Can borax be used to treat Creeping Charlie?

Asked September 8, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

I have creeping Charlie on my lawn and is spreading quickly, can I eliminate it yet this fall? I have heard I can use 20 mule team borax . What do you recommend? Thank you.

Kandiyohi County Minnesota

1 Response

I will assume that your Creeping Charlie is on an established lawn. Established grass is tolerant of Borax, though it may temporarily show brown discoloration. Also, borax should not be used in gardens. Borax (sodium tetraborate) has been found to be an effective herbicide for creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea, also known as ground ivy, creeping jenny and gill-over-the-ground). Creeping charlie is an invasive perennial weed that vines throughout lawns and chokes out grass. The borax should be used in a wet solution, not dry mixed with sand. The boron in the borax remains immobile in the soil and can accumulate to form a toxic hot spot in the lawn. If the borax solution is applied in too high a concentration, or repeatedly, it will then be toxic to the grass and many other plants. Also, this treatment can be applied only once each year for two years. For best results, apply borax when creeping charlie is actively growing in the spring and when no rain is expected for 48 hours. The proper dosage for Borax as a Creeping Charlie control: Dissolve 10 oz. Borax in 4 oz. (½ cup) warm water; Dilute in 2.5 gallons of water. This solution will cover approximately 1,000 square feet. If you have a smaller area to treat, adjust the dosage accordingly. If creeping charlie is growing in a very shady location, think about what you can replace it with before applying this borax treatment. Unless you can establish other plants you will find that the creeping charlie will return in the same location. A healthy lawn, maintained with a regime of proper mowing practices, watering and fertilization is the strongest defense against Creeping Charlie and other weeds.