The Luck of the Irish? All About Clover in Your Lawn

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St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! It’s the time of year where Irish heritage is celebrated and symbols like four-leaf clovers, rainbows and gold are abundant. But for many homeowners, finding clovers in the lawn isn't a joyous way to recognize the holiday. Instead, this pesky weed can leave you confused and frustrated.

As we embark on this Irish holiday, let’s unpack the truth about the clover and its effect on your lawn.

Clover Basics

Why are clovers symbolic of St. Patrick’s Day? - The Shamrock can be translated from Gaelic to “little clover”. It has three leaves that, as lore states, St. Patrick used to explain the Holy Trinity, as well as faith, hope and love. The four-leaf clover became known as lucky simply because they are rare.

What’s the most common type of clover? – White Dutch is the most commonly found clover in lawns. Clover is of the genus Trifolium, which has about 300 species of flowering plants in the legume or pea family.

Why is clover in my lawn? - There are a variety of reasons that you might have the luck of finding clovers in your lawn, including:

  • Imbalance in the soil’s pH
  • Nutrient deficiencies, especially nitrogen
  • Grass that has been cut too short
  • Poorly watered grass
  • Compacted soil due to organic matter

How do I get rid of clover? - The way to control clover growth in the lawn is to mow and water regularly, as well as apply fertilizers that combat the growth of clovers. This weed is persistent and can be tricky to get rid of, but it can be achieved with proper and consistent methods.

The Cons of Clover

  • Messy - Clover is more staining than grass. For those who have kids playing in the lawn, this could be a consideration. Plus, not everyone enjoys the look of clover in their regular turf grass.
  • Not ideal for high-traffic areas - Clovers are less durable than grass. Clover must be mixed with grass to be strong enough for playing fields or high-traffic areas.
  • May require reseeding - Reseeding every four to five years may be required to maintain an even clover cover in your lawn unless it’s mixed with grass.

The Pros of Clover

There are, however, some reasons why you may consider keeping and controlling clover in your lawn, rather than eliminating it altogether.

  • Attracts and supports bees - Clovers are an important nectar source for insects that pollinate, including bees. The global bee population is decreasing at an alarming rate, and any support of the ecosystem that helps them thrive is encouraged.
  • Good for soil - Clover can add significant improvements to the fertility and health of your lawn’s soil. Clovers act as a natural fertilizing agent by transferring nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere into the soil.

If you need help controlling the clover in your lawn, we're here for you! Our services include fertilization, weed control, lawn care and maintenance, irrigation and more.