Some homeowners like clover in their lawns, but many don’t. If you don’t want the weed to overgrow your lawn, there are several natural and organic ways to get rid of it – you can control red clover without harsh chemicals. We’ve compiled the best methods for naturally eliminating red clover from your yard, some of which won’t even harm your grass.
Table of Contents
- What is the cause of red clover in the lawn
- Fight red clover in your garden naturally
- How to prevent the weeds in your lawn
What is the cause of red clover in the lawn
There are several reasons for clover to grow in your lawn, most of which have to do with your soil.
- Incorrect soil pH: The ideal soil pH – how alkaline or acidic the soil is – for most lawns is between 6.0 and 7.0. If the soil in your lawn is too acidic, the grass will grow worse and the weeds will grow much more easily. Fortunately, you can balance the pH with soil amendments like lime.
- Poor nitrogen levels: clover does well in soil with low nitrogen levels. Grass needs nitrogen in the soil to grow well, while clover can get the nitrogen it needs from the air, making its own fertilizer. Your soil may be low in nitrogen because you have used too many fast-acting fertilizers. While they encourage fast grass growth, they can ultimately affect soil quality. Switching to organic fertilizers like manure or cornmeal can help you avoid this.
- Compacted soil: Compacted soil prevents your lawn from getting the nutrients – including nitrogen – air and water it needs. Fortunately, you can break up compaction with a core or spike dethatcher.
Fight red clover in the garden naturally.
It’s wise to control weeds with organic methods instead of chemicals, because you’ll protect your garden and household from the harmful effects of chemicals. Here are the best methods you can use to fight red clover in the garden, and that is, in a natural way.
Pull out by hand
For small areas, you can remove the weeds manually. Carefully loosen the soil with a spade and pull out the weeds along with the roots. If you leave roots behind, the clover will grow back.
Deprive the weeds of oxygen and sunlight.
You can kill the clover by keeping it away from any oxygen and sunlight. Take a plastic sheet or trash bag and place it over the bed, securing the corners with rocks to keep it from flying up. In this way, the weeds should be gone in a few weeks. Remember, this will also kill any grass that gets under the liner.
Spray a vinegar solution
You can make your own non-toxic weed killer with this natural home remedy. Mix one cup of vinegar with one cup of water and one drop of dishwashing liquid. Shake the mixture and spray it on the clover patches. The vinegar will dry out the leaves of the clover, and the dishwashing liquid will make the remedy stick. You may need to spray over several weeks to completely kill the weed. Unfortunately, the vinegar can damage the grass, so be careful spraying the solution on.
How to prevent the weeds in your lawn
There are a number of ways you can prevent clover from growing in your lawn in the first place. Of course, here we are again talking about natural means, without chemicals.
Spread organic fertilizer
Using organic, nitrogen-rich slow-release fertilizer will make your lawn less susceptible to clover. Some homeowners prefer conventional, fast-release fertilizers because they make the grass grow quickly and cost less. However, using organic fertilizer leads to healthier growth in the long run. Common organic fertilizers include cow manure, guano, blood meal, bone meal, earthworm droppings and liquid kelp.
Use cornmeal gluten
Cornmeal gluten releases organic peptides into your soil that prevent clover growth. This won’t work on existing clover, but it will prevent new seeds from sprouting – indiscriminately, so don’t use this method if you’ve recently reseeded your lawn. Fortunately, this measure won’t harm existing grass nearby. You can purchase corn gluten meal at your local garden store or online.
Control red clover in your lawn: Mow grass high
Clover grows best in grass that is less than 5 inches tall. This height stresses the grass and makes it easier for weeds to spread. Mowing your grass high gives it an advantage and makes it easier to crowd out clover.