White clover (Trifolium repens), also known as Dutch clover, is a cool-season perennial often found growing in patches along roadsides and in pastures and lawns. It is a low-growing plant with creeping stems (stolons) that produce roots and shoots at nodes (joints) along the stem, which helps the plant to spread.
It has trifoliate leaves which consist of 3 oval-shaped leaflets. There is usually a characteristic white, crescent-shaped band on each leaflet. White flowers (often tinged with pink) appear in early summer. The flower heads consist of 40 to 80 florets (individual flowers) in a cluster measuring ½ to 1 ½ inches in diameter. It reproduces by seed and by creeping stolons.
White clover is native to Europe and Asia. However, it is found throughout the continental United States. It is popular for livestock grazing, erosion control and was once used in lawn seed mixes.
White clover is in the legume family (Fabaceae) and is capable of fixing its own nitrogen, which enables it to thrive in unfertilized areas. Because of this, it can be used to indicate inadequate fertility. It has a shallow root system that does not do well in dry soils. It grows best when temperatures range from 50 to 85 °F.
How To Get Rid Of White Clover
Getting rid of white clover starts with creating a healthy lawn. Clover will grow in areas of low nitrogen and where competition from other plants is small, so making sure that your lawn is well fertilized will not only help desirable grass to grow and keep out white clover, but will also make the soil less inviting to white clover.
Maintaining the health and density of your lawn is the best method for preventing weed problems. Proper mowing height, irrigation and fertilization of the turf grass are the best defense against weeds. For help controlling clover and improving the health and beauty of your lawn, contact Virginia Green Lawn Care for a Free Estimate.