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Question: 66-5201
How can I keep clover from my lawn? Trudy, Oakdale, CT

Mort's Answer:
Clover is a beneficial addition to lawns. It has nitrate nodules in the root system that break down to nitrites to provide nitrogen for your lawn. I call clover a martyr grass. When the nitrogen level is sufficient to support the rest of the grasses then the clover will disappear. You can speed the demise of the clover by giving your lawn adequate amounts of chemical fertilizer each year. In the fifties clover was a popular addition to seed mixes for the reason given. It also crowded out the weeds. Personally, I like clover and other flowers in a lawn. You might find a four leaf clover there for good luck.

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Question: 591-3211
We have a lot of clover in the lawn. I fertilize regularly and add lime twice a year. How can I get rid of it? Matt, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
I wish that you could learn to love it. Clover was added to seed mixes in the fifties for low nutrient lawns. It is considered a martyr grass. It takes nitrogen from the air and adds it to the soil. It usually disappears after sufficient nitrogen is applied. Since your water table is so high in the southeast Connecticut area, you may have either draining of the water with the fertilizer or root rot. I do not recommend a herbicide to get rid of it, You can top dress with a blue grass and perennial rye mix. Both grasses require 30 days to germinate. This will take you to September, when the cooler temps will allow for good germination. This should crowd out the clover.

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Question: 1043-4513
How do I get rid of sweet clover in my lawn? Bertha, Cambridge, IL

Mort's Answer:
We are a strong advocate of keeping clover in the lawn. Clover is a martyr grass that will die away when there is sufficient nitrogen in the soil. Since it attracts bees, it is helpful for pollination of flowers in addition to adding nitrogen to the soil. Clover takes nitrogen from the air and breaks down the nitrates in the roots to feed the other grasses. If you give the lawn sufficient fertilizer the clover will disappear. You have an inexpensive source of fertilizer that you could grow to love.

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