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8 Effective Ways To Remove Clovers In Grass

The Best Ways to Get Rid of Clovers in Lawn

If you’re anything like me, you take pride in your grass. It’s the first thing people see as they approach and there’s nothing better than looking out and admiring your lush green lawn. I’m always on the lookout for weeds and after some trial and error I’ve figured out the 8 most effective ways to remove clovers from in grass.

So, what are the 8 most effective ways to remove clovers in the grass? While there are several ways to remove clovers in your grass, we have found a few to be most effective. Some of the most effective ways to get rid of clovers include:

  • pull it up by the roots
  • chemical weed killer
  • organic weed killer
  • pull out the flower heads as they appear
  • let the grass grow longer
  • aerate the lawn
  • get rid of the thatch
  • fertilize regularly


Keep reading to learn more about how to get rid of the clover throughout your grass.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Clover

Clover is one of those weeds that pops up the most anytime some grass seed sprouts in a yard. It starts as just one or two plants and then spreads into such an infestation that you can hardly see the grass through all that green clover. 

1. Pull It Up By the Roots

This is probably the most obvious of all 8 ways to remove clovers and, for larger weeds, is actually pretty effective. To do this you need to get rid of as much root as possible so dig down deep and grab a good fistful of soil around the weed. Then pull very hard until the weed comes out – be warned though, this can be tough work!

2. Chemical Weed Killer

This method might be more expensive than others but chemical weed killers are cost-effective and easy to apply. When shopping for a chemical weed killer you are looking for herbicides that have the active ingredients glyphosate and triclopyr.

These chemicals will kill the clover but they won’t harm your grass. You can simply wash away the dead weeds after applying it. These herbicides should be applied post-emergence on a dry bright day when there is no chance of rain or watering for at least one whole day after applying.

It will take up to 2 weeks for the results to show on clover, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Don’t be tempted to use a weed and feed at the same time because this can actually damage your lawn and reduce its resistance to weeds and disease.

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3. Organic Weed Killer

If you want something that’s less harsh on the environment, then organic weed killers are for you. First, let’s talk about vinegar. Vinegar is a great natural weed killer that will get rid of clover quickly. It kills the roots and then dries up any new clover sprouts that try to grow back.

This works best in small areas and not so well for large ones. If you have a spray bottle of white vinegar that will do the trick. Then all you need to do is soak the weeds in some vinegar for 2 hours and wash it off – just make sure you keep an eye on your grass because if it gets too wet, it can start to look yellow.

Another option is to use a biological weed killer. These are made from naturally occurring bacteria or fungi which eat away at specific types of plant life – including weeds! But remember, this is organic so it won’t harm your grass.
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4. Pull Out the Flower Heads

Not all clover flowers will produce seeds but by removing them before they do so, you’ll stop any new clovers from growing in your yard.

Hand weeding is effective for this, but if the clover is in large areas of your lawn you might want to invest in a weed puller. This works like pliers and you simply twist it around the stem of the weed until the root comes away from the soil.

5. Let the Grass Grow Longer

This sounds counter-intuitive but letting your grass get a little longer will not only deprive the clover of sunlight, but it will also make removal easier. You don’t need any special equipment or chemicals either – just get out there and mow (or ask someone to mow for you).

6. Aerate the Lawn

Aeration is another good way to improve your soil quality and thus allow better grass growth. You can rent an aerating machine from most stores where they sell gardening tools or hire one if you’re in a pinch (make sure that you clean up after you’re done).

Machine aeration is the best way to aerate your lawn if you have a large area. To do this, simply drive the machine across the lawn so that spikes penetrate about 1-2 inches into the soil. If you have a small yard, you can use a spike aerator by hand. This process will allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots.

Spike aerators are also known as lawn coring tools. They are effective for small areas where you need to cut out dead grass or remove thatch layer build-up. These come in different forms but one of the best is a manual model which can provide you with the same benefits as a giant machine.

This organic lawn care method is very effective and can help you to remove clovers and other weeds from the grass.
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7. Get Rid of the Thatch

If it’s looking a little thin, then thatch removal will be your best bet. Thatch is a layer of dead plant material that coats your soil and makes it difficult for weeds (and grass) to grow through.

With this particular removal strategy, you’ll want to use a dethatcher/power rake with tines less than 2 inches high so as not to damage or weaken your turf. One thatching tip is to wait until you have a couple of inches of thatch, then do it at the same time as fertilizing your lawn.

8. Fertilize

Clover is often found in nutrient-poor soil, which means that it can thrive without being given a lot of food. Clover grows by using the atmospheric nitrogen and organic matter present to create its own fertilizer from microbes in nature known as “nitrification”.

This process requires little or no sunlight – just water! To keep our lawns thick with grass while preventing weeds from taking over completely we should make sure they’re fertilized regularly. Slow-release and quick-release nitrogen for chewing up quickly when you need more immediate results than waiting months between applications.

Which Clover Removal Method is Best for You?

Different people use different clover removal methods depending on what tools or materials they have available. Before you go out and buy herbicides or fertilizer check out what you may have around and start there. It’s quite possible that you can solve your clover problem with household materials.

If you’re curious about organic weed killers, but don’t want to invest in anything for the moment, then ask your neighbors, friends, or property management company if they have some on hand before you go out and buy something. You might also consider renting or borrowing specific tools. This is not only good for the environment, but it will save you some money too!

When is the Best Time to Remove Clover?

The best time to remove clover from a lawn is when new plants form. You need to find and eliminate any seedlings before they spread, so look out for these signs:

  • Newly emerged shoots with green leaves that have not yet turned brown;
  • Smaller weeds or grasses spread across your yard at an increased rate of speed (you’ll know what I’m talking about). If you see either one then get rid of it as quickly as possible!


Clovers are very tenacious plants and can survive with little to no sunlight. Because of this, the best thing to do is probably try to prevent them in the first place. If you have an issue with clovers, chances are that it will only get worse over time.

Clover seeds are spread by birds, water run-off from your roof (and thus, rain), and other ways. Prevention is the best remedy to remove clovers in grass. To prevent clovers from coming back, keep the grass well-fertilized and watered at all times. Keep your lawn mowed low and remove all dead patches.

Finally, if none of these 8 ways to remove clovers from a lawn have worked at all, then it might be time to call in a professional lawn care service. This is only recommended as a last resort. There’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to completely get rid of clover from your grass without damaging it in some way.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for American Lawns. I've been a home owner for over 15 years. I've also had the pleasure of working with some experts in lawn care and outdoor living. I enjoy writing about everything related to your lawn, pests and types of grass. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.