Get Rid of Clover and Other Yard Nuisances With These 10 Tips
Mowing over clover may seem like a quick fix, but it always grows back. The following tips will show you how to get rid of clover and other stubborn yard nuisances.
Deprive Clover of Sunlight
If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of clover, we’ve got you covered. If you’re dealing with a large clover patch and you’re willing to sacrifice your grass, place plastic sheeting, or a large garbage bag, over the clover. Be sure to secure the perimeter so the plastic doesn’t fly off. Keep the clover covered for a few weeks. Depriving it of sunlight and oxygen should do the trick will kill it (and your grass).
To start over with new grass, first you’ll have to determine if you want to use seed or sod. This discussion will help.
Use Nitrogen on Clover
Because clover thrives in environments void of nitrogen, you can control it with a nitrogen-rich weed-and-feed formula. One well-reviewed product to try is GreenView Weed and Feed. “It killed most of the clover and dandelion within two weeks and the lawn is already starting to get that deep, dark green hue,” says an Amazon reviewer.
Use Corn Gluten on Clover
Another way to get rid of clover is to use corn gluten. Corn meal gluten kills off the clover without harming nearby plants. It works by releasing organic dipeptides into the soil. The dipedtides dry out the clover’s seeds and make it hard for them to sprout. This well-reviewed product can be used by mixing three parts water to one part corn gluten. One liter of this mixture will cover about 1,000 square feet. Once applied, be sure to water well and then allow it to dry.
Note: While the dipedtides have worked to get rid of clover for some, corn gluten hasn’t worked for all, and is therefore not universally regarded as a solution for dealing with clover.
Get Rid of Slugs
To get rid of slugs in your yard and garden, fill empty metal tuna cans with beer and place them in the garden. Slugs will seek out the beer, fall in and drown. You could also try sprinkling sharp sand, wood ashes, crushed seashells or diatomaceous earth (a naturally occurring, soft, sedimentary rock formed from fossil remains) around the stems of plants to discourage slugs from squirming their way to the plant.
Get Rid of Voles
If you’ve spotted the telltale runway routes of voles on your grass you’re probably wondering how to get rid of them.
Your first move is to eliminate the environments that are attracting the voles in the first place, like excess brush and mulch, stacks of wood, tall grasses and leaf piles. They also love fallen pine needles and fallen fruit.
While voles are good at eating your fruit and damaging your lawn, they’re not winning any awards for climbing, so fencing an area with a half-inch of mesh (hardware cloth), at least 12 inches above the ground and buried 6 to 10 inches deep will deter them.
Voles despise the smell and taste of castor oil. Make a spray by combining 6 ounces of castor oil and 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent in 1 gallon of water. Mix well. You will then dilute to spray on the entire lawn at a rate of 1 ounce per gallon of water applied per each 300 square feet of lawn.
Voles also hate capsaicin—the compound found in peppers that makes them taste hot and causes stinging. Make a capsaicin spray with water, hot pepper flakes or chopped hot peppers and biodegradable dish soap. Spray either substance on your lawn and plants. You can also purchase coyote or fox urine. Either scent will notify the voles that a predator is near, which should scare them off.
Get Rid of Creeping Charlie
Also known as ground ivy, creeping Charlie can wreak havoc throughout your lawn and garden, forming a dense mat and smothering other plants. Treat the invasive yard nuisance with a broadleaf herbicide, making several applications over the course of several weeks. Another solution is to properly mulch garden beds.
Get Rid of Dandelions
To kill dandelions, be sure to tackle them in the fall, when nutrients are transferred from the leaves down to the roots (it’s through the roots that the plant lives). An organic and effective way to get rid of this invasive weed is to use vinegar. The acetic acid in it makes for an all-natural herbicide. Apply it directly onto the leaves of the weeds. To increase the strength of store-bought vinegar, boil it down before application. You’ll want to pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the effected area. Within a few hours, you’ll notice the leaves have withered and turned brown.
Get Rid of Cutworms
These fat, 1-inch-long moth larvae hide beneath leaves or within the top layer of soil during the day and feed on plants at night. Because cutworms typically attack stems, the first part of a plant they encounter, your best bet is to protect young seedling by using collars made from plastic drinking cups with the bottom cut out.
Get Rid of Crabgrass
To get rid of crabgrass, you’ll want to use a pre-emergence herbicide (also called crabgrass preventer). A fertilizer/crabgrass preventer combination is the most cost-effective option. Granular herbicides create a chemical barrier at the surface of the soil. You’ll want to apply the product in the spring before the crabgrass seeds sprout.
Get Rid of Plantain
This common weed often shows up in neglected lawns, specifically in shady, moist areas. Fortunately, plantain is easy to dig up with a trowel or dandelion weeder. For the easiest job, be sure to pull the weeds when the soil is moist.