creeping charlie

jasonkay(z5 IL)August 29, 2005

Has anyone had experience getting rid of creeping charlie by just digging it out and replacing it with sod dug from elsewhere in the yard? Is there any danger of the charlie growing back from root fragments left in the soil? This is the only option I can think of that doesn't involve a lot of round up.

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As one who has spent many hours this summer pulling creeping charlie from my side and back yards (new "old" house for us with previous owners who didn't give a hoot about lawn care), I have tried the following and it seems to be working. One evening I water the area, next evening I park my backside and pick it out by the root. You don't want the soil too damp or the part above ground breaks off from the roots and the roots don't come out. You want the soil to be just slightly damp. Finish the area. Then I've kept the ground moist for the next wk so that if there are any roots, they'll start growing again. Then go at it again. For me, the second time wasn't bad at all - just a few spots here and there. So far, my side yard has stayed clear - since early June. I just finished the first pass at the back yard tonight. I've also been able to go into my neighbor's yards on both sides and pulled theirs out about 1 ft back from the property line. It's been tedious but it hasn't cost anything nor polluted the soil. Round up will kill your grass. The only sure chemical cure for creeping charlie is borax but that will poison your soil for the next few years. Your suggestion of digging it out should work because the roots aren't that deep - only 1" or less. But do you have extra sod to spare? And can you stop what's growing in adjoining yards from growing back into yours? Good luck. There's no easy solution for this menace!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 10:14PM
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I tryed last year sitting on the ground and pulling it up. This year I used chemicals. Creeping Charlie can stay hidden in your soil for years I have been told. It had taken over 3/4 of my front yard. But this year I have taken my yard back! I plan on seeding this fall and hopefuly next spring I will see grass only.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 9:16PM
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A few years back we sprinked Borax atop Creeping Charlie in fall..the following year grass grew in in place of that awful weed. But, IT'S BACK...!!! As often as I pull, that weed seems to grow before my eyes. Toni

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 9:28PM
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I think c.c. is more attractive than grass, but if you really want to have a go at eradicating it from your lawn check your state's Extension office website for published bulletins on recommendations for this. HTH

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 9:55AM
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It's been one week since I finished the back yard and I've only found 5 more new spots, along with 3 on the side yard. I'm going to keep at these 2 areas until the ground freezes. This week I start in on the front yard.

Be careful if you try borax - overdoing it is definitely not good.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 9:44PM
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I used Trimec to get rid of it this year and it really worked. But then the bald spots got crabgrass now I have to buy a different poison. I used to not care much about the lawn and wish I could go back to not caring. All this herbicide is really bad in my opinion, and you have to be so careful to keep it away from the garden, but I got to my wits end with these weeds. Too bad the entire lawn couldn't be a garden instead of only half of it, but I need room for pets and trees.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 10:16PM
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I set my lawn mower way way up and this has helped dramatically. I did use trimec and plan to use it again pretty soon-except lawns are so brown here I don't want to add the stress of chemicals. Last year I raked and raked cc out of parts of my lawn-it certainly is an ongong struggle and then sometimes I just think of it as king charlie and try to live with it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:54PM
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jasonkay(z5 IL)

Thanks for all the input. A backyard update: it wasn't easy, and I had to bribe my 15 yr old to help, but we actually dug all the creeping charlie out of the yard. No sign of return -- yet. Some of the area has been planted with sod from our front yard. I'll seed the rest. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will work. It sure was a heck of a lot of effort.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 2:21PM
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pam_aa(z5 Berwyn Il.)

Creeping Charlie is just one of things you can NEVER get rid of at least in my experience. Along with sorrel and purslane, these guys drive me nuts every year and I don't even worry about the grass. Even if you are fastidious about weeding, there are probably millions of seed and you might have neighbors to deal with who thinks itÂs "pretty". You can throw tons chemicals at the problem but who wants that. Too bad the plants we are trying (and boy, sometimes it can be trying) to cultivate aren't that rambunctious, at least somewhat anyway.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:17PM
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kylesmom(ZONE 6)

We have been struggling with creeping charlie for a couple years. It has been consuming (what is now a LARGE portion) in the corner of our back yard. Since we hate using chemicals, we tried the following: weeding (to no avail of course :), a flaming torch (propane weed burner) - also to no avail. I think the weed burner *may* (??) have worked if the area wasn't already so large; although it severely browned the area after the torching sessions, it always seemed to come back again, sometimes seemingly in MORE force. So then we very reluctantly tried chemicals (Ortho) - also didn't work. :( So now here we are years later, and I'd like to just dig this terminator weed up! But I know that would be a tremendous undertaking to dig up ~250 sq feet of lawn. Curious to know if jasonkay had any charlie come back after his dig out in '05; would love to hear about the long-terms success/failure of digging it...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 8:23AM
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gracie01(z5 IL)

We use Scotts Plus 2 Weed & Feed and that takes care of it.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Trimec did the job! use it in the spring and like a charm

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 5:57PM
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The best way to "control" creeping charlie that I've found is a 2-3 part program. After years of extremely limited success with borax solutions on the masses of the stuff choking out the lawn grasses in my back yard, I went chemical on it with Scotts + 2 in the fall of the year before last. The die back was way more extensive than the borax ever caused and the grass (mostly Gardens Alive Turf Alive) flourished. Then came spring the next year with serious re-growth, probably from seed it produced in previous years. I repeated the +2 last fall with same results but applied Jonathan Green's "Organic Weed Control" this spring, being careful to allow any new grass from seed I applied to get a good start before application. It's almost pure "corn gluten". See my blog post on how that stuff works and where the idea of it's use originated. It appeared to stop the spread of any creeping charlie plants that survived the fall +2 treatment. They just formed little static clumps that didn't expand. I left them to see how the season-long effect would play out. I think that pretty well defines the plant as exclusively capable of spreading from seed and surface runners. This in combination with some minor hand removal for 2-3 years straight should all but eliminate the problem in my lawn. It got here somehow to start with, ergo the "all but".

Here is a link that might be useful: Misc. Musings of a Techie

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:28PM
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