Rid clover from a lawn

Asked September 3, 2018, 11:19 AM EDT

Clover is taking over in my lawn while nearest neighbors are not bothered by this condition.What to do and//or use to win the battle?I reside in St. Clair Shores,Mi. where the soil has a lot of clay content and the average ph level is 6.5.Does this matter?

Macomb County Michigan

1 Response

Hello!

White clover is better at growing under low fertility conditions than your turf, so regular fertilization of your lawn will help minimize its occurrence. You should apply a nitrogen fertilizer two to four times a season at a rate of 1-lb per 1000 square feet. (This is the rate usually achieved when you follow the application directions on the bag.) In addition, mowing high (at least 3") lets the grass plants shade the low to the ground clover plants, inhibiting their growth. To more quickly reduce the infestation currently in your lawn, you might apply one of the herbicides listed in the link below:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/white_clover_exploding_in_lawns

Your pH is well within the acceptable range for growing cool season turf. The clay soil will capture some of the nitrogen from the fertilizer applications, so you may want to do four applications rather than two or three. Do not apply any more than a pound of nitrogen at each application. More is not better here.

http://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/fertilizing-home-lawns-to-protect-water-quality

A soil test can tell you if any other critical nutrients are lacking:

https://homesoiltest.msu.edu/

With a heavy clay soil, you might consider core aeration. This improves turf root access to both air and water, which encourages growth. Many lawn care companies do core aeration. You can also often rent the equipment if you prefer to do it yourself. You can read a bit more about core aeration here:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/improving_soil_conditions_for_turf_with_fall_aeration
https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/aeration

Regards,