How to Get Rid of Clover in Your Lawn

Is unwanted clover in your yard making you feel unlucky? No problem. We’ll show you how to get rid of clover in your lawn.

While clover has its benefits, it isn’t for everyone. In this article, we’ll cover:

8 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Clover

Clover is a common weed, but it doesn’t have to be a blight in your yard. Whether you have an entire lawn full of clover or a few small patches to contend with, it’s easy to get rid of the clover in your yard without killing your grass.

1. Weeding

For small patches of clover, it’s simply a matter of pulling it out. Don’t leave any of it on the lawn because the clover seeds will find their way back into your grass.

Loosen the soil with a spade to get the roots. It’s best to follow up with a preventative measure and apply corn gluten meal. Read on to find out why corn gluten meal is an excellent clover deterrent.

2. Corn Gluten Meal 

Corn gluten meal (not the corn meal in your kitchen) is a natural pre-emergent herbicide. It won’t work on existing clover but will prevent any new clover from sprouting. You can buy this natural weed killer at most garden centers or online.

Don’t use corn gluten meal if you recently planted grass seed. 

3. Vinegar and Dish Soap Solution 

A Vinegar and dish soap solution is a non-toxic DIY treatment for any weed. Fill a spray bottle with one cup of herbicidal vinegar, one cup of water, and one drop of dish soap.

You will need to spray the area regularly for a few weeks to eradicate the clover. 

Pro Tip: Vinegar products with 20% or more acetic acid kill weeds but will also damage turfgrass. Spray the solution only where you need it and overseed the treated areas if needed.

4. Mow High

Clover thrives in grass that is less than 3-inches tall. The easy fix to eliminate clover and give your lawn a fighting chance is to mow at the highest level for your specific grass type. 

Measure from the ground to the bottom of your mower’s mowing deck, then up to your mower blades. This total equals the mowing height.

5. Smother the Clover

Every plant needs sunlight and water to grow. If you have a large clover section or want to start an area from scratch, you can cover it with plastic sheeting. You can also be frugal and use old pool liners or garbage bags. 

Using bricks or large rocks, you can keep the edges of the covering secured to the ground. In a few weeks, remove the plastic sheeting and re-seed the area.

Pro Tip: You can also use solarization to speed up the process. Cover the area with clear plastic to heat the soil to kill the weeds and seeds in the top 6 inches of soil.

Watch that you don’t cover surrounding plants in your garden or healthy lawn areas in the process

6. Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer 

Organic nitrogen-rich lawn fertilizer is an environmentally-friendly option that can benefit your lawn and kill clover. Clover spreads quickly in nitrogen-deficient yards.

You only need to apply the fertilizer to the problem clover areas, but if your lawn shows signs of nitrogen deficiency, a thorough treatment may be more beneficial.

7. Organic Weed Killer 

Say adios to clover! A.D.I.O.S., or Advanced Development In Organic Solutions, is an organic herbicide that controls weeds without damaging surrounding lawn growth. 

You can order A.D.I.O.S. online or buy it in most home improvement stores and garden centers.

8. Broadleaf Herbicide 

You may need a more aggressive approach if you struggle with lawn weeds such as clover, dandelions, and other broadleaf weeds. There are organic options that target weeds while leaving your grass intact.

Broadleaf herbicides, like Ortho Ground Clear, are weed killers formulated with multiple herbicides to treat a wide range of weeds.

What is Clover and What Type is in My Lawn?

Clover is a term used to describe a group of more than 300 species of plants belonging to the legume or pea family. You likely have clover if you spot little, round or oval, white or pink blooms with bees flying around them on your lawn.

There are 3-main types of clover common in the United States. 

White clover (Trifolium repens)

Photo credit: Wikimedia | CC-BY-2.0

White clover is the most common type of clover found in the U.S. and has pinkish-white flowers. This cool-season perennial is closely related to the agricultural alfalfa and sweet clover. Microclover is the smallest variety.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense

Photo credit: Wikimedia | CC-BY-SA-4.0

Red clover has flowers with oval leaflets ranging from light rose to deep fuchsia. This perennial ground cover is also known as cow clover, meadow clover, and wild clover.

Strawberry clover (Trifolium fragiferum)

Trifolium fragiferum
Photo credit: Wikimedia | CC-BY-3.0

Strawberry clover is similar to white clover, but its white and pink flowers are slightly smaller. Also a perennial, this clover attracts birds and grows well in coastal areas or near river estuaries.

Why Do I Have Clover in My Lawn

Clover can appear in your lawn for a few reasons, usually due to problems with your soil.

  • Low nitrogen levels: Clover grows well in soil with low nitrogen levels. Grass requires nitrogen-rich soil to thrive, but clover absorbs the nitrogen it needs from the air and then uses it to make its own fertilizer. You can avoid this by using an organic fertilizer such as manure or corn meal.
  • Compacted soil: Your grass can’t get the nutrients, air, and water it needs if the dirt is too compressed. Use a core or spike aerator to break up the soil.
  • Too acidic: Most lawns flourish with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If your lawn’s soil is overly acidic, grass will struggle to grow while the clover will thrive. Use soil amendments, such as lime to balance the pH levels.

Why Would I Want to Have Clover in My Lawn?

There are several pros and cons of clover lawn. These plants attract pollinators and require less watering and mowing to maintain your grass.

Clover is also a natural fertilizer. It absorbs nitrogen from the air and releases it into the soil, giving you a healthier lawn. Clover offers weed control by crowding out other weeds and serves as an organic mulch. 


1. What will kill clover but not kill grass?

Use an organic herbicide such as (A.D.I.O.S): Advanced Development In Organic Solutions to kill the clover without damaging the surrounding grass. Also, clover grows best in grass less than three inches tall, so cutting your turf higher will help your grass out-compete the clover.

2. Will clover go away on its own?

No. Clover is a perennial, meaning you’ll have to treat it every year until you eliminate it from your yard.

3. Is clover toxic to pets?

Each type of clover has a unique set of compounds that could pose a risk if eaten in large amounts. Mold and fungus that often attacks clover is the biggest issue as it interferes with your dog’s blood clotting process.
If you’d rather spend more time enjoying your lawn and less time maintaining it, delegate the dirty work to a local lawn care professional.

Main photo credit: Brenda Stuart / Wikilawn

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!