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How To Get Rid Of Creeping Charlie Weeds In Lawn

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How To Identify Creeping Charlie On Your Property

Ground Ivy Control – How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie

If you have ground ivy in your yard, you may notice the grass looking unhealthy first, or you may see the weed itself. Creeping Charlie can grow up to 30 cm high. Its glossy green leaves are 2 to 5 cm across with scalloped edges and square stems. In the spring through early summer, it produces clusters of blue to blue-violet flowers, with two or three funnel-shaped flowers to a bunch.

Creeping Charlie is an adaptable weed with shallow roots. A node at the base of each leaf stem can put down roots when it contacts the soil, a feature that makes it especially difficult to control. If you pull out all the vines but leave a little piece behind, the ground ivy will grow back.

If it werent so aggressive, Creeping Charlie would be a good plant to have around. Its a pollinator that attracts bees and butterflies, and its not toxic to people or pets . Some people mix it into drinks or use it to fight colds, headaches, and kidney problems.

But this invasive weed is aggressive, as well as pest and disease resistant. So Creeping Charlie is unstoppableunless you stop it.

Hand Pulling Is The Most Effective

The best way to control ground ivy in garden areas is by hand pulling and digging. The key to effective control of ground ivy in gardens is persistence. Repeatedly pull and dig the ground ivy and remove the plant debris from the garden area to prevent it from rooting. Thorough removal is important – leave no leaf, stem, or root behind! Once destroyed, maintain clean, weed-free borders around flower and vegetable gardens to prevent the ground ivy from “creeping” back in from adjacent areas.

How To Get Rid Of Creeping Charlie Without Chemicals

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of Creeping Charlie from your property using the products and methods suggested by our experienced lawn care specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee you will be successful in eliminating Creeping Charlie.

Creeping Charlie is a common weed that plagues residential turf, particularly in moist areas where there is considerable shade but it can also thrive in sunlight and spread to other parts of the yard, ruining the uniformity you may be going for.

Creeping Charlie is known for its kidney-shaped leaves and their bright green and shiny appearance and are often a sign of too much shade in your lawn, overly wet soil or poor fertilizing.

If you are dealing with Creeping Charlie on your property, follow this guide to learn how to get rid of the weed before it starts to take over. While on this page we will provide natural remedies for those that wish to not use chemicalsif the weed is firmly established and has spread to the point where it is hard to control, chemical control may be your only option.

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What Are Lawn Weeds

Lawn weeds are invasive broadleaf plants or grassy plants that grow in lawns. The weedy plants spoil the appearance of a lush lawn and affect grass growth. Some plants like dandelions are perennial weeds that come back year after year. Annual weeds like crabgrass die off each season and regrow from seed.

How To End Your Battle With Creeping Charlie

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie

Tackling Creeping Charlie can frustrate even the most seasoned gardener. For some people, like my dad, declaring victory becomes downright personal.

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For as long as I can remember, my dad has relentlessly battled creeping Charlie . Its amazing I didnt grow up to hate gardening despite how many hours I spent pulling every bit of this plant that I could grasp, trying to subdue the tireless march of green across our yard. Nothing he tried over the years seemed to be more than a temporary fix. This defeat just fueled his hatred.

I can recall entire phone conversations after I was an adult living in central Illinois centered around his current plan of attack against creeping Charlie. No matter what I suggested he try, it fell on deaf ears . Every year, he focused on eliminating this plant from his slice of the universe once and for all. It conjured up images of the movie Caddyshack where Bill Murray blows up the golf course in pursuit of the gopher. But in this case, its my dad, Bill attacking creeping Charlie.

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Killing Creeping Charlie Using Borax

While this process is generally not harmful to turf grass, using this recipe in excess may cause damage to other plants and surrounding grass, so use it sparingly. This recipe is for large, well-established lawns that have an infestation of weeds.

