Clover is sending me crazy!

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by gidgetstar, May 16, 2005.

  1. gidgetstar

    gidgetstar Junior Member

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    Ok so I posted a while ago about this and didn't get very far, but now the stuff is on my mind as soon as I wake up so something has to be done about it..... or i need to get a life - one or the other! :D

    I have established a garden bed with quite a few annuals and perennial shrubs. The clover is coming up through the mulch and is now crowing out quite a few of the lower growing plants.

    Also on the undeveloped areas of the yard, where ever I have put water, the damn stuff is coming up so I figure it is right through the soil over the whole yard.

    Any organic solutions apart from sheet mulching ppl have for me?
     
  2. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    How low are the "lower-growing plants"?

    Is the presence of the clover really a bad thing? Please don't take it personally, but could you be getting into a control-freak issue?

    A woman I used to know decided to seed the areas under her rhododendrons with forget-me-nots. They came up bloomed, and looked fine. As we were passing them, she suddenly saw some pansies that had the temerity to sprout among the other flowers. She had to stop and yank them out. A few pansies weren't going to hurt anything, but they disturbed her perconceived plan.

    Once you've got clover (esp perennial clover), it's hard to stop. Take a good calm look at the situation and decide if it's really a problem.

    Sue
     
  3. dryland dweller

    dryland dweller Junior Member

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    Re: Clover is sending me crazy!

    Its a bugger but depending on the size of your garden to do it organically just pull it out one plant at a time preferably before it flowers and sets seed and just add it to the mulch. It can be beaten this way and no poisons to worry your plants and pets
    Petein the dry northern SA wastes :D
     
  4. gidgetstar

    gidgetstar Junior Member

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    Ok - so pulling it out won't spread it??? I have been pulling the stuff out and was worried that by doing that it was spreading it....... it just comes back so thick!

    The low growing plants are being obliterated and absolutely smothered, so yes it is taking over.
     
  5. funkyfungus

    funkyfungus Junior Member

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    i dont mean to be an arse but can you post a picture of this clover

    in all likelihood its is clover (trifolium spp.) but you know ive met a few people who call something clover and when i see it it turns out to be Oxalis tuberosa aka soursob or by some 'clover'

    its certainly fits the MO for what happenning even better than true clover
     
  6. nobis77

    nobis77 Junior Member

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    How big is the garden bed your trying to save? I've got a similar problem (thick mat of bermudagrass) that I'm trying to exchange for your problem. Before I get any further - is the clover really interfereing with stuff that much?

    If it's some kind of perrenial clover it will probably SEEM to enjoy being pulled up (it's a plant that's bred to bounce back fast after being grazed) but no living thing benefits from being ripped up day after day. It will slowly lose it's reserves if you keep at it often enough. It's just a question of whether you will lose strength and poop out before it does. But before you engage or continue in an expensive campaign to get rid of it, why not use it? Even if it's not clover and is just some relatively "worthless" weed, start thinking of it as a crop. Your own unstoppable crop of nutrient catchers and compost pile fillers. You do have a compost pile don't you? It makes it easier to weed when you stop seeing red, and instead see a host of unwitting allies. If you find you just can't stand the sight of the things then you need a more effective mulch. Paper, cardboard, weedbarrier fabric, wood planks, concrete and rock, patrol of foraging chickens, pigs, goats, the ultimate mulch is a good set of eyes and quick fingers. Or start the move to container gardening. Best of luck.
     
  7. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Yes, a lot of people call Oxalis "clover". And Oxalis really is a nasty beast for taking over. Clover will usually come out fairly easily, even though you might have to pull a few each spring to keep it down.

    Sue
     
  8. gidgetstar

    gidgetstar Junior Member

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    Ok will borrow the digital and post a photo
     
  9. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Hang on, guys. Clover is a nitrogen fixer in the soil. It is one of the most valuable green manure crops you can grow. It takes nitrogen from the air, stores it in nodules in its roots that will break down when it dies back and improve the soil. It is what some of us pay good bucks for seed and shipping costs!

    All you need to do is mow it to decrease the shade it produces. Or pull the tops off if it's a small garden, keep it at about 3 or 4 inches. Use the clippings in compost, or let it stay on the soil as mulch. Dig right into it to plant more plants. You can till it at the end of the season to speed up the decomposition if you want, but it's not necessary.

    It's really valuable stuff!! And one of the basic principles of Permaculture is to provide your own nitrogen while improving the soil. :)
     
  10. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Yeah, Sweetpea, that's why we want to know what it really is. I don't know what she's growing that this stuff is taking over, but clover isn't that bad of an invasive, really, and has lots of good points. But if it's oxalis, that's a whole different situation.

    It's like thinking you've got bamboo and finding out you've got Japanese Knotweed. YUCK!

    Sue
     
  11. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Hey, Sue: How's it going? You guys as wet up there as we are? Bamboo is terrifying where I am... then I don't even think I want to know what knotweed is!!! :shock:
     
  12. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Our rain comes and goes. Today, it came with hail and wind, with the force of a firehose.

    Knotweed is a knightmare. It makes running bamboo look like a well-behaved pot plant.

    Sue
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  14. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    According to Edible Forest Gardens, clovers also do a good job accumulating phosphorus.

    What type of clover is driving you crazy? We've planted three types so far, crimson (annual), red and white (perennials). The white clover is my favorite so far, as we are growing it along the pathways with an eye towards having living, nitrogen fixing, phosphorus accumulating foot tolerant paths.

    It grows aggressively, but you can always cut it back, thereby releasing nitrogen and creating a disturbance for your newly sowed seeds or transplants to gain the upper hand.
     
  15. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    i saw a line defining permaculture on another site "embrace comfrey", this could easily be "embrace clover"

    make sure it is clover, then make the most of it,
     
  16. Don Hansford

    Don Hansford Junior Member

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    Even if it isn't clover, scrubs, make the most of it anyway!

    Nature won't usually waste resources growing something that isn't needed (by our standards, at least!)
     
  17. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy Junior Member

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    At one point when I was being a bit silly, I bought a kilo of clover seed from the produce shop and threw it all around my garden patch, which at the time was fairly bare, so I figured the clover would help prevent weeds. Well that was a bit of a regret, but it was not that hard to get rid of in the end by just pulling any plants that materialised. Oxalis - well that is another thing altogether.

    As for comfrey - I've never been too concerned with the plants that come up where they shouldn't be (my fault for putting them there in the first place) as I just dig them up and plant somewhere I want them. Best thing is that they then come up again in that same spot time and time again :rofl:
     
  18. psytek

    psytek New Member

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    I bet is oxalis acetosella :) is it sour when you taste it?
     
  19. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    i was feeling a little smug thinking that clover popping up is helpful and not some dreadful weed to be annihilated from the earth - but now i have discovered oxalis in one of my beds . . . and I want to follow my own advice and find something good in it? can anyone help
     
  20. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy Junior Member

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    It is good exercise constantly pulling it out ;-)
     

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