Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
I have clover all over my lawn, how can I get rid of it safely? Margaret
Thank you for your question and it's one I get asked often. Clover is the best
thing that ever happened to your lawn, so don't try to get rid of it. 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 synthetic weed killers intended for dandelions and
plantains and the like, was that they also killed clover. Chemical companies
had no choice, in order 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". 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 into a form that plants can use and puts it into
the soil. 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:
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 crop pollinators
5) It will help control weeds in the lawn by filling in poor soil areas
So don't believe the marketing hype coming from the chemical weed killer
industry, clover is a great thing to have.
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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.