  • 4 ounces of warm water
  • 2 ½ gallons of water

Begin by mixing Twenty Mule Team Borax and warm water in the bucket and stir the solution thoroughly to dissolve the Borax. Add the rest of the water to the solution.

Pour the liquid into a large spray bottle or garden sprayer and apply it uniformly across the entire lawn. The recipe treats 1,000 square feet of grass and weeds. Repeat the process in two weeks.

With a little hard work and the right knowledge, you can create a lush lawn of grass free of aggressive weeds by performing the right lawn care, proper lawn mowing, and utilizing our gardening tips.

Stop invasive plants and prevent infestation by pouring boiling water on them, treating them with vinegar and Epsom salt, using a broadleaf weed killer, or making a DIY homemade Creeping Charlie weed spray.

Contact Lawnsavers For Help Getting Rid Of Creeping Charlie In Your Lawn

Call Lawnsavers when you are looking for the best lawn service company near you to help you get rid of Creeping Charlie in your Ontario lawn. Well provide you a free estimate for our lawn care services to help you take care of any weeds that could be plaguing your yard. We also have many add-on lawn service features, such as custom over-seeding, which will introduce your lawn to a much hardier variety of seeds. These are bred to withstand higher temperatures, need less water, and resist insects like chinch bug!

Contact us today if you have any lawn maintenance questions or to set up an initial assessment.

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Smother It To Block Sunlight

Another way to tackle this terrible weed is by smothering itcompletely blocking it from the sunlight it needs to survive. As we noted, Creeping Charlie thrives in shady areas, but it still needs sunlight. Because of this, youll have to make sure no sunlight creeps into the Creeping Charlie and you keep it that way for an extended period.

Note: Any plants underneath the cover will die, including any ornamental plants you may want to keep.

Here are the steps to smothering Creeping Charlie and blocking it from sunlight:

1. Cover the Creeping Charlie

Create a barrier that completely blocks out sunlight, using a piece of cardboard, a tarp, or some newspaper. Because the roots beneath the ground fan out, youll want to make sure the barrier extends about six inches to a foot from the vines and leaves on every side.

This method will do no good if there are any gaps at all, so youll need to weigh down the cover youve made with objects like bricks or rocks. This will stop the cover from blowing around and letting any sunlight in.

2. Keep the Weed Covered Until It Turns Brown

This process doesnt happen overnight. Wait for a week, then take a peek to see if there is any green left in the area youve covered. If there is, put the cover back on and leave it in place for several days. Youll know the time is up when the Creeping Charlie is brown and shriveled up.

3. Remove the Creeping Charlie

Step : Maintain Your Lawn To Prevent The Return Of Ground Ivy

How To Get Rid of Creeping Charlie with RESULTS!! // DIY Lawn Care

Control regrowth of Creeping Charlie long term by preventing it from growing in the first place. A thick, healthy lawn of turf grass is inhospitable to weedstheres simply no room for them. Maintaining your lawns overall health will ensure Creeping Charlie, and other pesky weeds, cant get a foothold.

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How Do I Keep Creeping Charlie From Returning To My Yard Next Year

As mentioned, creeping Charlie is a very invasive plant. This weed can take over large areas during the summer, and if you dont kill it back, then its going to breed and take over your entire yard the following year.

Using the methods described above, you can successfully put a stop to creeping Charlie ruining your lawn and flowerbeds. However, there is no guarantee that the plant wont return next year, even if you manage to kill it with one of these methods.

Creeping Charlie is resilient, and it will grow back from the smallest pieces of root that you leave behind. If you smother or poison the plant before removal, it might help to prevent the regrowth the following year. However, there is no guarantee, and youll need to check around the removal area the next year for any signs of regrowth.

Check the area in the early springtime, and after the first rains. If you do notice regrowth, pull all the small shoots of the plant before they have time to establish an extensive root system.

