Creeping Charlie

Anyone know of anyway to get rid of Creeping Charlie other than resorting to chemicals?

I can live with it in the grass but when it invades my garden area it’s picked the wrong battle.

I’ve been pulling it up by the armload.  When it hits the garden areas it takes off like a rocket.  I guess that means the soil is fertile though…

I need to grab some grass seed to fill in the areas after I yank it up though.  According to the article the best defense is a healthy lawn.

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10 responses to “Creeping Charlie

  1. My sister had a major problem with Creeping Charlie moving in from a neighbor’s yard. As I recall they opted for a two-step approach:

    - cover the area currently infested with black plastic for a long time (several months if I recall).

    - install a mulch bed barrier around the outside of their yard to act as a buffer.

    If it’s well-established, Creeping Charlie is very hard to get rid of. Edging your garden beds might help keep it out of there, or perhaps installing a raised bed of some sort?

    Soil solarizing is another option, though that will mean your garden bed will be dormant for the growing season…

    http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No=339&storyType=garden

    Good luck…

  2. This is a constant battle at our house as well. My girlfriend is leading the battle by pulling it by hand and then sprinkling grass seed before it rains. This has gotten pretty good results in areas where the creeping charlie has totally taken over. Our side yard, near the garden is almost totally covered with it. Not sure what to do here, since the yard borders the neighbors land and it is in the same shape as ours. I put down some landscaping pavers around the garden and this seems to at least keep it out of the garden. I’m looking at raised beds next year.

  3. Opps, my third sentance should read like this: This has gotten pretty good results in areas where the creeping charlie HASN’T totally taken over.

  4. remember that soil solarization with plastic will kill all the critters you want in your garden soil. i would recommend heavy mulching or using a cover crop to compete. it’s suppose to be good in salads (i’ve never eaten it) and medicinal and good as a bath tea.

    perhaps chickens like to eat it.

  5. Good point about solarization, Aaron. It’s probably the ‘nuclear option’ as it were, but there are cases where it might be warranted.

    I think that responses to weeds like Creeping Charlie depend on where you live. If you’re in an urban or suburban setting, being known as the house with uncontrolled Creeping Charlie can be the quick way to get your neighbors annoyed with you… especially if you live next to some ‘lawn nazis’ like I do.

  6. Thanks for the information. So far I’ve had success pulling it out. The yard is so wet from all the rain that it just come right out. I have some grass seed that I’ll fill back in with.

    I finished raising up the last of the garden area so I think it will stay out of there now. I put down cardboard in the pathways and will apply a heavy layer of wood mulch, so that should take care of it in those areas.

    I guess I’ll just have to keep pulling it up and reseeding with grass seed, but it’s infiltrated some grassy areas already and it has kind of taken over my bush area with blackberry bushes. I don’t want to do grass there so maybe I’ll find something else to plant like clover or something that will grow fast and provide some compost fodder. Hell, maybe I’ll plant grass and let the bushes compete with the grass. They are already pretty well established so I think they’ll be fine.

  7. I would go the route of adjusting the soil climate that is favoring the charlie. Looks like Borax is also an effective control (one of many links below). I would use it on the lawn around your beds, but not in them, due to the fact that boron (which c.charlie is sensitive to) is rather persistent in the soil and can build up to a point that is kills ALL plants. Follow the instructions carefully. Once the ground ivy is gone, keep the lawn mown as tall as you can which should shade out the ivy.

    Also, to Aarons point, find another plant to out compete it. My favorite fortress plant around my beds is white dutch clover. Lightly till/de sod the ground around your beds and then sow clover thickly. Instead of an invasive perrenial, you get a n-fixing one that also attracts benificials. It can also be invasive, but a 4-6″ edge keeps it at bay.

    Link:
    http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1997/8-22-1997/borax.html

  8. My brother – who lives next door – has creepiing charlie all over in flower beds. My yard is my sanctuary. They do not pull any weeds and it is becoming very intolerable for me. How can I stop their weeds from wrecking my sanctuary?

  9. I had a front yard, Half, almost entirely creeping charlie, most efforts were ineffectual until I tried the borax. It really works! By the end of the summer the front lawn looks pretty much normal.(this was in addition to weed & feed, hand weed pulling,and reseeding) However,I did get some strange pink stemmed succulent weeds for a while, that seemed to favor the borax soil.

  10. (In Illinois) I had a front yard, Half, almost entirely creeping charlie, most efforts were ineffectual until I tried the borax. It really works! By the end of the summer the front lawn looked pretty much normal.(this was in addition to weed & feed, hand weed pulling,and reseeding) However,I did get some very strange looking pink stemmed succulent weeds for a while, that seemed to favor the borax soil. They were very easy to pull out, but I’ve never seen anything like them, before or since. Maybe they were in the soil,or manure I was using for reseeding? They were so interesting, they might be good for decorative ground cover, but they were in the wrong place. If any come back in the spring, maybe I’ll take a clipping to the botanical society. And as far as keeping the grass high to keep out creeping charlie, we had sprouts a foot high, in full flower,so I don’t think that would work.

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