SPRING 2021 Promo: SMART LAWN PLAN Use BLC20 to get $20 off + Free Soil Test

Lawn Repair - Help With Removing Clover and Lawn Renovation

by Christopher
(Nazareth, PA)

Red Clover

Red Clover

Your Question: I just moved into a new home and I believe they seeded with very cheap seed. My yard is now COVERED in what I believe is red clover. It is really tall and has purplish/pinkish flowers. It is absolutely everywhere. From what I have read, my yard is lacking nitrogen. So it obviously needs fertilizer. I wonder if you can help me to remove it. It is now the end of July. Should I spray a weed killer on the clover to kill it all, then begin fertilizing when it is all dead? I want to clean it out before the winter and hope to fix the yard in the fall when it is a good time to seed. What would the process be to turn my yard into a nice grass filled lawn.


Note: I'm assuming you are growing a Kentucky bluegrass lawn.

You are correct - lawns with a pale-green to yellow color and green clover patches is a good indication of low nitrogen fertility. Clover has the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and will therefore thrive in lawns that are lacking.

Go ahead and apply a slow release fertilizer now at a rate of 1/2 lb nitrogen per 1000 ft2 to green up you lawn and help it compete with the clover. Normally, I do not recommend fertilizing cool-season grasses in the middle of the summer. After fertilizing, make sure it is getting 1" of water per week.

To eliminate the clover, use a weed killer that contains 2,4-D and triclopyr or 2,4-D with mecoprop and dicamba. I recommend using Gordon's Speedzone. The clover can be sprayed now, however you
will get a better kill in early fall - hot and dry weather will reduce the effectiveness of herbicides. If you spray now, choose a day with low temperatures. Speedzone is safe to spray in temps below 90 ° F - spraying in higher temps will damage your grass.

If your lawn is large - over 10,000 sq. ft. - consider hiring a lawn treatment service to do the spraying. They will have the equipment to get good coverage...and a better kill.

Fall Lawn Repair:

  1. Beginning late summer/early fall - spray clover and wait a couple of weeks

  2. Aerate and overseed - run a core aerator over your lawn in at least 3 directions. Then overseed with a quality seed blend at a rate of 5 lb per 1000 ft2.

    Apply a starter fertilizer (1/2 lb per 1000 ft2) and water, water, water - keeping the seed moist until it germinates and then make sure it gets up to 1" of water/rain per week.

  3. Fall fertilizer is the most important for cool season lawns. Fertilize again in early October and early November with a slow release or organic based fertilizer at a rate of 1 lb Nitrogen per 1000 ft2.

  4. How's the soil? If the the builder didn't bring in good topsoil - at least 2 inches - I would topdress with compost after the seed has sprouted and has been mowed a couple times (early October). Its really easy to do, just dump wheel barrows around your yard and rake in with a leaf rake. Spread 3/4 cubic yard per 1000 ft2.

Get your Smart Lawn Plan and take the guesswork out of fertilizer applications. Easy applications with professional results.

Click here to post comments

Return to Lawn Questions.