White Clover Weed

White Clover Weed

By Kate Torpie, Garden Guides Contributor

General Characteristics

Trifolium repensa, or white clover, is a perennial weed, and it is one of the most recognized. Its sweet aroma has earned it some fans, but for the most part, people do not want the clover taking over their lawns, purely for aesthetic reasons.

Growing Conditions

White Clover grows well in fertile soils that hold water well. It can often grow as a companion crop to grasses. It will flower in any warm weather.

Cultivation and Care

If you wish to grow white clover, plant the seeds in the fall. Till the soil and remove existing grass before planting to reduce competition for the seedlings. Once the flowers begin to grow, you need to mow the area when the plants reach about 4 inches in height; this will allow for more white clover to grow. Alternatively, if you have a grazing animal such as a cow, goat, or horse, feel free to let them do the mowing.

Weed Control Techniques

Pulling, reducing re-seeding, and spraying with a broad-spectrum herbicide will work to tackle unwanted white clover infestation. Like most perennials, the roots of the white clover are not terribly difficult to remove. If you want to remove white clover from your garden, you should water the soil and remove them by hand while the soil is moist, as the roots aren't as difficult to remove when moist. Make sure you get the entire root system. If you need to use a fork to slip in under the plant, do so. You can also cultivate with a sharp hoe. Once the roots and leaves are chopped up, most young plants will die. Still, you should then apply an herbicide to prevent reseeding. If you want to use a pesticide, choose one made from corn-gluten. You can spread the herbicide all over your lawn, and feel safe that only the clover will be harmed. Do not spread the herbicide on bare soil that you plan to sow seeds in, or where you have recently sown seeds. It can damage seed coats.

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