Expert Advice

Controlling Clover

A common discussion point at this time of year as many people start to notice the clover in their lawns, is why is the clover so visible in my lawn at this time of the year? For starters, white clover is a perennial weed that is pretty common in southern Ontario. It germinates in the fall and continues through the winter and into early spring. Their fastest rate of growth can be seen in the spring, and they bloom flowers when they mature between June and September. They thrive in a lawn with low nutrients and can live within the soil for a very long time making them a tough competitor for the lawn.

During this time of year, we get the very common question: why can’t we attack the clover harder with our fiesta weed control? At this time of year, it is important to remember that the lawn is under a significant amount of heat stress. Our lawns are made up of cool season plants that do not do well during hot and humid periods in the summer. As a result, the lawn is at a much weaker vantage point right now than it would be in the spring or fall season with cooler temperatures. If we were to apply weed control heavily at this time of year it could cause injury to the surrounding lawn in those areas making it impossible for there to be any competition from the lawn to defeat the clover. It is also worth noting that clover has a unique defense system against hot dry weather that makes this weed tougher to control than others due to its leaf surface. As is visible in the photo above, clover contains a waxy coating on its leaves which while preventing water loss due heat evaporation also prevents our ability to have products absorbed through their leaves during this weather. During the cooler seasons it is far more beneficial to heavily target any weeds as the lawn will be in a stronger position to over grow them. Remember, 80% of the weed control you are seeking is resolved when following the three macros; fertilizing regularly, watering deeply and infrequently, and mowing no shorter than 3 inches.

So how can you eliminate clover from appearing in your lawn? Follow those 3 macros. By doing so, you will be creating an environment that is best catered to your lawn’s growth and not the clover’s growth. The best defense to clover is ensuring your lawn is healthy all year round so it’s in its best condition to fight back and out compete it.

If you have any further questions or concerns surrounding weed control, or how best to nurture your lawn at this time of year, reach out to one of our team members! We are happy to help.