How to Get Rid of Clover Naturally

A patch of clover against a wood fence
Finding a four-leaf clover is said to bring good luck, but a lawn full of clover doesn’t indicate a wealth of fortune. | Shutterstock, © Yesim Sahin

Many homeowners want to know how to get rid of patches of clover in their yards, but the elimination process can be time-consuming, and some of the herbicides contain chemicals that can damage the grass. 

Instead of using a chemical-laden herbicide, there are several natural methods you can try, or you can hire a professional lawn care company to help prevent and manage the weeds in your lawn.

The reviews team analyzed lawn care services across the United States and feel confident in recommending TruGreen because of its affordable prices, positive customer reviews and comprehensive service options, including natural options. 

If you want to receive a free quote for your lawn, call TruGreen at 877-820-0392 or fill out this simple form

In this Article

Today’s Homeowner works with an independent reviews team to create evidence-based research that helps our readers make informed decisions.
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Why Clover Takes Over 

Clover begins growing in lawns for a variety of reasons, and its presence mainly depends on the health of the soil. 

This flowering weed can grow in almost any type of soil, especially when it’s compacted and doesn’t have high organic matter content, or has a pH level that’s too high. Lawns that experience heavy foot traffic from children and pets are especially susceptible to clover. Clover can easily tolerate compacted soil because its long roots enable it to access water at deeper levels than the grass can. 

Because clover is a nitrogen-rich weed, it can easily thrive in under-nourished lawns. In fact, clover species live close together with a root-inhabiting bacteria that removes nitrogen from the air.

If you want to get rid of clover, applying organic fertilizers when the soil is warm enough can provide the right nutrients for your grass and its soil and roots, plus it will help deter this weed from cropping up throughout the yard. The region where you live and the type of grass you have, and whether it’s a warm season or a cool season, will impact when you should fertilize your lawn.

This weed can also thrive in lawns with stressed soil and grass that has been cut too short or doesn’t receive enough water.

Clover Basics 

Clover used to be a standard part of all lawn seed mixes, but now, many homeowners classify clover as a weed. Because clover attracts bees, produces sticky burrs and can suffocate turf and ornamental grasses, it’s understandable that homeowners no longer want the perennial weed in their lawns.

There are several clover species across the country, but the most common you will find in your lawn are:

  • White clover — This clover species can live for several years and commonly thrives in nutrient-deficient yards. It’s identified by its spherical cluster of small white (or sometimes pink) flowers.
  • Red clover — Though it’s called red clover, this clover species is typically purple or rose-pink in color. It thrives in areas that are too shady or poorly drained. 
  • Crimson clover — A winter annual, this deep crimson-colored clover can be very invasive in lawns across various regions.
  • Ball clover — Commonly mistaken as white clover, this clover species also features a spherical cluster of white flowers, though it is much smaller than white clover. This clover type spreads and reseeds very quickly

How to Get Rid of Clover Naturally

Even lush, healthy lawns can get a few sprouts of clover sometimes, but if you have lots of patches of clover throughout your yard, there are several green approaches you can take to get rid of it. 

Cover it with a plastic sheet

Covering a patch of clover with a plastic sheet will deprive it of the sunlight and oxygen it needs to grow. Be careful not to cover surrounding grass, since this method will kill grass, too.

Remove it by the roots

Sometimes, all you need to get rid of clover are your own two hands. Use a few fingers to loosen the soil surrounding a patch of clover, then dig underneath and pull out a cluster of clover by its roots. Be sure to remove the entire root ball to prevent future growth. This method only works for small patches, and can be quite tedious. 

Mow at the right height

Clover has shallow roots and grows low to the ground. By mowing grass higher, about two-and-a-half inches tall, you prevent the sunlight from getting to the clover. 

Apply corn gluten meal

Available at most garden centers, this product will kill weeds, including clover, while fertilizing nearby grasses. Corn gluten meal releases organic material into the soil that impairs new seeds’ ability to sprout. 

Apply a mixture of vinegar and dish soap

The acetic acid in vinegar is a natural weed killer, while the dish soap binds the vinegar and water and makes it stick to any weed or plant surface, eliminating it. 

