so i have learned that i have a massive over growth of creeping charlie. absolutely horrid. not really having an easy time getting rid of it either. I have applied once weed b gone but not much has happened, after a month! the creeping charlie has since bloomed (small purple flowers) it does appear to be weaker in some areas but i have dense clay soil and not sure what else to do. please help
By "massive overgrowth", are you saying that it's covering most of your yard, or it's growing amongst the grass, or in unplanted areas? About what size is the bed of creeping charlie?
And in what area of the country do you live? These are factors which could dictate how to get rid of it.
I have just under a quarter of an acre and more than 50% is occupied by the creeping charlie. there is no grass in this areas, it appears to have been 'choked out' must have happened over time. I am told that creeping charlie comes from neglect, not sure if its true or not but i just bought this house last year and am working in it just now. i know that it sat unoccupied for at least 2yrs but could be longer than that. I live in st paul, MN. please share what you know...
thanks for the link i will also take a look at this.
I thought if you had a small yard you could use a scuffle hoe or solarize it, but 1/2 or a 1/4 acre field might be too large for a solution meant for limited areas of growth. I don't really have any good suggestions for large areas other than what I discuss below.
Creeping charlie, or ground ivy, is I think more of an opportunistic than invasive plant. If it doesn't have significant competition, it will take hold. It can spread into lawn, but then it's easily controlled just by mowing.
I just hand weed mine or scuffle hoe and compost mine, but I don't have that much of it, probably not more than 300 - 400 square feet of it.
I suspect there either wasn't much grass in your yard initially or it wasn't firmly established, which allowed the charlie to expand and colonize. So neglect may have been a factor, but from my experience if there had been a good lawn and it was kept mowed, the charlie wouldn't have made much progress.
Given that the house was vacant for 2 years, there was probably no maintenance at all of the yard, allowing the ground cover to grow rampantly and choke out whatever else was there. If your house is new, there might not even have been any sod laid down.
The article Joe cited states that if you apply herbicide for this particular plant, it should be done in the fall, so you still have spring and summer to deal with it.
I only have a few suggestions:
1. I have used white vinegar with limited success for isolated weeds. You could try pouring white vinegar on a small test area and see how and if it works.
2. You could solarize it. Cover it with plastic, anchored down with stones or bricks or something to ensure that the plastic covers the area thoroughly. Depending on how much sun and heat you have, the solarizing will eventually kill the plants.
Then you could use a scuffle hoe to remove the dead plants, making sure to "scuffle" deep enough to remove the root system.
http://www.gardeners.com/Hula-...-926,default,pd.html (also referred to here as a hula hoe).
Scuffle hoes come in different configurations. The one I've found to be best for dislodging deep rooted plants is the one pictured in the link, with a closed hoe end. It's not a fixed hoe but moves perhaps 180 degrees backward and forward, allowing it to penetrate several inches into the soil and sever or uproot plants. They become caught in the hoe and are easily pulled up.
(Think of the action of mopping a floor and imagine that the mop can penetrate several inches below the surface).
Depending on whether the yard is visible to passersby and you're concerned about how this option might look, you could also use newspaper and/or cardboard in what gardeners call "lasagna gardening."
Layers are laid down and watered, and eventually decompose and improve the soil, which clay soil would need before you could plant grass seed. This does take a while though, and it's somewhat unsightly. There's also no guarantee that all the ground ivy beneath the paper or cardboard would be killed.
3. You could plant a competitive plant to smother it. Annual morning glories, vining pumpkins and vining squash come to mind. The pumpkins and squash wouldn't smother it completely, so you'd probably have some ivy left but there would be less of it and you could scuffle hoe it out.
If you plant just morning glories, divide your yard into smaller sections, such as 12 x 12, clear the perimeter of the charlie and plant morning glories. Let them grow along and over the ivy, smothering it. The morning glories won't kill all of the ground ivy, but they will choke out some of it, depending on how densely you plant them.
Surprisingly enough, morning glories can be very effective in killing other plants. I discovered accidentally that they'll kill a mulberry tree, one of the hardest trees to eradicate. Apparenly they smother the bark and prevent it from getting air.
The one thing I wouldn't do is rototill it as you would just be tilling it under and it will likely resurface, especially if the purple flowers have set seed.
Hope this helps.
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