Creeping Charlie control

Asked September 15, 2020, 9:36 AM EDT

My property is fairly small. Creeping Charlie has taken over my neighbor’s backyard and now most of mine. I have a butterfly garden in the backyard in a raised rock edged bed. My plan was to kill the CC in my yard with the correct products after the first frost. At that time I planned to cut my butterfly garden to the ground so that no creatures would be near the treated area until it started to grow again in the spring. Should I rake out the dead Charlie after the chemicals work? Then would I reseed the grass in the CC area in the spring? The Charlie has completely overcome it at this point. My neighbor is not interested in getting rid of their CC lawn and my guess is that it will creep over again next summer. I just thought a chemical application after 1st frost and reseeding in the spring might slow it a bit.

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

Creeping Charlie, aka ground ivy, is best controlled while it is active in the fall, or in spring when it is flowering. This is from www.msuturfweeds.net for control in lawns without killing grass:

“Ground ivy is, for the most part, tolerant of most postemergence herbicide active ingredients. University research indicates that products containing triclopyr have the most activity on ground ivy. Combinations of products containing 2,4-D tankmixed with quinclorac have also shown excellent results. The best postemergence control of ground ivy is achieved in the fall or during the short flowering period in mid-May. At these optimum timings, most active ingredient and combination products provide good-to-excellent control.”

You can use glyphosate to kill all the plants in the area. I would lift any desirable perennials and hold them to the side or in pots before using it, or the above herbicides, in garden beds. The label on the herbicide tells how long to wait before replanting.

https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2016/04/weed-management-creeping-charlie.html

Here is a spring lawn seeding article. https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/establishing_a_new_lawn_using_seed_e2910

Creating a foot wide band between you and the neighboring property which is maintained as a “dead zone” covered in mulch helps hold back weedy invaders. Some gardeners maintain a narrow shallow trench between properties for the same effect.

You will have a lot of weed seeds as well so, constant monitoring will be necessary.

Disclaimer: Always read, understand, and follow the label directions. Mention or exclusion of specific products does not represent an endorsement or condemnation of any product by Michigan State University.