How to Kill Clover Fields

Overview

White and red clover is a perennial broadleaf legume. These types of plants are generally used as a cover crop for fields. Since these plants produce large amounts of seeds on an annual basis, timing may be a key element in order to eradicate the plant from large fields. According to Penn State University College of Agriculture, killing clover from a large area may encompass both a mechanical and chemical approach to be thoroughly effective. Not all herbicides will kill the broadleaf perennial, and in some cases a mixture of herbicides may be required.

Step 1

Terminate the clover fields in early spring prior to any flower formation. Mow the field to a short height if flowers have begun to form. The flowers, depending on size, may have begun to form seeds.

Step 2

Mix an herbicidal cocktail that contains 2,4-D, LVE with an equal part of dicamba. Consult the manufacturer's labeling for the final dilution to water. Field size will dictate the amount of solution ratio per acre of land being treated. Spray the clover field. As an extra measure, you may wish to apply one pound to two pounds of the herbicide atrazine per every one acre of land.

Step 3

Wait seven to 14 days before any planting or cultivation will take place. The amount of wait time may vary depending on the type of herbicide applied to the clover field.

Step 4

Cultivate the field and plow under the clover vegetation. The heavy organic matter will benefit the soil over time, and will readily break down. The cultivation will also expose any clover root system to the air and promote eradication.

Step 5

Inspect the soil for any insect activity as thick clover stands can harbor insects that are harmful to many crops. Consult your local agricultural extension service for any recommendations for applying a field insecticide prior to re-planting the field.

Tips and Warnings

  • Follow herbicide labeling for application and disposal. Excessive use or application of herbicides may harm other plants. Excessive run off from any chemical may damage aquatic areas. Keep children and animals away from any area that has been treated with chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Mower
  • Broad leaf herbicide 2,4-D, LVE
  • Broad leaf herbicide dicamba
  • Broad leaf herbicide atrazine
  • Sprayer
  • Mechanical cultivation
  • Field insecticide (optional)

References

  • Cornell University: Managing Lawn Weeds
  • Penn State University: Red Clover (PDF)
Keywords: white clover, red clover, kill clover

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.