers
intended for dandelions and plantains and the like,
was that they also killed clover. Chemical companies
had no choice - to sell product to kill the weeds, they
had to cast clover in a bad light. That began the
marketing campaigns that persist to this day to
classify clover as a "weed", something that interferes
with the uniformity of a lawn. Absolutely nothing could
be further from the truth. Clover is Mother Nature's
"fertilizer factory"; it does an amazing thing called
"fixing nitrogen" - clover takes nitrogen out of the
air, converts it to a form plants can use and puts it
into the soil so other plants, like grass, can use it.
If you are lucky enough to have clover in your lawn,
it's doing the fertilization for free. Clover generally
shows up in poor soil and is nature's way of improving
the soil. If you are applying organic fertilizers to
your lawn, the clover will diminish over time as your
soil improves. Clover in lawns has lots of advantages
in addition to the main one of fixing nitrogen, so
don't try to kill it.
1) It withstands drought well because it has deep roots.
In the heat of the summer when grass goes dormant and
turns brown, clover will stay green
2) It is slow growing and needs cutting less often
3) It resists diseases and insects, especially grubs
4) When it flowers, it attracts bees - very important
5) It will help control weeds in the lawn by filling
in poor soil areas
Don't believe the marketing hype coming from the
chemical weed killer industry - clover is the best
thing that ever happened to your lawn and clover seed
is widely available for you to plant.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.