In the name of St. Paddy’s Day, it is time to talk clovers! We also are wishing all a happy and lucky holiday.
Clover has been considered a prominent lawn weed for approximately the last 50 years, as it grows on landscapes unintentionally and with great resilience! Scientifically known as Trifolium repens, clover is loved by many, especially during the beloved St. Paddy’s festivities of March. However, it is despised by the weed fighting warriors of the landscaping world.
Interestingly, before recent years, clover was part of turfgrass seed mixes, as it has a special relationship with nitrogen. It is able to absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it into a soil fertilizer. This causes it to grow rapidly, while also aiding growth to surrounding grasses, including more weeds.
Clover is also considered a creeping plant, meaning once the original plant is established, it spreads and grows outward. This can form into little clusters on your landscape of clover leaves and those tiny white clover flowers. Or, when unaddressed, it can spread throughout an entire landscape, provoking more weed growth throughout the grass.
Because of its nitrogen-creating ability, clover usually tends to grow throughout lawns that are lacking nitrogen. This can be prevented by always mowing at the recommended height to maintain a healthy and dense lawn.
Our number one approach at preventing clover and weed growth is to consistently mow at an industry-standard height of 3 inches. In addition to this, proper fertilization is imperative to maintain a strong turf that is weed preventative. Clover is a low growing plant, sprouting to only a couple inches. So, of course, unkept grass leaves it room to spread through the cracks.
Yes, certain chemicals are an option in eliminating clover and overall weed growth. However, we utilize this as a last resort. In addition to proper and consistent mowing, your turf can be freed of clover by actually hand pulling it out of the ground. This natural technique does not cause damage to the landscape. If our crews see a cluster of clover, they carefully pull it directly from the ground at its roots, before resorting to any chemicals.
But don’t worry, if a clover is spotted with four leaves we make sure to leave some good luck for property managers (;