Four-leaved clovers might be considered an enduring symbol of luck, but their trefoil companions are anything but. These perennial pests can quickly overtake your garden, and if not tended to, hog your flowerbed’s share of nutrients and water until they effectively overtake the entire yard. Weeding them out one by one is an option, yes – but weeds tend to be annoying tenacious things and pulling them out by the root, especially over a wide area, isn’t an activity any of us would look forward to.
This is all especially problematic when clover starts cropping up amongst densely planted shrubs and flowers we’re finicky about disturbing – which is where weed killers come in. Selective broadleaf killers are the alternative to the nightmare scenario where we have to rake up our entire garden just to deal with a clover infestation. Spray any of these weed killers hand-picked by us to your yard and garden, and kiss clovers goodbye without hours spent slogging through the yard with a weeder.
Southern Ag 2,4-D Amine Weed Killer
This selective broadleaf killer is the answer to the prayers of any gardener deliberating over whether or not to raze their entire lawn down to get rid of a clover invasion. The 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2,4-D is a pre- and post-emergent herbicide which not only eliminates weed growth, but also helps deter it in the future – and all without causing any harm to the grassy plains or hedges you’ve got planted around. Available in a keg of 32 fluid ounces – or one quart – this weed killer is suitable for use anywhere from gardens to golf courses and pastures, engineered with low volatility despite nearly 50% of the ingredients being the 2,4-D acid.
Despite this low volatility, though, it’s important to remember that this weed killer is potent for a reason and needs to be handled and administered with care – if inhaled or ingested in concentrated doses, you may experience varying degrees of discomfort or nausea. It’s really important, therefore, to follow the guidelines of applying this weed killer – using a solution of 2 to 3 tablespoons of this product with 3 to 5 gallons of water, you can comfortably cover about a 1000 square feet, ensuring you use a low-pressure spray fitted with a nozzle that can evenly distribute the product. You can choose to apply this either using a tank sprayer, or a sprayer that connects to your hose, de-weeding your garden without harming the grass or your shrubs and hedges. Spray the solution over the shoots of the actual weeds, taking care to cover their leaves and stems – remember to stand back and avoid breathing in the mist, and keep those gardening gloves on as you go about it.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Ortho Weed B Gon Chickweed, Clover and Oxalis Killer (Concentrate)
This great budget weed killer is incredibly versatile, both in usage and application. You can choose to apply the concentrate via tank sprayer, mixing one fluid ounce of the concentrate for a gallon of water per 200 square feet, or apply directly by connecting to your garden hose, either by hooking the bottle to the Dial N Spray Direct Connect, or pouring some of the solution into a Dial N Spray Jug. Deadly not just to clover but to several other strains of unpleasant weeds threatening to choke out our garden, its 8% triclopyr (a common herbicide used for broadleaf weeds) does the dirty work without harming or affecting the rest of your lawn. To ensure maximum effectiveness, we recommend avoiding application on windy days, to make sure the mist doesn’t drift off-course and coats the weeds instead of anything else. The weed killer is rainproof for up to six hours, so you don’t have to worry about it washing off if it happens to rain after you’ve administered it. As a post-emergent herbicide, it’s best used when weeds are actively growing.
Bonide Chemical Chickweed, Clover and Oxalis Killer
With the triple strength of three selective herbicides, this weed killer won’t only suppress clover but will also effectively destroy down to the root up to 150 of even the most tenacious weed types around. This concentrate not only comes with the triclopyr we highlighted with our budget pick, but also contains MCPA, often used as a substitute for 2, 4-D, and dicamba, which can tackle certain types of weeds which resist 2, 4-D and MCPA treatment. The mix makes this weed killer all but fail-safe, and above all, completely safe for everything that’s not a broadleaf weed in your garden. Using about 1.5 ounces per gallon water, spraying this solution over the shoots of clovers should do the trick and tackle an infestation in a matter of days.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
With 41% glyphosate dominating the ingredient list, it’s important to note straight off the bat that this isn’t a selective weed killer – in other words, it not only will kill broadleaf weeds, but anything else it’s sprayed on. This makes it a better weed killer to use if you’re looking to completely clear out an entire area infested with clover, especially if you are planning to replant this area, or if the area has already become overcome with weeds. As this is a post-emergent herbicide, it will knuckle down on actively growing weeds without affecting the ability of the surrounding soil to be replanted.
The herbicide is absorbed through the body of the weed and assimilated down to the roots, so it’s important that if there are plants or bushes you want to avoid affecting, you need to specifically and carefully spray only the infested area. About 1.5 fluid ounces of concentrate per gallon of water is an ideal solution to start off with, with a coverage of about 300 square feet. If you find tougher weeds resisting initial treatment, ramp up the ratio to 2.5 fluid ounces per gallon of water instead. Because the concentrate is very soluble in water, we recommend applying on clear days with little chances of rain – nonetheless, the concentrate promises to be rainproof for about 2 hours.