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Organic Lawn Care in Ohio Blog

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How to Kill Clover Without Chemicals


Does your lawn look like the lawn pictured below?  Are you seeing a lot of white flowers in your lawn and don't like the look of them?  Maybe you're concerned about the clover attracting bees and making it more likely for your kids to get stung?  If this is your lawn and you'd like to get some more grass and less clover, keep reading, we'll get there...

Clover   MicroMix resized 600

Why You Might Want to Keep Your Clover

But, before we talk about How to Eliminate Clover without using chemicals, let's spend a second looking at the benefits of clover and perhaps convince you that you'd like to keep the clover after all.

Reason 1: Clover Fertilizes Your Lawn

Clover has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that attach themselves to its roots.  These bacteria can absorb nitrogen (the main nutrient that gives grass its green color) from the atmosphere, meaning that it doesn't need to be fertilized.  Even better, if you have a good mix of clover (or microclover) you shouldn't need to fertilize your lawn much.  Contrary to poplular belief, clover won't take over your lawn, it will help your lawn.  Notice how the side of the soccer field below that is planted with microclover is greener than the side to the right - clover can keep your lawn greener with less fertilizer!

microclovervsnomicrocloverfield resized 600


Reason 2: Clover Prevents Weeds

We talk about mowing your lawn high to help prevent weeds.  Mowing High helps prevent weeds because the taller the grass, the more it shades the surface of the soil and makes it difficult for weeds to establish.  Clover, with its umbrella like leaves, shades the soil better than blades of grass do, so it shades the soil very well.  If you have clover in your lawn, you can even mow at a more normal mowing height (2.5 inches).  So, if you like mowing your lawn short, clover can help you avoid having a million other weeds.  See how the section of grass that has microclover in it below has far fewer dandelions than the non clover section?

Microclover Prevents Dandelions


Reason 3: Microclover Provides Clover Benefits without Drawbacks

Over the years many people have called us wondering how to eliminate the clover in their lawns without using chemicals.  Once they understand the benefits of clover they're often to leave the clover and even consider purchasing additional microclover to help make the lawn more uniformily clover covered!

Nice Clover Lawn

The image above is of a lawn seeded with our Microclover which flowers much less prolifically than standard white clover and is aggressive enough to spread evenly through a lawn.  We've found that lawns planted with microclover stay greener, healthier, and have fewer weeds than lawns with no clover.  In addition, they need less fertilizer and water.  So, if you have convinced yourself that if you can't "beat clover, join clover" then you might want to learn a little more about microclover by visiting our website at or purchasing it in our online store by visiting


How to Eliminate Clover Without Chemicals

Ok, if you're still determined to eliminate clover that's no problem, let's do it with out chemicals!

Step 1: Fertilize Your Lawn

Clover thrives in underfertilized grass because it has the advantage - it can make its own fertilizer and grass really can't.  So, if you fertilize your grass with a good organic fertilizer in the spring and fall then you will give the grass the advantage.

Step 2: Mow High

Clover has no problem being mowed nice and short, but your grasses don't love it.  When you cut your lawn under 3 inches tall, the clover will appreciate it and the grass will get a little stressed.  So, mow high to give your grass an advantage over the clover.

Step 3: Kill the Clover - Organically

There is an exciting new organic weed killer on the market for killing weeds in your lawn without killing the grass.  If you spray this new organic weed killer (Adios) on the clover in the grass, it will weaken the clover without harming the grass and give your grass the advantage it needs to outcompete the clover.  Adios is the product and I've had some great success with it killing clover in our trials. 

Step 4: Water Properly

If you're going to use Adios to kill the clover in your lawn without chemicals, you should keep your lawn properly watered.  It's best if you can water deeply (1 inch - enough to fill a tuna can) once or twice per week.  The day after one of those deep waterings when the grass is not stressed out, you can apply adios to kill the weeds in your lawn without killing the grass.  If you spray the Adios on a lawn that isn't getting water and is stressed out by heat and drought, you may end up killing your grass as well.  So, before you spray Adios to kill the weeds in your lawn organically, make sure you're keeping your lawn well watered.

Final Note

The Clover we're referring to is White Clover, a perennial weed.  There are other annual weeds that people often call Yellow Clover - typically Black Medic, and Oxalis get called Yellow Clover.  You can use Adios to kill these "yellow clover" plants as well but don't need to because they are annuals and will die at the end of the season anyway.  The best way to fight the yellow clovers is by using organic fertilizers, mowing high, and watering properly. 



Nice Post Alec.. I Think Micro clover is very useful Organic Lawn Care. everyone must be used their garden
Posted @ Saturday, June 08, 2013 8:08 AM by Rick hoffer
These are excellent tips we plan to share with our clients. Thank you for sharing! 
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Posted @ Monday, June 10, 2013 8:22 AM by Bruce
I was wondering about this! i always recommend to my customers that they keep the clover since it fertilizes for free, but the yards look messy with all the little flowers. This solves the problem.
Posted @ Saturday, July 20, 2013 3:14 PM by Duncan
I have read many pros and cons regarding eliminating clover. My daughter is highly allergic to clover and her last exposure (recently mowed lawn) resulted in a trip to the ER and a breathing treatment. I plan to try this product.
Posted @ Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:53 AM by Karen
I've never heard of anyone allergic to clover before, if you're allergic it definitely isn't good to have! If you aren't, it reduces all kinds of inputs. Thanks!
Posted @ Friday, May 23, 2014 10:59 AM by Alec McClennan
Most people like to have their own lawn or garden in front of their home. No doubt gardens are always beautiful and we get lots of benefits from this garden. But we have to take care of all plants of garden. Plant foods are very effective in case of increasing the productivity of plant.
Posted @ Monday, June 02, 2014 1:33 AM by Baker
Where can I buy Adios Organic Weed Killer in Calgary Alberta Canada Thanks 
Posted @ Thursday, June 05, 2014 2:22 PM by nick
Geraniums in my terracotta pots have excess clover, how can I rid?
Posted @ Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:13 AM by Roy hunt
I have a yard full of Clover and it's not beneficial at all! The problem is the Deer love it and they are out there at night for hours munching away and peeing all over my lawn and it's now full of brown spots. The lawn next to mine has no clover and is green and lush! Damn Deer!
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 12:09 PM by Bob Riccardo
Bob, Sorry to hear you're not liking clover! I'd just follow the steps outlined above for killing it...just want to make the point that if it doesn't bother you, clover has some positive qualities that you might consider before killing it. Sounds like you have some issues with it so the tips outlined in this blog should help! Thanks!
Posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 3:02 PM by Alec McClennan
It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 15, 2014 7:26 AM by James Freddy
This is really helpful article to get rid of this problem. The clover has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that attach themselves to its root. The great landscpe design ideas and the nitrogen from the atmosphere which gives the grass a green color. 
Posted @ Wednesday, October 15, 2014 11:49 AM by Edward Goodman
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