Question of the Week – Number Two: November 12, 2020

“What will kill clover in my lawn without harming the lawngrass?”

Bur clover germinates in early fall. By spring its clumps are large and dense. Stop it before it becomes unsightly by applying a broadleafed weedkiller before the weather turns cold.

You will need a broadleafed weedkiller. The term “broadleafed” refers to plants that are not grasses, so it would include fall and winter weeds such as dandelions, henbit, chickweed, dichondra, plantain and, as you mentioned, clover of various sorts. Those weeds all grow in the cooler weather.

The ingredient that will be common to them all is known simply as 2,4-D. A few products contain it by itself, while many others contain it blended with two other active ingredients and packaged as a blend called “Trimec.”

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You’ll apply the broadleafed weedkiller as a foliar spray. It helps to include one drop of liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of spray to help hold the spray on the weeds’ leaves. I prefer to use a pump sprayer that is dedicated to herbicides, and I adjust its spray nozzle to a fairly fine droplet size.

Read and follow label directions carefully to avoid damage to desirable plants nearby. One of your main precautions will be related to temperatures. If you see these weeds starting to grow already, spray right away before it gets any colder. Once winter blows in you’ll have to wait until spring, and by then they’ll be large and unsightly. November is your prime time.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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