How To Make A Creeping Charlie Weed Killer Spray

While you could use Roundup or an herbicide that contains dicamba or glyphosate for killing Creeping Charlie, these can be harmful to the environment. You can make a DIY Creeping Charlie weed killer spray that is also a broadleaf weed and dandelion killerusing natural ingredients.

Creeping Charlie and Broadleaf Weed Spray

The best time to get rid of Creeping Charlie with a spray is in the autumn. It is during this time that the weed stores nutrients in its root system and stems, so it absorbs the herbicide more readily.

Fill the bottle with white vinegar and add some Epsom salt. Make sure to label the container for future use. Spray the vinegar solution directly onto the leaves of the creeper.

Use the sprayer on a day without wind to prevent over-spraying onto desirable garden plants. Killing kudzu with vinegar is possible and it works well as weed control for killing dandelions and crabgrass, too.

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How To Get Rid Of Creeping Charlie

Although hand-pulling is an option for creeping Charlie removal, it is usually not effective due to the rooted nodes throughout the vines, says Drew Wagner of Sod Solutions. The nodes have the opportunity to create a new plant over time.

If youd like to try your hand at eradicating the weed without chemicals, follow these steps:

  • Cut the leaves and creeping stems with gardening shears, leaving some length so you can pull up the roots by hand.

  • Discard the trimmings in a paper or plastic bag to avoid spreading plant fragments that can regenerate.

  • Soak the area youve cleared thoroughly with water. Wait at least 30 minutes before working the soil with a spade or trowel to loosen the remaining roots and rhizomes.

  • Pull out the roots, loosening the soil around particularly large or deep root systems with your spade or pitchfork to remove them in one piece. Place the plant and roots in a bag to discard without contaminating the surrounding area.

  • Carefully inspect the area and remove any remaining roots or rhizomes. You may need to go over the area multiple times to remove the entire root system.

Unfortunately, using herbicide to rid your lawn of this invasive weed is also tricky. Creeping Charlie is among the most difficult weeds to control in lawns and landscapes as it is only vulnerable to herbicides at certain times of the year, Mann says.

What You Need To Know About Creeping Charlie

How To Get Rid of Creeping Charlie
  • Creeping Charlie is also known as ground ivy.
  • Its a perennial, evergreen creeper that loves moist, shady areas.
  • Spreads by rhizomes and seeds, and forms thick mats in the lawn.
  • It’s found all across the country, except in the Rocky Mountain states.
  • Fun fact: It was used by the ancient Saxons for brewing beer and was brought to this country from Europe for medicinal purposes.

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Alternative: A Biodiverse Yard

As many people are now welcoming biodiversity back into their landscapes, theyre beginning to appreciate the beauty of a diverse lawn. Theyre wondering if a patch of clover here or Creeping Charlie over there is really a problem. In fact, these plants do provide flowers for pollinators, and a habitat for insects, which in turn attract birds. Plus, the blossoms bring color and fragrance to us as well.

That doesnt mean you should let Creeping Charlie take over the whole yard. Weeding is still necessary to keep invasive plants in check. But people are expanding their concepts of a healthy yard and realizing that it doesnt have to be pure grass. After all, Creeping Charlie was brought here because of its value as a herb and medicinal plant. Perhaps its really a gift that has shown up right at our doorsteps.

The choice is up to you. But no matter your approach, there are many smart ways to manage Creeping Charlie and other weeds, and to keep your yard the way you want it. For more expert advice on landscaping and all the supplies you need, visit our garden centers in Chicagoland!

Banish This Pretty Yet Pernicious Weed With One Of These Tried

By Teresa Odle and Jennifer Noonan and Bob Vila | Updated Jul 20, 2022 3:03 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Creeping CharlieGlechoma hederacea, also commonly known as ground ivyis an insidious weed that is both resilient and adaptable, making it very difficult to control. A member of the mint family, in early spring it will quickly fill an empty space with a mat-like cover of small, round, scalloped-edged green leaves punctuated with delicate violet-blue flowers. Its actually quite pretty, and you often see Variegata, its variegated cousin, sold in nurseries as a ground cover or cascading filler for planters.