Choose an organic fertilizer

Though organic fertilizer tends to be more expensive than non-organic fertilizer, results almost always last longer. Clover thrives in nitrogen-poor lawns, so boosting your grass with nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer is sure to help get rid of it. Some organic fertilizer options include manure, blood meal, cottonseed meal, compost and mulch

How Professional Weed Control Can Help 

Using a professional lawn care service provides homeowners with trained specialists who have gardening expertise and reliable equipment to perform any lawn care service quickly and affordably.

Homeowners, especially those who don’t have time or the physical capacity to weed their lawns each week, can receive high-quality lawn care treatments from companies like TruGreen that help lawns thrive.

The Cost of Weed Control

Want professional help to get rid of weeds like clover? The cost of weed control varies depending on several factors, including the region you live in, the size of your lawn, the health of your lawn, the company you’ve selected and the service your lawn requires.

Yards with stressed soil and improper mowing height may have higher weed control rates than lawns with healthy soil and grass. To keep your grass and soil healthy and potentially cut lawn service costs, mow the lawn once a week and provide about one to one-and-a-half inches of water each week.

Homes in warmer climates with low irrigation during the summer months may need more water.

Top Pick: TruGreen

Professional lawn care brand TruGreen offers a variety of lawn care service packages to help homeowners achieve healthy green lawns without weeds or pests.

Available everywhere in the United States except Alaska and Hawaii, lawn specialists at TruGreen have the expertise and equipment to help you grow a thriving lawn.

TruGreen is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds an A+ rating from the organization. Each of its packages includes a Healthy Lawn Guarantee and pre-emergent and targeted weed control, which helps prevent and get rid of weeds like white clover and red clover.

After each service, you’ll receive a summary of the completed treatments and helpful tips to continue growing a flourishing lawn.

You can find more detail on TruGreen plans below: 

Plan  Services
TruComplete Lawn Care Plan – One aeration and overseed per year
– Eight general-service visits per year
– Fertilization
– Grub and pest control services
– Pre-emergent and targeted weed control
– An analysis of your current lawn condition
– Satisfaction guarantee
– Service by lawn care professionals
TruHealth Lawn Care Plan – Eight general-service visits per year
– Fertilization
– Grub and pest control services
– Pre-emergent and targeted weed control
– An analysis of your current lawn condition
– Satisfaction guarantee
– Service by lawn care professionals
TruSignature Lawn Care Plan – One aeration and overseed per year
– Eight general-service visits per year
– Seven tree-service visits per year
– Fertilization
– Grub and pest control services
– Pre-emergent and targeted weed control
– An analysis of your current lawn condition
– Tree and shrub services
– Satisfaction guarantee
– Service by lawn care professionals
TruNatural Lawn Care Plan – Five general-service visits per year
– Natural fertilizer application
– Non-toxic weed control services
– An analysis of your current lawn condition
– Satisfaction guarantee
– Service by lawn care professionals
TruMaintenance Lawn Care Plan – Six general-service visits per year
– Fertilization
– An analysis of your current lawn condition
– Satisfaction guarantee
– Service by lawn care professionals

For a free quote, you can call TruGreen at 877-820-0392 or fill out this easy form

Frequently Asked Questions

Will clover take over grass? 

Yes, clover is prolific and spreads quickly and easily, especially because of its dense root structure. In lawns with poor soil conditions, it can definitely take over the grass, and that’s why many homeowners want to get rid of clover.

Why do I have so much clover in my lawn?

Clover thrives in soil with poor nutrition, so if you find patches of clover in your yard, it’s most likely because your lawn has poor nitrogen levels. Soil needs adequate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to thrive.

What kills clover in grass? 

There are a variety of methods to get rid of clover naturally in your lawn. Organic fertilizer, dish soap, vinegar and corn gluten can all help kill clover in your grass. Additionally, mowing and pulling the clover out at its roots can help reduce the amount of clover in your yard.

Does vinegar kill clover? Vinegar is a safe, all-natural method to control and kill clover and other invasive plants. This spot-treating method, prepared as three parts vinegar, one part water and a small amount of dish soap, can help eliminate the clover without killing the grass. 

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