White clover (Trifolium repens) is probably one of the most commonly known and easily identified weed along with wild violets and dandelions. Most people fall under two camps with this plant. They either love or hate it. Native to Europe white clover was brought over with the early settlers. After escaping cultivation it easily established itself and became a weed.
White clover belongs in the bean family, Fabaceae, so it is a nitrogen fixing plant. It is also a pollinator friendly and visited by many species of bees. However, once established in the lawn it is difficult to eradicate.
Because white clover is in the bean family you often see it in areas of low nitrogen fertility. One way to help keep it out of the lawn is increasing the soil fertility and mowing at 3” height. White clover is a low growing plant so increasing the height of the lawn can help shade out the white clover. Apply combination herbicides starting in mid-October will also help manage the plant. Keep in mind that this plant spreads by stolons (above ground stems) and many herbicides have a difficult time moving through them.
By using multiple approaches to manage white clover you can eliminate it from the lawn.