Weeds in your lawn are a nightmare.
One particular weed that is prevalent at this time of year is Lesser Trefoil or Yellow Suckling Clover. It looks like a small leafed clover type weed that creeps close to the ground covering large areas from a single root. Left uncontrolled, it will quickly spread across the surface of a lawn. It is one of the more difficult weed to control in a lawn.
Trifolium dubium is a procumbent summer annual found in UK lawns and also open ground. It is common throughout Britain and is recorded up to 1,600 ft. Two distinct forms occur, one found in open habitats on cinders and spoil, the other on grassland sites, waysides, wasteland and on lawns. In lawns it survives mowing by developing a low growth habit, missing the mower blades. On grazed sites this is less successful and it is not a common weed in pasture.
Lesser trefoil flowers from May to July on dry sites and from May into October on moist sites. The small flowers are yellow initially, later turning brown. The leaves have 3 leaflets which grow on short stalks, unlike white clover, where there are no stalks. The flowers are self-pollinated. Seeds ripen 1 month after flowering. The seeds exhibit hard-coated dormancy.
Lesser trefoil forms a persistent seedbank. Seeds have been recorded in large numbers in the soil beneath pasture and lawns even though the plant was poorly represented in the vegetation. It will thrive on non acidic, nutrient deficient soils and mostly free draining so common on light sandy soils.
Control of Yellow Suckling Clover can be achieved by hand weeding with a Daisy Grubber should the clumps be small otherwise chemical control will be necessary to control this weed. Use a selective weed killer containing a mixture of 2,4-D and Mecoprop P or a product containing a mixture of Fluroxypyr & Clopyralid, one application is usually not enough, so repeat 6 weeks later if necessary for complete control of this weed in your lawn. Vitax Lawn Clear 2 will control Yellow Suckling Clover with repeat applications throughout the year. Weedol Lawn Weed Killer / Verdone Extra will also control it.
In all cases, when you have applied a selective weed killer to control the Yellow Suckling Clover – do not be too impatient with it. It will look like it has not been controlled after around four weeks following application then one day you will come out and it would have gone!