P&PDL Picture of the Week for
June 30, 2008

White Clover

Glenn Hardebeck, Turgrass Research Agronomist, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

White clover is becoming very evident in low maintenance areas. All too often when we look at an area such as this, the first thought is “What should I spray to get rid of the clover”. It would be better to think “Why is the clover so bad in this area?” White clover is an indicator weed suggesting low fertility conditions. Clover is a legume just as the soybean plant. Legumes form a symbiotic relationship with fungi which enables them to be very competitive in low nitrogen situations. Therefore, the first thought when confronted with a lawn such as this should be “Fertilizer”. Additionally as we enter the dog days of summer, broadleaf weed applications can be an added stress to our cool-season turfgrasses. It would be better to wait for the summer heat to pass and begin a solid fall fertility program. A broadleaf application would be better left for October. Fall applications are much more likely to kill the entire weed rather than merely burning the top growth down without killing the root system. More information on broadleaf weed control can be found at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay-9.pdf

Click image to enlarge

white clover

White clover is blooming profusely in low maintenance areas

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service