Clover control

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by charmill26, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Hello everyone I would like to first start off by saying I am Not licensed yet but am studying. These questions are for my own lawn. I have applied trimec to my lawn in hope of controlling the clovers that seem to keep popping up but I don't seem to get a complete kill. Should I be mixing something else in? I believe I have read about adding stickers? I am applying with a bp sprayer.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Apparently you're not in with the 'in' crowd, charmill.

    A growing trend of this new green millennium is to have an understory of clover within your turf in order to secure nitrogen from the atmosphere and to provide nutrition to the turf that shades it.
    In essence, turf & clover can live in a symbiotic relationship:

    A 'weed' by definition of the general public is vegetation in some location where it is undesirable.
    In other words, they are what they are in the eye of the beholder.

    Dandilion flowers for many folks stand out strikingly as 'weeds' because they contrast so sharply with deep green turf. This is quite understandable.
    But in many lawn situations that are otherwise managed as a clover / turf balance, a person standing on the curb on the lawn next door typically cannot make any distinction whether or not there are 'weeds' in such a lawn, assuming the mowing height is correct to stem any potential flowering in the clover.
  3. suzook

    suzook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    So true. How many lawns look great from the street, or neighbors house? Then when you start mowing, you notice all the defects, and weeds.
  4. JWTurfguy

    JWTurfguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327


    From reading your post, it sounds like you don't care about being part of the "in" crowd. You and I have something in common. Unfortunately, proper control of clover is difficult in the summer because it's a winter annual. You'd get better control in the late fall, but assuming you don't want to wait that long, Horsepower (aka Eliminate) does a pretty good job, but I don't know what's restricted in your state. Ask your dealer for a broadleaf herbicide containing triclopyr.

    You might also consider having your soil tested. Clover thrives in low-fertility soils, so there's a chance that you're either not fertilizing properly, or your pH is out of range so that the fert you're applying isn't readily available.

    Or, I suppose, you can join the IN crowd (lol) and just learn to like your weeds.

  5. LawnoftheMonth

    LawnoftheMonth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Trimec Southern is what i use, but i can only apply it when it's below 86 degrees here or it will burn the st. augustine we have. The heat kills it off when it gets about 95 degrees here.

    I'm curious as to whether or not my customers who started my program with bad clover issues will have it again this coming winter, after a year of my fertilizer applications.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Gradually over 'X' amount of time as this current old school generation slowly dies off, this newer, oncoming generation will increasingly think of grounds maintenance in more pro active terms such as 'building the soil'.

    Implementation of 5 step programs, or the practice of 'feeding the grass' using atmosphere & mine-derived N P & K's, will be increasingly compared to an addiction to junk food.

    In fast food there's almost always alot of calories & carbs for the purpose of a quick pick-me-up, but usually next to no long term food value in terms of vitamins, minerals & fiber.

    Good, healthy food is more expensive than junk food, of course.
    Same thing goes for the best stuff for the lawn!

    Feed the SOIL, not the grass!:waving:
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,165

    And don't forget that this type of client will not harass you about a few weeds. These are the clients I am cultivating.
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,813

    So...Phast...what can he, or I, use to kill dandelions, but not clover?
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    How are you personally thinking about accomplishing this?
    Where do you stand on this issue? :confused:

    Are you one of the ones walking the line between 'traditional chemicals' & organic lawn care, a.k.a....a bridge-organics person/company?
    Or do want to go 100% natural all the way?

    A bridge applicator like myself may go about nourishing someone's lawn soil with a late spring dousing of finished compost at a depth of approx 1/3", preferably after a healthy core aeration & rainfall.
    Or, if the customer doesn't like the idea of ......"manure"..:laugh:... on their lawn to be drug inside by the kids and/or dogs, we'll substitute a program of various protein meals like corn meal, soybean meal, cotton seed meal, etc.

    Weeds? :confused:
    Going in to the lawn of a NEW prospect that's blatantly chuck full o' weeds, often we'll be forced to do a 2, 4-d cover spray to get things sort of under control.
    If your goal is to control dandilions and to spare the clover, go to a farm co-op or Tractor Supply and buy non-ester 2, 4-d.....period! No other ingredients!
    If on the other hand the lawn is one of those hit-n miss, here-&-there dandilion or whatever undesirable perennial broadleaf scattered in amongst the clover, the preferred mode of control is using a backpack sprayer, the same simple non-ester formulation of 2, 4-d, and a shot of blue tracker dye to mark the hits.

    Compost/ meals?....... then 2,4-d?.....huh? :confused:
    Don't be alarmed!
    This type of practice is at the very center of IPM (Integrated Pest Management).
    But many organic purists scoff at it in terms of it being part of the picture in the future because they say it's... "not sustainable".
    I disagree.
    I believe that we can use wisely & sparingly some of the WW II era chemisty and combine it with all the things our grandfathers & great-grandfathers knew that're now being un-earthed after being essentially lost for 3 to 4 generations of Americana. :usflag:

    The long term goal I try to establish in the minds of our clientele is to get their turf SOOOOOOOOO thick & healthy by means of improving the SOIL incrementally over time with compost, meals, etc... that ultimately most weeds wont have much of a chance to get their foot in the door.
    And since we don't offer mowing as part of our services, this means that we have to work really hard to TRAIN our customers to know how to manage their turf correctly with their own mowers & sprinklers.
    But, what is somewhat MORE difficult to do, is the training of the customer to better manage the overall actions of their MOWING COMPANY! :laugh: :cry::dizzy::hammerhead:
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Great post Marcos

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