Asked on Oct 10, 2012

An easy way to get rid of clover

Amy Coon
by Amy Coon

My yard has been overrun by clover this year, particularly popping up in flower beds. I find it difficult to pull up by the roots, does anyone have an easier way on how to get rid of clover in lawn? If I use a pitchfork and just turn it over, will that make it worse next year? I have heard it's high in nitrogen.

  8 answers
  • Wish my yard had clover in it. So many people are killing this off to make a fancy lawn and wonder why there is so much less honey bees around. There are several methods of removal, weed out, or chemical. The chemical method does work well, and there are many that can be used in a flower garden that if properly applied will remove these weeks without harming the rest of the garden. Turning over will slow the plant development and make it easier to weed later on, but it will not kill the plant off as the root structure is still in the ground.
  • Amy Coon Amy Coon on Oct 11, 2012
    Unfortunately my HOA is very anal, and if there is more than a certain percent of clover in the lawn, I get written up. I'm more referring to my flower beds, though...
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Oct 11, 2012
    Here's some good information on clover control from the University of California at Irvine: It does fix nitrogen in the soil, so there are definite upsides to clover. To control in your flower beds, I would suggest after hand-weeding that you lay down a good layer of mulch and then apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Preen in the spring.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Oct 11, 2012
    Amy, if it is for flower beds, I would suggest pick it by hand, when done put a heavy layer of shredded mulch down. I find this keeps it to a minimum in my garden. Still have to do some plucking, but not much.
  • Clover is a legume and collects nitrogen from the air and fixes it into nodules in the soil. Grass seed mixtures in the 50's & 60's used to come with a large portion of white clover seed mixed in. The clover provided the extra nitrogen the grass need to survive. (This was before professional lawn care became popular.) Since now most grass owners (and your HOA) like a mono-culture of just grasses, many good herbicide sprays are available to eliminate clover and non-grass species out of your lawn. In garden beds, you can use Round-Up to target just the unwanted weeds. Just follow label instructions to make a safe application.
  • Amy Coon Amy Coon on Oct 22, 2012
    Thanks! I was hoping to avoid the chemical route, but since the season is pretty much over, I'll do that.
  • Bar1738694 Bar1738694 on Jun 17, 2015
    I love clover I wish my whole yard was in clover. All I have now is wire grass, or crab grass depending where you are from. Besides it's good for the bees.
  • M&mmom M&mmom on May 27, 2017

    I, too, thought the clover was beautiful & brought bees to the yard & the nitrogen benefits, but it strangled some other plants in my garden bed & sucked up all of the water during the drought, so it has to go. How do I get rid of the clover but keep the rest of the garden going strong? Hand plucking would be a full time job & is not feasible.