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Posted on April 29, 2022 by Lawn Doctor
Clover is a plant that is a member of the genus Trifolium, which includes approximately 300 perennial and annual species of the pea family. While clover is not found in Australia or Southeast Asia, it does grow naturally in nearly all subtropical and temperate regions all over the world. The most common form of clover found in the United States is the perennial broadleaf weed.
The clover plant is used in livestock feed and is often grown as a crop to prevent the erosion of soil and to add nutrients to the soil. It is grown as a “cover crop” during seasons when the main cash crop is not planted. Clover is a small plant of the annual, biennial, or perennial variety, and it grows no more than 12 inches in height. It is often considered undesirable in lawns because of its invasive nature. It develops a dense root system that grows rapidly. Clover roots eventually find their way into flower beds, gardens, and other areas, where they overtake and smother out other plants.
Clover blooms into flowers of predominantly white and reddish-purple hues. While many people find it pleasing to the eye, other people prefer clover-free lawns for a number of reasons. Clover is highly attractive to bees. It is a significant source of nectar for them. This is a serious problem for anyone with an allergy to bees or anyone who simply wants to avoid being stung.
For lawns that will see a lot of foot traffic (children playing, outdoor activities, etc.) clover can present more than just an aesthetic problem. It does not hold up well under frequent activity, meaning your lawn will develop thin, bare spots in areas where there are high concentrations of clover present. Clover also dies back during the winter season, leaving patches of ground uncovered and the bare soil at the mercy of the elements. This can rob it of nutrients and fertilizers, which will be needed for healthy plants to grow in future seasons.
There are three types of clover that are most commonly found in lawns: white clover, red clover, and microclover. White and red clover are easily identified by their sphere-shaped clusters of tiny blooms and trio of petal-shaped leaves, each leaf bearing a white crescent or a “V” shape and measuring approximately one-half inch in size. The clover plant normally grows to no more than four to six inches in height although it can reach as much as 12 inches in height.
White clover can be found blooming from early spring until late fall. Red clover begins to bloom in late March and continues into April and can continue to bloom into early summer. Microclover is identified by leaves that are approximately half the size of white and red clover leaves. Once microclover has been mowed it may grow back at only one-third its original size. Microclover has significantly fewer flowers than red or white clover and its growth is denser and more far-reaching than the red or white varieties.
Microclover looks more uniform than other varieties of clover found in lawns, especially after its flowers have been removed by mowing. It grows lower to the ground than its counterparts. The fact that all varieties of this plant tend to grow close together makes it easy to spot clover patches in your yard.
You will also be able to easily spot clover growing in your yard by the bees flying among the blooms and landing to gather the nectar. Bees will not bother with microclover, however, due to its lack of blooms. Microclover is most easily identifiable by its trio of leaves perched on top of a long, thin stalk. There are also stalks that contain four leaves instead of three. These are not as common as the three-leaf variety and are often referred to as “lucky” clovers although not everyone considers the presence of clover in their lawns to be lucky at all.
If you want to manually remove clover from your yard permanently, it will be necessary for you to remove the entire root system of the weed as well as the weed itself. You can do this with a spade or with your hands. Carefully loosen the soil all around the plant, and then pull the plant, along with its roots, out of the ground. You will want to make sure you get all the roots; otherwise, the plant will just grow back. While this root removal can be a tedious and time-consuming task, when done correctly, it is a surefire way to reduce clover once and for all.
Another way to manually remove clover is to kill it by cutting off its access to sunlight and air. This could be done by covering the clover patch with a dark-colored trash bag or another type of plastic sheeting. Secure its edges to keep it in place. Make sure you haven’t covered any of your grass in the process, or it will be damaged or killed as well. In a few weeks, your clover problem will be solved.
You can also use a DIY mixture to spot treat the clumps of clover in your yard. Combine vinegar with a little dish soap and pour the concoction into a spray bottle. Spray directly onto the clover. Again, you will want to take care not to involve nearby grass or other plants in this treatment, or they will be destroyed along with the clover.
If you want to use a weed killer but you don’t want chemicals on your lawn, there is an organic option that will do the trick. It is called Advanced Development In Organic Solutions, or ADIOS. This formulation is completely safe for use around humans, pets, crops, livestock, and water sources. It kills clover without harming nearby plants and grass. Spray it directly on the clover for fast results.
If you want to be sure the clover problem in your yard will be taken care of while preserving the health and beauty of your lawn, the best choice you can make is to call in the professionals. A highly recommended, reputable lawn care company like Lawn Doctor understands the importance of keeping your yard in excellent condition via safe and effective ways. We use nontoxic weed control methods and lawn fertilization techniques to ensure a lush green lawn.
Our team of experts will analyze your yard and then customize a lawn treatment program that will meet the specific needs of your lawn, plants, and soil. A professionally maintained lawn is less likely to develop issues like pest infestations and diseases. Rather than a single visit and treatment, Lawn Doctor provides your lawn with a series of six to eight specialized treatments to fertilize your grass and control the weeds, including pre-emergent varieties.
By hiring a professional lawn care company, you will be saving yourself a lot of work and frustration. Trying to do everything for your lawn by yourself is time-consuming and costly, and there’s always the chance that you will make a mistake and damage areas of your lawn that don’t contain weeds. Lawn care professionals perform comprehensive treatments safely, quickly, and effectively.
Lawn Doctor offers a variety of lawn treatment options including organic lawn care. This means your lawn will receive the most effective treatment without interrupting the time you and your family spend outdoors enjoying your yard.
Contact Lawn Doctor to help care for your lawn when you can’t.
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