Winter Yard Treatment for Clover & Other Weeds
Weeds are not a particular type of plant. The term simply refers to plants we do not want in certain places (such as the front lawn!). Many weeds we attempt to eliminate are native to the soil, while the grass we are trying to cultivate is not. Thus, the weeds may do better surviving than the non-native turf. American Lawns tells us the key to controlling weeds is to keep the grass as healthy as possible, which will reduce the amount of weeds that can grow.
According to American Lawns, weeds have three general classifications. The first is grassy-type weeds, which are actually true grasses (just not the ones you want). Grassy-type weeds are single leaf and are usually annuals. The second type of weed is grass-like weeds. These weeds seem like grass but are not and include yellow nutsedge, wild onion and Star-of-Bethlehem. Finally, broadleaf weeds have multiple leaves on a stem and do not resemble grass. Dandelion, chickweed and ground ivy are examples of broadleaf weeds.
One of the best ways to avoid the need for serious winter yard treatment is to plant the best turf grass suited to your area and keep the grass as healthy as possible. Basically, this chokes out the growth of obnoxious weeds you are trying to avoid. However, even well-cultivated grass will often need herbicide treatment. If your lawn is covered in snow during the winter, Repair Home advises spreading large piles of snow out to help melt the snow as quickly as possible. Grass that is soggy for too long can be subject to mold and can easily be overrun by weeds in the spring.
For cool season perennials such as clover, American Lawns recommends raking the weeds in early spring to raise their stems. Then, mow low over the grass, cutting up the stems. Finally, gather up and throw away the stems so they do not have chance to re-root themselves. Raking and discarding the roots of the weeds will enable turf to grow while preventing future weed seed germination. Repair Home suggests aerating your grass in late winter to help boost your lawn during the spring.
Clover is a broadleaf, compound weed. It is a perennial, which means it dies back during the winter but will return in the spring. With white blossoms and thee-part leaves, some may consider it attractive, and it used to be included in lawn seed mixes. However, clover turns brown during the fall when it is entering dormancy, which does not look very appealing. American Lawns recommends spraying clover with a post-emergence herbicide that contains either triclopyr or mecoprop +2,4-D + dicamba.
Try planting winter grass that does well in cold temperatures. Since winter grasses are designed for cold, native weeds will have more competition for space. This prevention method of winter yard treatment slows weed growth by simply choking them out. In addition, it is a good idea to rake or pull weeds one time during the winter to prevent the weeds from going to seed.