Help with my lawn!
So I work and work on my lawn all spring pop out every dandelion week by hand. Fertilize with an all natural pet and people safe fertilizer. Cut my grass about every ten days and my lawn is covered with clovers and clover flowers? My flower beds are gorgeous and my grass looks like crap...what am I doing wrong?
Not sure how hot it gets in Detroit -so for now there is not a lot you can do. However in late August/ early September you may want to try overseeding the lawn with a good grass seed - something with fescue ( that is spelled wrong I think ). It has a really strong root system and is pretty good at choking out unwanted visitors. You should also fertilize a bit later to give your lawn something to get through the winter with. After saying all this I have learned on this site that clover isn't a bad thing! It is really good for bees!
Thanks Heather...yes I know about the bees but I have plenty of flowers for them...I just hate that no one else works on their lawns as hard as I do and I have the worst looking grass on the block...bees or now bees it is somewhat an written competition...LOL
How often do you fertilize, David? Soil fertility is an important part of clover control. See some suggestions from the University of Minnesota extension service: http://www.co.clay.mn.us/Depts/Extensio/ExAPClo5.htm I would also say that I think if you are going to go the natural route with your lawn, you just have to expect a certain amount of weeds. I've made the same decision, and I have just learned to live with them. It's more important to me to have a healthy ecosystem in my garden than a weed-free lawn.
David, I tried to get a close up look of your lawn/grass. It look irregular to me, meaning there are weak spots. Try not to concentrate too much about weed killers, work on making the lawn lush and healthy like Heather and Doug suggested. Weeds like clover will take advantage of the weak areas in your lawn. Nitrogen will help the health and growth of the grass leaving less space for weeds. Be persistent! You'll have success. In the mean time, try to pull our as much as you can if it's possible, quite the chore!
We used to put the pet bunny pen on the most clover areas and let her take care of it. Win Win with the nice fertilizer coming out the other end of that clover mowing machine. (not enough to damage the grass with urea)
Unfortunately,you will have to use a herbicides to get rid of clover /oxalis.weed seed can lay dormant for up to 7 years and then sprout. Cut yard every 7 days.make shure yard gets 1 inch of water per week
It's just how clover spreads, it isn't anything you're doing wrong! Clover has to be completely eradicated or it will continue to grow & spread. You just have to carefully lift up the shoots all the way back to the main roots, then dig out the root like you would a dandelion root. Unless you use sprays, weed spray will kill it. Be careful of all the "oh just use vinegar" suggestions, they don't tell you that vinegar will kill EVERYTHING, grass included!
David, You might want to try a few things this in late fall so in the spring you can have that beautiful lawn. First, use a thatch rake and remove any dead and dying plant material, especially the clover. Second aerate your ground, this can be done with a pair of those shoes that look like they have nails on the bottom, or by a roller with the prongs on it, or if you can you can even till the soil up removing all the old grass and dead material. Then water well once before the ground is too cold to make sure the ground is absorbing it and not just running off. You want the water to penetrate deep in the ground. Add a top soil if necessary and nutrients. Then try using a winter grass seed, one that is unhulled is preferred. You can put this down before or just after the first snow, but I prefer before because it is in direct contact with the ground. Make sure you put enough of the seed down, then add a light layer of manure on it. In the spring as the snow thaws and melts the seed will start to germinate and root deep into the ground. After the snow has all gone you want to remember to water it a few times a day to keep it moist until it has taken hold. Even down the line in Detroit, watering is important as it does get hot and humid there (yes, I personally know...). Don't do it in the middle of the day, do it in the early morning and evenings. Then after it has grown, it is very important that you are not mowing it too short. Mowing a lawn too short is a death sentence. You need at least a height of 4" to keep the roots moist and healthy. I know this seems long, but have you seen the neighbors lawns? You can bet that most of them that have nice lawns have a good amount of height to them. You can then add more grass seed in any areas that seem a little thin to boost it up. The thicker the grass, the better the roots, the less like weeds will come thru. Fertilize as necessary. In the next fall you will want to throw down a little more seed before the snow again. It should be protected by the grass that is already there this time.
I've heard that clover is usually due to a nitrogen starved lawn. I have clover too. I don't mind it because it does feed the bees. We'll all starve without them.
Clover in your lawn is a really good good thing. I actually threw some clover seeds on my lawn years ago, so some would grow in the lawn. It is a natural way to supply nitrogen to the lawn. Plus, you don't want to just have grasses growing in your lawn - any "monoculture", i.e., growing only one type of plant, is not good as a disease or pest can cause tremendous damage. Having more than one thing growing in your lawn actually makes it healthier!
Nothing! Clover is a nitrogen fixer meaning it pulls nitrogen right out of the air to fertilizer your lawn! Scott brand fertilizer created the myth of clover being a weed after its synthetic fertilizers (new at the time) started killing clover in everyone's lawn upsetting the homeowners in the process. People of that generation added clover seed to their lawns because of the benefits. I encourage you to go natural and add clover. You wont have a perfectly manicured lawn but nature will thank you and so will I!