Clover is not a bad thing in your lawn per se -- it fixes nitrogen in the
soil. You should consider carefully whether nor not this is really a bad
thing -- a healthy lawn isn't typically just grass but includes other small
plants such as clover (of course, grass should be the PRIMARY ingredient!).
That said, there are two courses of action I would consider:
1) Pull the ivy/vines out by hand. You have to get them all the way out --
if you leave root, they'll come back. If they continue to propagate after
about a month's pulling move on to step #2.
2) RoundUp -- If there are desirable plants around the area in question, use
a paint brush to apply.
Another option to consider is to kill the area with something like plastic
then reseed or sod. Simplest way to do that is to cover the area with black
plastic held down by rocks. After several months (like next spring) it's
pretty much a given there will be nothing living there. Takes longer but it
does not involve the use of chemicals and depending on your climate you'll
be limited in what you can do now anyway.
Broadleaf herbicides work pretty well on clover and other broadleaf
weeds. Some lawns, such as St. Augustine, require special care. Used
properly, it works well on most broadleaf weeds. If you have English
ivy (or any of the "houseplant" varieties), you may have to work with
something more deadly. You can cut all of the vines, wait for three or
so new leaves to appear where you have cut, and then brush on RoundUP.
Spray it on if the area is too large. It is deadly to lots of
vegetation, so you need to take care it doesn't drift. No wind, no
Clover and bees are attractive in lots of gardens, but being allergic to
bee stings is one good reason to get rid of clover.
Depending on where the lawn is, clear plastic in the sun will kill off the
lawn even faster. I discovered that by accident when a house painter left a
couple oh sheets of clear poly that he had been using as drop cloths out on
the lawn. It seems that with a lot of sun shining through the normal
aspiration of water from the vegetation and the lack of any water getting
into the ground dehydrated everything fairly fast.
Just about any plastic will do, really -- black plastic has the added
benefit of really heating up the soil and killing weed seeds and the like as
well as blocking out all sunlight (i.e., no photosynthesis).
Assuming it is real clover, it means you don't have enough nitrogen in
the soil. The clover is actually adding nitrogen so you grass will grow
You can kill it with repeated applications of a broad leaf week killer.
Doing so will aggravate the nitrogen situation.
I suggest a better solution. Your lawn needs nitrogen. See that it
gets it. Go a little heavy with a nitrogen rich fertilizer just before and
during the times of the year that your type of lawn grass grows fast. Slow
release is by far the best way to go, but just get the nitrogen in the soil.
Don't add much if any during the slow growth months. Most of the US (mid to
north, has grasses that grow best in the spring and fall. Cool damp times.
Follow this advice and over the next one to three years the clover will
be crowded out by the nice healthy grass.
Don't over do it and don't expect immediate results. Too much nitrogen
can damage the lawn grasses.
In short give the lawn a chance to do well and it will take care of the
One last suggestion. Don't cut your grass too short. It only weakens
the grass and encourages all kinds of weeds.
Use Weed-B-Gone or Spectricide mix in a spray bottle, or if there is a
lot of spraying to do use a garden sprayer. Use on a sunny day with
no rain in the forcast. The best time to kill broadleaf weeds is in
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