I have fond memories of working with my Grandpa out in his yard. My Grandma and he had every kind of beautiful plant and flower you could imagine…from the orchid-filled greenhouse to the blue tip spruce that served as our outdoor Christmas tree, all the way down to the 100% clover lawn that he and I would weed by hand every weekend. Yep, 100% clover!
Most people these days look at clover as an invasive weed in their lawns, and they’re entitled to their perfect natures. Some people, though, advocate leaving the clover in their lawn because it is a nitrogen factory, feeding the rest of the depleted soil. Clover uses less water, is more durable, grows slower and stays green longer than grass. But it can take over…eventually.
Clover in the lawn is an indicator or low nitrogen, so fertilizing with a #9 or lower fertilizer will help prevent clover once it is gone. So will a good organic mulch. But how to get rid of it if that’s the way you want to be? That’s at least a 3-step process:
1. Use a broad leaf herbicide specifically for clover, or an organic corn gluten weed controller for the au natural option.
2. Hand-pull any leftover patches after allowing the herbicide to work.
3. Put new, desirable grass seed down, top it with a good mulch for successful germination and wait for your green results.
On the professional end, we usually advocate de-thatching and aerating your lawn, then applying new seed and mulch. This removes dead lawn and many weeds from your soil, then the new seed creates less space for undesirables to grow.
Nothing guarantees that clover won’t return, but that’s true about everything in your yard. It’s a constant discipline to have the landscape you imagine – but lucky that we’re happy to do that work for you.