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Clover is considered a nutritious and easy-to-cultivate fodder plant. On the other hand, we don't want it on our home lawn. Because he is able to completely displace the lawn bit by bit. With our help, however, you can effectively remove it.
Effective ways to remove clover
There are numerous different ways to get rid of the annoying clover from your own lawn. Which of these is best depends on how far the plant has already spread and which species of this species family is actually present. Because even with Klee there can be blatant differences from species to species.
Before you actually take measures to remove clover, you should know the basics of lawn care so that the annoying visitor cannot spread out and crowd the lawn: the right mowing. The correct cutting height is essential here. This is around five to six centimetres. If you cut the lawn further, the clover can develop faster than your lawn. Once lawn plants are covered by clover, they don't have much to oppose. The longer the lawn remains, the more likely it is that the blades of grass will rise above the clover and still get enough light and water. Your lawn is generally more resistant to the various types of clover.
Eliminate deficiency symptoms
One reason why clover can spread like wildfire and even displace lawns completely is the fact that it copes better with poorly supplied soil than the actual lawn. So he is able to act from a better starting position and take up the fight for the growth area. Depending on the clover variety, an increased occurrence or even a clearly detectable spread indicates different deficiency symptoms. Fight the deficiency and set the course to effectively displace the clover:
Horn cloverSource: AnRo0002, 20220515Lotus corniculatus1, Edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0
- low-nitrogen soils due to symbiosis with nitrogen-binding bacteria (own "fertilizer production")
Tip: Instead of other nitrogen fertilizers, use horn meal in particular. It's high in nitrogen without the phosphate that usually goes with it. In this way you strengthen the lawn without doing anything good for the clover at the same time.
- Use of nitrogenous fertilizers
- Supply of organic, nitrogenous soil mass, e.g.: mulch, compost, manure
wood sorrelSorrel clover, lucky clover, Oxalis tetraphylla
- lime-poor, acidic soil
- Raise the pH value of the soil with lime, basalt flour or similar
white cloverSource: Leo Michels, Trifolium repens IP, Adapted from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0
- calcareous soil
- nutrient-poor soil
- Add ground lime
- Supply nutrients via organic or mineral fertilizers
- carry out soil-improving measures (incorporate compost, manure or humus, check the pH value and regulate if necessary)
Attention: Correcting a poor soil condition can create a base upon which the clover plants are no longer able to crowd out the lawn. However, an existing spread can hardly be removed in this way. Because even with "equivalent" growth conditions, the clover is often superior to the lawn. With its large leaves, it can pick up light and rain and still gain other advantages. Soil improvement can therefore only be an accompanying or even preventive measure, while its removal must be carried out using other measures described below.
The white clover is considered to be particularly easy to combat. As a rule, you can deal with it by scarifying, which is an important measure in spring lawn preparation anyway. In this way you can give the lawn an optimal start and keep the white clover small from the start. With these conditions, it is hardly able to displace the lawn plants over a large area.scarify the lawn
mode of action:
- better aeration of the lawn roots through ground cuts
- Removal of dead turf matter for better air and water supply
- Reduction of additional stress caused by decomposition bacteria in dead grass mass
- Weakening of the clover by cutting up the extensively spread roots
- supplementary fertilization for optimal recovery of the lawn
- intensive watering for rapid recovery of the lawn plants
Horn clover in particular can hardly be controlled by scarifying, mowing, etc. The wildly proliferating and at the same time very robust plants crowd out lawns, until finally large areas of clover remain without any lawn growth. The only effective lawn-friendly variant is therefore to cut out each individual clover plant.
- Identify clover plant
- Follow side shoots to the root
- Cut out the root completely vertically with a weeder, spatula or other tool
- Dispose of the clover plant in the residual waste (because of further distribution in composting)
Notice: Be careful not to cut too close to the clover so that you capture the whole root. On the other hand, if you dig too generously, a clearly visible gap will remain in the lawn, which you will then have to fill by reseeding.
Despite its resilience, clover also needs water and sunlight. You can therefore treat heavily infested areas by covering them with a waterproof and lightproof film. The clover plants die off due to the lack of vital media, while the lawn recovers much faster despite the weakening. If used correctly, this measure will even enable your lawn to outperform the clover.
- Mow heavily infested lawns short to remove clover reserves in the leaves
- Cover the surface with lightproof and waterproof foil, e.g. colored garden tarpaulin
- Stay for around 2 to 3 weeks, check the condition of the clover regularly
- if the clover is brown, remove the cover
- Enabling weakened lawns to regenerate optimally by adding water and fertilizer
Again and again one reads about keeping Klee in check with hot water. In fact, the proteins in plant cells start to degenerate at around 60 degrees Celsius. If water is poured onto the clover above this temperature, the plants will die and dry out. Then they can easily be removed by hand. It is important that only clover is watered, since the lawn will also die off as a result of this measure.
Attention: Hot water is more effective the hotter it is. Be careful not to water yourself. Otherwise there is a risk of scalding or serious injuries that require hospital treatment!
The chemical club
Finally, of course, there is still the possibility of using chemistry to destroy the clover. Due to the general stress on plants and animals, chemical weed killers should only be used if other measures are not effective or cannot be implemented. Weed killers that are geared to "dicots" are particularly well suited. These include the various types of clover, but also other undesirable plants such as dandelion. You can also drive him away permanently and safely.
Salt or vinegar - home remedy or problem?
Various guides point out salt and vinegar as effective home remedies for clover. In fact, both substances work against the growth. However, you not only remove clover, you also combat all other plants and animals in the area worked in this way. In addition, you change the soil characteristics permanently, so that hardly any sustainable growth will be possible afterwards. Therefore, both agents are now banned by the Plant Protection Act and may no longer be used.