Clover lawn care maintenance can be manageable if you try to permanently fix the nitrogen imbalance in your lawn. Clover sprouts prolifically when there is not enough nitrogen in the soil. Here are some tips for you to take back your yard.
1. Fix a Nitrogen Imbalance
A healthy lawn is the best defense system you can put in place to combat clover and other weeds that may crop up. Grass stops growing when there is a deficit of nitrogen in the soil; clover can produce its own nitrogen from the air, so it will grow all over your yard instead.
2. Adjust Nutrient Levels
Clover grows magnificently well in moist conditions and not so well in dry, infertile soil. It is particularly attracted to phosphorous. If you increase the level of nutrients your yard needs—other than phosphorous, of course—and decrease the amount of water, clover will start to fade away and your grasses will begin to thrive. To find out the pH level, and what other nutrients your specific yard needs, have your soil tested and adjust appropriately.
3. Water Less
Clover and other weeds thrive on frequent, shallow watering, as their short roots grab up the moisture and don’t allow the grass roots any. Saturate the grass only when it is necessary, and do not water in between these periods. A good sign to look for is curling grass—that's the sign that it needs to be watered. In the meantime, as the topmost inches of soil dry out, the weeds will die because their roots cannot reach the moisture the grass roots have stored deep underground.
If your lawn needs fertilizer, follow packaging instructions and only apply during the spring and fall. Adding fertilizer at other times will only promote the growth of weeds, like clover, and not grass. Just remember to do a soil test first to see what and how much your yard needs.
5. Chemical Weed Control
If you have an overwhelming clover infestation and wish to wipe it out in one fell swoop, you can find herbicides or other products which will eradicate clover at many home and garden stores. Take great care in using herbicides and ensure that they are safe to use, especially if you have pets or small children.
6. Elbow Grease Weed Control
If you want to dig up all the clover in your yard, it’s best to use a soil plugger and not a spade. A spade runs the risk of not getting out all the roots, runners and seeds and can actually cause the clover to spread. Soil pluggers get deep into the ground and will eliminate most of the risk involved in digging up the clover while it is still alive.
Clover can be maintained, and you can take your yard back. Just make sure that once you’ve reclaimed it, the soil is healthy enough to keep the weeds from coming around again.