But dont be charmed! Left to its own devices, Creeping Charlie can quickly take over landscaping beds, even a lawn. It grows low to the ground in a vining habit, killing everything else around it. It thrives in moist and shady areas, where grass and other plants dont grow well. If you see it, act fast, or you will have a hard battle later. One of these tried-and-true methods for how to get rid of Creeping Charlie should solve your landscaping trouble.

Bob Vila and its parent company, Recurrent Ventures, put conservation and sustainability at the forefront of nearly everything we do.

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Step : For Best Results Use Herbicide A Day Before Or After The First Frost

You can spray Creeping Charlie with herbicide anytime during the growing season, but it will be most effective if you treat it in the fall, when its preparing for winter dormancy. Spray right before or right after the first frost, and it will store the herbicide along with its winter nutrients.

If you spray earlier, be sure to spray once again before winter. Your best chance of eliminating Creeping Charlie is to weaken it going into the cold season.

Hand Pulling Creeping Charlie

How To Get Rid Of Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy In Lawn Part 1

Depending on how much space the weed covers, one natural weed elimination option is pulling Creeping Charlie by hand.

I recommend that you wear gloves since the mint properties of this weed lend themselves to itching and allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin.

My advice if youll be hand-pulling Creeping Charlie is to moisten the ground a little .

This allos the vines pull easily and helps them to not snap off above the ground.

A fork or specialized weed pulling tool can help to dig around the rhizomes and lift them out of the dirt.

When pulling Creeping Charlie from the ground, it is crucial to pull all parts of the plant not just the rhizomes into a bag and not leave them lying on the ground.

Creeping Charlie vines have nodes at the base of each leaf stem. These nodes are capable of creating roots if they come into contact with the soil so pull it, and remove it.

Pulling Creeping Charlie by hand is a challenging task that leaves a lot of room for error. Unfortunately, you will need to follow up with more rounds of pulling every two weeks, but if youre dilligent it can be an effective and natural way to do it.

I think it makes a fantastic punishment for kids who have misbehaved.

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Diy Creeping Charlie Killer

While the Creeping Charlie is part of the mint family with a mild minty scent and tiny purple flowers, this doesnt mean that you want it growing in your yard. It reproduces from seeds and cuttings and can be very aggressive when it comes to taking over your lawn.

Here are a few of our favorite tips for a way to get rid of Creeping Charlie naturally and keep it from taking over your yard or garden. Use simple ingredients or just your hands to eliminate this annoying weed.

The Minor Detail Is That There Is A Fine Line Between Enough Boron To Control Creeping Charlie And Enough Boron To Kill Every Other Plant Around It As Well

Plus, Boron doesnt break down or otherwise go away after its applied. So there is a good chance that in your zeal to finally kill creeping Charlie once and for all you will also kill every other plant near it, potentially for years.

Two other control methods to consider are using a dethatching rake or if youre really desperate, killing off an area and starting over. After decades of attempts and hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars in herbicides, my dad used a dethatching rake over the course of an entire summer to finally declare victory over the creeping Charlie. Most of the spots needed reseeding with grass as he removed the creeping Charlie. Overall this process worked very well, but it was incredibly time and labor intensive.

Some people wave the white flag and use non-selective herbicides like glyphosate or black plastic to kill off areas overrun with creeping Charlie. Placing black plastic over an infested area will heat up the soil and kill all plants and seeds present, but it takes time. Ive read time estimates ranging from weeks to three months or more.

I hope Im not jinxing myself in writing this, but so far we havent seen creeping Charlie in our yard. If it ever does make an appearance, especially if its where grass refuses to grow, Ill probably just leave it alone and be thankful. Ive dealt enough with creeping Charlie to last my lifetime!

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