Six Safe Ways To Get Rid of Clover In Your Garden – Safe The Garden

When found on your lawn, clover is actually quite beneficial. It adds nutrients to the soil, and helps choke out other weeds. In fact, there are as many reasons to keep clover as there are to get rid of them! While on a lawn, the only real decision about whether to keep or get rid of your clover comes down to aesthetics. But clover in your vegetable patch or flower garden isn’t just unsightly, it’s bad for your garden. It chokes out the growth of your flowers or vegetables. It’s self-seeding and spreads wildly if not checked. Here are some of the ways we found to keep on top of the clover problem, which won’t harm your flowers or vegetables.

1. Pull It Out

While dandelion, stray grass blades, and crabgrass are difficult to physically remove once they’ve taken root, clover isn’t a deep-rooted plant. When you find a clump of clover, it’s fairly easy to dig it up. Be sure to dig around the plant to get the root structure. It should come away in one clump. This is by far the easiest way to ensure you won’t harm any of the plants in your garden. Chances are if you’re here, though, you’re looking for a less time-consuming method.

 pull out clover from garden

2. Vinegar and Dish Soap

Chemically-based herbicides are a high risk to spread through the soil For this method to work, you’ll need a spray bottle, some white vinegar, and some dish soap. Fill the spray bottle with one part vinegar and one part dish soap. Spray the ground around the root structure. Vinegar won’t actually harm mature plants themselves, but it does affect the pH balance of the soil itself. 

It’s a good idea to spray at the hottest part of the day, when the undesirable clover plants are at their thirstiest. This method can stress the soil and may, over time, affect the overall soil quality in your garden. 


It’s a good idea to spray at the hottest part of the day, when the undesirable clover plants are at their thirstiest. This method can stress the soil and may, over time, affect the overall soil quality in your garden. 

3. Starve The Clover of Nutrients

Clovers shoot up fast, and need a lot of sun to thrive. To keep any potential clover seeds starved of the nutrients they need, keep your garden dark. Use a thick mulch that will cover the earth thoroughly, and block out the sunlight. This will make it more difficult for the clover to get the sunlight it needs to grow, spread, and seed. It also helps by adding nutrients to your garden and keeping damp in the soil, to be used by thirsty plants. Because clovers also need a lot of water to grow, you should water in the morning, so that by midday, most of the moisture has been absorbed by the surrounding plants.

4. Keep Your Garden Fertilized

Generally, a clover infestation is a sign of a lack of nitrogen in your yard. Nitrogen-rich soil makes it harder for clover to grow. Keeping your vegetable garden well-fertilized with fertilizers full of nitrogen can help keep clover and other weeds away. You can use organic, slow-release fertilizer, but if there is already an infestation of clover, it points to a weakness in your soil, and you may choose a faster-acting fertilizer, until everything balances out.

Keep Your Garden Fertilized

5. Keep Your Lawn Long

This one may sound counterproductive. After all, if you don’t want clover in your garden, you definitely don’t want grass! It’s true, grass is a deep-root plant, and can rob nearby plants of needed water, nutrients, and sunlight, as well as crowding them out so there is no space left to grow. But all of these things are why it’s a great deterrent for clover. Clover grows in places with a lot of sunlight, and not a lot of moisture. Short-clipped grass increases the amount of sunlight the clover is exposed to. So long grass means less clover. What does this have to do with your lawn? Since clover is self-seeding, if it can’t grow in your lawn, it will grow less often in your garden.

6. Kill It With Corn Gluten

For a great natural way to kill weeds, look to corn gluten. Not only does it work well on clover, it’s useful for most other weeds and crabgrass, and even works to kill ants! For this method, timing is everything. Corn meal gluten doesn’t work on mature plants, which means it won’t harm existing mature plants. It’s best used just before planting season. However, it will slow down and eventually stop seed production. This could affect any perennials you might have. The upside, is that it definitely has an impact on clover, dandelions and other weeds.

Long Lawn


Many people see clover as a good idea for their lawns. They help return nutrients to the soil, and keep more aggressive weeds out. However, in your garden, they can rob your vegetables or flowers of needed sunlight and water. There are many ways to minimize or get rid of clover in your garden. The best ways to keep clover out, is to never let it grow in the first place: Use nitrogen-rich fertilizer to starve out the clover, and a heavy covering of mulch to block out the sun before the clover can grow. Sometimes you may end up with clover no matter how carefully you are on guard against it. 

When removing clover, remember that it is not a deep rooted plant. It isn’t difficult to carefully dig around to remove the whole plant, with no root structures left over to reseed itself. Spraying the plant with a mixture of vinegar and dish soap works as a great natural herbicide which is unlikely to spread to mature vegetables, fruits, or flowers. When looking for ways to kill clover, natural is always best. With this list, we know you’ll find the best route for the health of your garden, and your own piece of mind!

About the Author ElizaChristiansen

I started this blog to provide advanced home improvement tips, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable home, kitchen, garden experience. I deliver more than home guides, and motivate people to get nice home!

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