How to Kill Clover Without Chemicals
Weeds are one of the many recurring enemies of a gardener or landscaper. That having been said, clover (Trifolium repens) is actually a positive weed, if you can believe it. Clover adds nitrogen into whatever soil it finds itself in and fosters the development of grass when is decomposes. It is worth mentioning that some blends of grass feature micro-clover because of this weed’s relationship with grass.
Of course, some homeowners may not appreciate these patches of white flowers clashing with the pristine beauty of a solid field of lush green. Sure, you could try breaking out the mower or even a weed whacker, but those are just bandage solutions to a bigger problem; clover is a weed and weeds like to grow back fast in not kept in check.
So if you are dedicated on keeping this invasive and pallid three-pronged plant out of your landscape without dealing chemical damage to the rest of your plants, there are several options available to you. Covered below are several such techniques.
While a well-fertilized lawn is an excellent deterrent to weeds, keeping your soil’s nitrogen levels at a high enough level can give you all the advantage you will need in combating clover. It is when nitrogen levels dip too low in your soil that clover can make its move. While the ideal play is to break out some weed-and-feed formulas, organic fertilizers can work if you only have small levels of clover invasion.
Note: If your yard has been besieged by white flowers, you will need to use a different solution.
Pull It All Out
The moment that you recognize that clover has made its way into your lawn is the moment you should manually remove it from the area. Spare the rest of your lawn by loosening up the soul around the clover’s base with either a digging spade or your fingers and uproot the clover. Make sure that you get the entire root or whatever is left behind will work toward continuing the lingering clover’s development.
Starve the Stuff
One of the surest ways to stop clover is to starve it of what all plants need to thrive: natural light and oxygen. Simply arrange plastic sheets, even a garbage bag would be sufficient, over the top of the clover patch. Once the patch is covered, make sure that it stays covered by securing the plastic sheeting. After a few weeks without direct sunlight and oxygen, the clover will die off with the added benefit of raising the nitrogen content of your soil.
Note: Only use this approach for large patches of clover or you may hurt some of the adjacent grass in the process.
This is a classic, chemical-free weed killer known and used by many gardeners due to its effectiveness. Combine some vinegar, it does not matter what kind, with a small amount of dish soap and pour this mixture into an easy-to-use spray bottle. Now armed with your clover-clobbering spray, you only need to aim and squeeze the trigger. Just be sure that you only hit the clover and no other plants.
Corn Meal Gluten
You can find this stuff online or in garden centers and it stops clover from growing without causing any negative consequences to the surrounding flora. Basically, it works by releasing dipeptides into the soil, drying out clover seeds and make it hard to start growing. You should use around 20 pounds of gluten per 1,000 square feet of lawn, remembering to regularly water the area and to let it dry naturally.