Getting rid of clover, help!

jclepine(8b)May 31, 2009

So, I'm pretty sure this is clover:

It used to just be on the edge of the bed and I pulled it out here and there. But, now it is encroaching well into my flower bed.

I'm afraid of digging it up and ripping it out because the parts in the soil just spread around when disturbed...right?

I'd love to know what I should do but I must warn, I will not use herbicide. I always think about it (bindweed!!) but cannot get myself to use it. Nope.

Can I just dig it up and replace the soil with new?


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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Is it clover or Oxalis, Jennifer? I canÂt tell from the picture, but thereÂs a good description at the link below. Both of them spread underground, and if itÂs Oxalis, when they produce seeds, they "shoot" them all over the place the same as sweet violets. Oxalis is a pervasive weed we were constantly fighting when I was in the green industry. Thank god I donÂt have any around here at this house, and whenever I buy something, I make absolutely sure there isnÂt any growing in the pot before I plant the whatever-it-is. Once you get it itÂs a nightmare.

Since you want to get rid of itÂwithout chemicals!Âwhichever it is, I recommend TOTALLY saturating the ground, wait for it to completely soak in for several hours or over nite, and then very slowly pull/dig them out. "Slowly" in an attempt to keep as many roots attached as possible. Either will come back from any roots left in the ground. If the soil is soppy enough, you should be able to get quite a lot of it out, and then if you keep after it whenever it starts to grow back, you should be able to EVENTUALLY get rid of it. In areas where itÂs not growing into something you want to keep, yeah, go ahead and dig out enough soil to get all the roots and then replace it. That might take care of some major areas.

But whatever you do, be absolutely certain you donÂt let any of it go to seed if it is Oxalis! Speaking of space invaders, if itÂlike bindweedÂgoes to seed, itÂs there ad infinitum!


P.S. I looked at the pic on your other thread, and I canÂt tell what it is! If nobody else can identify it, wait till the first leaf or two develops and post another picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clover vs. Oxalis - pdf

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Thanks, Skybird!

I'm thinking clover more than oxalis because I had oxalis in Pacific Grove and it was a nightmare...but different.

There must be two kinds. One blooms like a pretty clover with zillions of little white 3/4 inch flowers on a round spike. And there is one that looks similar but the blooms are 1/4 inch or so and yellow, but still tiny flowers on a round spike. I think the white one is Trifolium repens. And, I think the little one is Trifolium dubium.

Good thing we are having rain today! I'll put the soaker on at the end of the day if we did not get enough rain, but the ground is still pretty wet from yesterday's rain!

I'll try pulling it out where the silvery plant is because I love that thing! It is the unidentified one with the yellow daisy like flowers and it comes back every year but never gets bigger. Perfect for that corner!

I may shovel it where the really big clump is just outside the white fence. I'm tired of pulling it out!

I won't let it seed!

Thanks a bunch!

Oh, and if it does bloom, I'll put up a pick before ripping it out.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 5:12PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Send some of the rain down this way! I could sure use it!

Yesterday was a mess flying! Came in from Baltimore, and we had to go all the way up to Lander WY! Then, when we headed back south toward DEN, we zigzagged back and forth around the thunder storms all the way downÂwound up going southwest in the end and we were almost to the foothills by the time we got here (for those of you who donÂt know, the airport is out on the plains, halfway to Kansas!). Landed from the west, followed 104th all the way across the north end of the city, and for the first time ever I was able to identify the little subdivision I live in! ItÂs always fun to be able to identify the things youÂre flying over! We had enough fuel to divert to Albuquerque, but I was glad to be back in DEN! Then I had to run thru the rain to get to my carÂand when I got homeÂnot a drop!!! ThereÂs another chance today! Ha! IÂll believe it when I see it!

I want a little piece of that silver plant you have! Bring me some at the Fall Swap! I want to try to identify itÂwhich I havenÂt been able to do from your pics, and if itÂs not invasive, I want one anyway! If I canÂt figure out what it is after I get one going, Cheryl probably can!

Heading back out to DIA in a couple hours,

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 5:53PM
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I'll gladly bring you some! It has not traveled anywhere, just stays in the place it has been since we got here. the leaves have an interesting and pleasing scent when you squish them and the flowers turn to follow the sun.

Yes, the airport IS halfway, or more, to Kansas!! You crack me up :)

I am so happy with the rain! I'll fill a barrel with it and bring it over!

And, going as far off topic as I can:

I fully lined a dress! had to figure it out for myself and it took me forever to realize that the lining replaces the facing, but I did it!

Okay, gardening, not sewing!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 6:30PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Just don't put the water in a RAIN barrel, Jennifer, or you might be arrested on the way down! ;-)

Congratulations on the dress! I always knew you could do it, you just needed enough confidence to get you started! Some day I want to see all these things you're sewing!


P.S. The lining may have replaced the facing, but you probably still needed interfacing, didn't you?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 7:05PM
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I did use interfacing. Just on the neckline and the waist--it has a midriff piece that the pattern thought needed interfacing. Not sure it really needed that part!

I'll wear something to a swap!

I'm thinking of making little garden tool belts, so you can put your shears and what not in a belt type thing. Oh, terrific use of the english language! I had really wanted to do that for the first swap I went to but did not know how to sew back then :)

Another idea I have is a reusable seed pouch. That way, when the savvy gardener is collecting seeds, they can just wash them and reuse them next year. No paper or plastic needed!

Wouldn't something like that be fun to bring to a swap?

I actually have trouble not sewing. It is like a tiny obsession. Only the wonderful weather keeps me from sewing because I am too busy gardening, or "pulling weeds" as they say.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 8:49PM
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The leaves I see in the picture look like Dutch white clover to me. Dutch white clover has a light stripe in kind of an arc going across each leaf.

Your description of the yellow round flower on a spike sounds like black medic.

I don't mind DWC in a lawn, but yours isn't in the lawn, so that's a different story. Black medic is a problem no matter where it crops up, I think.

Black medic is relatively easy to pull once you find the center of the plant, but it really spreads out a lot and finding the center can be a challenge. Once you find it, grab all the "branches" and pull straight up.

DWC is probably tougher to pull, because it spreads by root as well as by seed.

I think if you dig the big infestations and pull the smaller ones, then just keep at it as soon as you see it, you'll be able to get most of it, but you have to keep at it. If it sprouts from leftover roots, you want to pull it as soon as you see it so that you can eventually starve the roots.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 11:52PM
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Thanks bp! The possibly black medic one DOES take a lot to find the center. I pull, thinking I've got the base of it but then it breaks and I realize there is more.

Thanks a bunch!!

It might not be so bad if I cared about the rest of the yard, but I don't. Unless it is a noxious weed or really blooming wildly, I just leave it. Probably why I have so many weeds sneaking in...they must be wandering from the rest of the yard!


    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 12:04AM
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"The possibly black medic one DOES take a lot to find the center. I pull, thinking I've got the base of it but then it breaks and I realize there is more."

I've found that even if you find the center, if you don't have all the branches in your hand, you don't get the root.

The weed hound does a good job on it if the soil is moist and you find the center.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 1:36AM
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