Once warm weather settles in for the year, you can’t help but want to get outside.

The sun feels great, everything becomes greener, flowers are blooming, and every neighbor you pass is smiling more freely and commenting about the gorgeous day. 

But something else in your lawn loves the sun just as much as you do. Yep, you guessed it: weeds. 

As spring and summer progress, and everything begins growing, weeds begin looking for places to germinate and grow. They are opportunistic and look for anything they can get. Weeds aren’t picky; they love heat, drought, and humidity as much as they love cool breezes, great weather, and sunshine.

But weeds aren’t what you want to see in summer. You’d like to enjoy your lawn without stopping every five minutes to address blemishes in your lawn. You certainly don’t want weeds making your lawn look neglected or you look like a bad neighbor. 

One of the more pesky summer weeds you might be facing is white clover. 

Let’s take a look at what white clover looks like and how to get rid of white clover in your grass.

Understanding White Clover in Northern Virginia

To better understand one of the more menacing Northern Virginia lawn weeds – white clover – you have to learn a bit more about it to optimize its control. 

Read The Ultimate Guide to Controlling Lawn Weeds
After all, you don’t want to be chasing this weed all summer long. You’d like to nip it in the bud and get back to enjoying your regularly scheduled summer fun programming. 

Here we’ll dive into the specifics of what makes this weed run rampant in your lawn and how you can kill white clover for good.

What is White Clover?

In learning how to get rid of white clover in your lawn, first you have to know how this weed operates. 

lawn care team inspects grass

White clover is actually a member of the legume family where peanuts, black beans and split peas come from. This weed is common throughout the U.S., including in Northern Virginia. 

It’s a favorite of pollinating insects like bees, which can make barefoot trips across your lawn risky.

What Does White Clover Look Like?

Knowing the appearance of weeds can help you better control white clover in your lawn. Why? Because there are different ways to treat weeds, and if you know the weed you’re fighting, you have a better chance to correctly and quickly stop it. 

As you’re looking through your Northern Virginia lawn, you might see weeds with tiny, round, white or pinkish flowers with bees buzzing about. 


This is a big sign that what you’re seeing is white clover. 

While there are many varieties of this low-growing weed, they all have the characteristic leaf of three round leaflets sitting at the end of long stalks. Each leaf is tear-shaped with a reddish stripe. The flowers themselves are spiky and have brownish-green centers.

How Does White Clover Grow?

White clover grows in a creeping manner, developing roots wherever one of its stem nodes touches the ground. It spreads by stolons.

This weed can reseed itself in the right conditions, spreading quickly and giving you a big reason to learn how to kill white clover.

Where Do You Usually See White Clover Weeds?

White clover always grows low to the ground. That’s your first indication that controlling white clover in your lawn is now on your agenda. 

lawn full of weeds

This weed tends to love areas with low nitrogen, bare spots, and little competition from thick, healthy grass. It also likes low pH soils because lawns don’t grow well in them.

How to Get Rid of White Clover In Your Grass

Now that you know what white clover looks like and how to spot it, you can figure out how to control white clover in your lawn. 

But you don’t want to ignore this one; it can be one of the most aggressive and fastest weeds growing in Northern Virginia.  

Here are five tips for keeping white clover away.

1. Mow Properly

While you may be tempted to lower your mowing height when you see weeds sneaking in, that’s actually the worst thing you can do. In fact, this enables weeds to get sunlight and grow faster. 

Start by mowing to a 3.5- to 4-inch height to keep your lawn from stressing out. 

landscape maintenance team mows grass

Since clover is a low-growing weed and its roots are shallow, letting your grass grow a little taller means you block sunlight and help prevent clover from growing. This will help you control white clover in your lawn.

2. Maintain a Well-Nourished, Healthy Lawn

Since this weed loves undernourished lawns, your best way to get rid of white clover in your grass is a thick, healthy lawn. 

landscape professional fertilizes grass

You want to provide proper, regular nutrition through a fertilizer program that is based off of soil test results, so it provides exactly what your lawn needs.

3. Ensure You Keep Your Lawn From Compaction and Eliminate Bare Spots

If you’re wondering how to get rid of white clover in your lawn, then you’re likely looking for strategies that prevent it from showing up in the first place. 

One of the best ways to do that is through a simple fall service that actually provides so many benefits. 

lawn care technician aerates grass

Annual aeration, overseeding, and topdressing can limit soil compaction, fill in bare areas, and provide your lawn soil with any additional nutrients it needs to take in water and fertilizer adequately.

4. Water Correctly

Next, make sure you’re watering your lawn with long, infrequent irrigation to help control white clover in your lawn. 

You definitely don’t want to underwater or overwater. 

healthy green grass

Usually your Virginia lawn needs about 1 to 2 inches of water each week. 

At certain times of the year, however, this requirement can be met through rainfall. But during dry spells, you’ll want to supplement what Mother Nature provides through watering with your irrigation system or lawn sprinklers.

5. Hire a Pro For Selective Broadleaf Weed Control

Even though this weed is pretty hardy, hiring a pro to kill white clover is the best way to tackle it after it’s erupted in your lawn. 

Turf’s Up uses selective, broadleaf weed control treatments to tackle this weed in Northern Virginia.

This is best done by a professional because it requires proper identification and precise herbicide timing to ensure maximum, targeted control. We use specialty herbicides delivered with precise nozzles to reduce the particle size of the product and help it better stick to tough weeds. 

We also provide adequate fertilization, aeration, overseeding, and topdressing to build lawn health at the same time to ensure your lawn better defends itself against this weed.

Turf’s Up Can Help You Battle White Clover in Northern Virginia

Weeds like white clover certainly love to grab the spotlight and take over when all you want them to do is fade away. 

They can’t help themselves. 

That’s why learning how this weed operates and finding the best ways to control white clover in your lawn can help you build up the best defense against this weed and others in Northern Virginia.

As summer settles in and you become busy with kids’ schedules and vacation plans, you don’t want to be constantly bothered by weeds. We completely understand. And once these weeds get in, they can be quite hard to control. 

Taking steps early to prevent and eliminate weeds is your best plan of attack. But who has the time for that? 

Turf’s Up can help you by providing a complete, proactive lawn care program that includes everything you need to keep your lawn healthy – proper fertilization based on soil test results, pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control treatments, lime applications to get your pH in the right range, and aeration, overseeding, and topdressing services. 

When you have a professional eye on your property who can recognize white clover and stop it before it gets out of hand, you can get your nice lawn back and eliminate this worry off of your plate. 

Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for lawn care services in Northern Virginia? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you have the best lawn on the block. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your lawn. 

lawn care service comparison

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Image Source: White Clover