What is the best way to get rid of Creeping Charlie in a lawn. My lawn is full of this weed.
Does that stuff grow long roots that run horizontal across the yard and can be up to at least 4" in diameter with the bark covering that looks almost like the skin on a sweet potato?
I have and have had creeping Charlie myself too and have had success in getting rid of it. The only way to really get rid of it is persistence you just have to keep pulling it up,that really is the best way. You could buy weed killer and that would probably kill the creeping Charlie but would probably kill your grass too.
When I went after my creeping Charlie problem I pulled out the creeping Charlie in sections of my yard and would work on another section the next day. After a while my creeping Charlie problem was no longer a problem. Just make sure you get the roots too and throw the weed away or your problem will return. Even to this day we still have a little as it comes in from another persons yard but it is not nearly as bad a problem as it used to be.
Make sure that after you pull the creeping Charlie up you use some grass seed if you have bare spots where the creeping Charlie was. Also make sure you buy a high quality seed that is guaranteed weed free and is appropriate for the area such as shade loving grass in shady areas etc.. Good luck to you!:)
As a lifelong gardener, I've battled this weed in several homes. I also have a master's degree in Weed Science (I'm not making that up) so I know how difficult it is to control this member of the mint family in lawns.
While you can pull it out of a garden bec, in a lawn pulling isn't an effective control for a heavy infestation of creeping charle, also known as ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea). That just creates open areas the weed can pounce into. The most popular organic control, Borax, is not reliable.
Unfortunately (because I prefer to garden organically), the only truly effective control is a mix of 2,4-D and mecoprop (MCPP). Dicamba added to the mix makes it even more effective, but can damage nearby trees. Buy it under a variety of names -- check the labels of bradleaf weed killers for those ingredients. The label also will say it kills ground ivy.
Mix according to label instructions. Too strong, and you'll damage the grass. Too weak and control isn't effective.
Apply at the label-recommeded rate when the weed is actively growing and the wind is STILL (drifting 2,4-D will harm nearby plants). You'll need to apply a few times, at 10-14 day intervals. It can take several applications to kill it all.
For years I tried the Borax method having read that creeping charlie is boron intolerant. I finally gave up on that. After applications some relatively small percentage of the plants would actually appear to die. others would brown at the edges of the leaves.Within a few weeks the infestation would be back to"normal".
Early this fall I applied Scott's +2 mixed with my normal fertilizer mix of Ringers, Milorganite, Ironite and pelletized limestone. Giving up on "organic" methods was a tough choice for me. It worked pretty well. All but ~ 1-4% of the plants browned out and died. Later I did another application of the basic fertilizer mix and added a cup of 20 Muleteam Borax to the dry mix before application. All but a very few plants have now disappeared, replaced by the grass which has spread quite nicely to fill in. I have been over-seeding with Gardens Alive (www.gardensalive.com) Turf Alive mixes for 10-20 years. The latest being mostly their rhyzomatic mix that spreads pretty rapidly and sends roots up to 4-6' deep. I watered the lawn only once this year.