While some people are looking for the four-leaf clover, amateur gardeners are annoyed by the avoidable lucky charms. Especially when it comes to the lawn, most do not want him. Fortunately, removing it is easier than you might think.
Cause of clover
Basically, clover is a good thing, because it shows that the lawn is missing something. It occurs primarily when the soil lacks important nutrients. For example, nitrogen may be lacking, but clover can handle this well. Also, the soil should always be moist enough.
The simple fellow: Remove white clover
White clover is easily recognized by its pink flowers. It is relatively easy to banish from the lawn by scarifying it. This involves scarifying the turf to improve aeration of the soil. This is best done between mid-April and mid-May. After that, it should be mowed once or twice a week. This will weaken the white clover and allow the lawn to regain the upper hand.
Prevent clover growth
- fertilize regularly (April, June and early to mid-October)
- do not use too firm and clayey soil
- water the lawn regularly during dry periods
- Optimal pH value for the lawn: 6
- buy PH tester in hardware store and test regularly
- The lawn displaces the clover
- Scarify the turf in spring and fall to allow air into the soil
- Do not mow the lawn too frequently and deeply
- The stubborn fellows: Horned clover and wood sorrel
A little more difficult is the horn clover and wood sorrel. The horn clover has yellow flowers, the wood sorrel reddish-brown. Both are not impressed by the mowing, they are even happy about it, because they get enough light to grow. Here, unfortunately, only the rabid method helps: the corresponding spots must be removed. The roots must be removed in any case, because otherwise the clover will come back. The bare spots are then reseeded or can be planted with finished turf. If it so happens that most of the lawn is infested, only the complete replanting of the area will help.
A plastic sheet against the clover
As already mentioned, the horned clover and wood sorrel need light to thrive, which is why mowing is not suitable. Some hobby gardeners therefore swear by a special method, which may not look pretty at first, but is said to be very effective. Thus a plastic tarpaulin is to be stretched over the lawn over several weeks. The clover dies because it lacks light. This also harms the grasses, but they are better able to recover from this deprivation. It is best to leave the tarp for 4 weeks. The advantage of this is that with this method, quite environmentally friendly, other weeds disappear.
Lawn weed-free – effective, but not environmentally friendly
If one would like to have it simply, one can buy special means from the specialized trade. So-called pesticides rid the lawn of clover, as it absorbs the agent through the leaves, resulting in very rapid cell growth once it reaches the roots. As a result, the nutrient supply breaks down and the clover dries out. The first successes are usually seen after three weeks. Conversely, a chemical agent is not the best alternative if environmentally conscious action is to be taken. If you take this agent, which does not attack monocotyledonous grasses, the lawn should not be mowed beforehand. The pesticide needs some “attack surface”. In addition, the weather forecast should be followed, because the days after it should not rain, if possible. If there was a long dry period before the day of application, the lawn should be well moistened beforehand. Bare patches should be fertilized afterwards. To find the right agent, you should consult a professional.
Scarifying – an alternative?
In the past, scarifying was a popular measure against clover and other weeds. However, this treatment not only killed the clover & Co., but also the lawn suffered. It is much more helpful to reach for the rake and remove the clover with it. This is quite time-consuming and labor-intensive at first, but if you do it more often, you weaken the roots and thus prevent regrowth.
Mowing the lawn and avoiding nitrogen deficiency
By the way, frequent lawn mowing is also very effective! But be careful: a cutting length of 3 – 5 centimeters should not be undercut, otherwise the blades of grass will not have enough leaf mass left to regenerate. Your lawn will thank you!
Too much clover in the garden is often also a clear sign of nitrogen deficiency or a signal that the lawn is not feeling well for other reasons. Accordingly, it is quite simply too weak to defend itself against clover, dandelions, etc. Which means that fertilizing would definitely be an interesting option. Preferably with a slow-release fertilizer.
Fertilize twice a year
To ensure that its active ingredients are released evenly, it is recommended to fertilize once in April and once in July. At present, the so-called combination products are particularly popular: these are products that combine lawn fertilizer and weed killer in equal measure. This is not only an excellent solution against clover growth, but also helpful for mosses and lichens in the lawn.
If possible, please avoid using too much poison and weed killer, because it will eventually seep into the groundwater and in addition, it will also drive away the insects that are useful for the plants in your garden to thrive!