White Clover

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.IMG_20170519_131224798

Scott Evans

Scott Evans is a horticulture assistant with Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties. A certified arborist through International Society of Arboirculture and Nebraska Arborist Association. Scott is also Tree Risk Assessment Qualified through ISA. Scott co-leads the Master Gardener program in Douglas & Sarpy counties. Along with volunteer management he provides his expertise with disease and insect identification, lawn and landscape weed management, plant health, and I.P.M. practices. He also enjoys growing many houseplants ranging from African violets to cacti and succulents. Scott has two Bachelors of Science, one in Biology (emphasis in Botany, Ecology and Environmental Science) and second in Environmental Geology from Northwest Missouri State University. He earned his Master of Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


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