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September's coming up, time to start getting ready for clover control. I have always used Clopyralid (3,6-dichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid). The brand I use is Lontrel.

My question is, how well does it compare to the similar Dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid)?

Because I can get 40% dicamba concentrate for $1.28 an ounce, while the 90% clopyralid concentrate is $5.62 an ounce, I'm wondering whether it will work quite as well.

  • I find that a lawnmower works fine for all the "control" required. I never have understood the "grass only" side of this chasm of differing opinions. – Ecnerwal Aug 20 '14 at 1:16
  • @Ecnerwal I don't spray my yard, either. But I do get paid a good bit to take care of others lawns. – J. Musser Aug 20 '14 at 1:19
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It depends to some extent what you mean by 'clover'. White clover or Dutch clover (Trifolium repens) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) are very susceptible to treatments containing dicamba, dichlorprop-P and mecoprop-P, or 2,4-D and mecoprop-P. Other, clover like lawn weeds are more susceptible to formulations containing fluroxpyr, MCPA and clopyralid, although these will also have some impact on Trifolium varieties. You'll note that the most effective treatments contain more than one ingredient. Any and all chemical treatments aimed at killing or lessening clovers work better in early to mid summer, and are less effective from August (or late summer/early fall) onwards.

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    Interesting, I find that the best control is in September/October. It must have something to do with climate differences and/or increased weed growth rate in the rainier season. I am controlling white dutch clover. Clopyralid and/or three-ways with 2,4-D and Mecaprop have worked great. If Dicamba is better, I might as well go order some. – J. Musser Aug 19 '14 at 15:17
  • Around here, the clover grows fastest in spring and fall, so those are the best times to hit. However, in the spring, more is going from the roots to the leaves, and in fall, more's going from the leaves to the roots (to get ready for winter). So fall spraying gets more herbicide into the roots and kills the plant better, at least in my locality, than does spring/summer treatment. – J. Musser Aug 21 '14 at 3:53
  • may well be a climate difference that makes it so, then - you're probably hotter and drier for much longer than we are here in summer. – Bamboo Aug 21 '14 at 11:04
  • This summer was an exeption, but yes, it's usually grass-killing dry, and hot (like up to 104° Fahrenheit (40° Celsius, 313° kelvin). – J. Musser Aug 22 '14 at 21:02

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