Creeping Charlie is taking over my lawn!

jharkin Posted By jharkin, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM

  1. jharkin

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 21, 2009
    Holliston, MA USA
    Over the last couple of years we have been trying to get away from using chemicals around the house- both to be more environmentally conscious and to not expose the kids. Ive been focusing on mulching well and using overseeding, high cutting, mulch mowing and occasional org. fertilizer to help the lawn.

    Problem is that we have this vine that is slowly overtaking the entire lawn. Doing some reading my wife found out its called Creeping Charlie and will eventually crowd out all the grass if we dont stop it. It also appears that short of burning the lawn starting over no "earth friendly" methods are effective.

    As best I can tell the recommended option is to bomb the whole lawn with Agent Orange... err I mean Weed-B-Gone max.

    Anyone have this beast and have luck getting rid of it? Suggestions?

    We have 20 month old twins in the house and would like to be able to plant a vegetable garden in some of the back yard in the future so I dont want to use anything extremely toxic........
  2. smoke show

    smoke show

    Most lawn care places around here won't guarantee its demise.
    Subscribed for solutions.
  3. daveswoodhauler

    Minister of Fire

    May 20, 2008
  4. ironpony

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 22, 2010
    mid-ohio via St.Croix USVI
    so how is this working out for you??!!!
  5. lukem

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 12, 2010
    Weed-B-Gone is mostly 2,4-d and it doesn't work well/at all on creeping charley. The only thing I've seen that is effective on it is to rake it out with a garden rake or bust the sod and re-seed.
  6. fishingpol

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 13, 2010
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    I went chem free on my lawn a few years ago. Since then I have added compost, aerated and cut the grass higher. I've read on organic lawn sites that grasses thrive under certain soil conditions and do well when the conditions are met. Many weeds take over when the grass struggles and can't shade out the weeds. I have been dealing with lawn violets for several years and even spent hours sitting and weeding a square yard at a time. I seem to finally have turned the corner a little. Especially after aerating, I noticed the soil retained water better and didn't have hard dirt patches in the lawn. This fall I will aerate when the leaves drop and mulch all the leaves into the lawn. All the maple leaves that drop in the yard get mulched back in, helping moisture retention and feeding the worms that tunnel and aerate the soil. I keep meaning to send a soil sample to UMASS Amherst for testing, maybe this fall.

    Here is a link to one site that I refer back to:

    Good luck. Maybe a little soil ammendment will help.
  7. jharkin

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 21, 2009
    Holliston, MA USA
    I did the Umass soil analysis 3 years ago. I followed their recommendations for adding lime and fertilizers (well mostly, they called for superphosphate applications which is hard to find so I did a couple rounds of high phosphate starter fertilizer instead).

    You might be on to something... aerating, and maybe dethatching some areas might help... I never got around to going through the hassle of renting the equipment to do it.

    And maybe a follow up soil test.
  8. velvetfoot

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 5, 2005
    Sand Lake, NY
    I have some kind of weed bent grass that grows with rizomes. Bigger and bigger rings of it. Different color green, but it is green. Came as weed in grass seed, according to Extension. Same deal-must be nuked-too close to desireable grass to selectively treat. That's the least of my worries, though. I have big dead spots to work on..procrastinating. Encouraging wife to enlarge flower gardens.
  9. Adabiviak

    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 7, 2008
    Sierra Nevadas, California
    Is that the same Creeping Charlie that people buy as houseplants here? I take it there's no 'waterless' season there? I killed them all the time when I was younger.
  10. osagebow

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 29, 2012
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Well, it's not toxic, some people even eat it, so it wont hurt the kids. It pulls out easily when weeding a cultivated bed. My garden has iot on the edges, it actually helps keep other stuff down, so no worries there. I don't fret too much about most lawn weeds, including this one. I don't spray anything either, I salute you for that.

    We're raising children, not grass!;)

    It's actually a member of the mint family, (square stem and 2 - lipped flowers) and possibly called Glechoma hederacea (spelling?) if that helps. I had to I.D. it in a botany class once.
  11. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter
    Minister of Fire

    Aug 20, 2010
    West Michigan
    PBI Gordon Speedzone after a good frost will kill the stuff, & not harm the turfgrass. You will need a good surfactant & some coin to buy the stuff, & yes it's toxic to a point. The sticker agent or surfactant is sometimes more toxic than the weed killer itself. Spray on a cool morning after frost with adequate soil moisture & you'll knock the crap out of the stuff. Spray back as far as you can to get the bulk of the plants, or it will creep back out over time. Rate is 1.5 oz per 1000sq ft of area. Not an ideal solution, but requires the least chemical applied for about the best control I've seen. A C

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