The GARDENA gardening expert
Dear Ms. O., these plants do in fact signify something when we observe them as so-called indicator plants. Every type of plant, including Dutch clover, places particular requirements on the location where it grows.
The places where clover likes to grow provide an indication as to the location conditions. According to agricultural scientists, Dutch clover signifies two things.
On the one hand, it signifies a poor soil, i.e. a soil low in nutrients. On the other, it indicates grazing, i.e. the so-called selective overgrazing.
To translate this onto your lawn: Through regular mowing, you “graze” the lawn, and the Dutch clover receives sufficient space and light to spread. Due to the consistent removal of mown grass without sufficient re-fertilisation, the soil under the lawn has increasingly few nutrients. As you can see: These plants really do signify something.
So what can you do? My suggestion for combatting the problem directly: It is possible to scarify Dutch clover easily as it grows in flat tendrils.
You can also effectively counter it using lawn herbicides. Optimise your lawn fertilisation all year round and try not to mow the lawn so short; approximately three to five centimetres is sufficient.
A rule of thumb: It is better to mow less more frequently (approximately a third of the stalk length per mowing procedure), than radically and infrequently.