Creeping charlie

(Question)

What are the best methods for eradicating creeping charlie from an infested lawn?

– hand picking?

– corn gluten in spring?

– application of borax?

– application of lime to raise pH?

 

(Answer)

You’re in luck, take a look at our response to an earlier question about how to get rid of creeping charlie.  Note that the best method is good old hand-pulling – be sure to get the entire plant, including its extensive underground root system.  Be persistent – you’ll likely need to go back several times to get rid of Charlie.

A fact sheet the Toronto Master Gardeners prepared for the City of Toronto, Tackling Weeds Organically is a great resource, and discusses the use of corn gluten (in early spring, several weeks before you can see weeds popping up) to stop seeds from germinating.

And you are correct that borax has been used, but results of this treatment have been inconsistent, and borax can harm soil as well as other plants, so is not recommended.   Also, it is not clear what effect borax might have on trees.   Iowa State University’s Nonchemical Alternatives for the Home Lawn discusses borax use.

Conditions that discourage Charlie’s growth (he loves acidic soil), like adding lime to increase soil pH, is a good idea.  Be careful that you don’t increase the pH too much, as you could harm grass and other plants.

And after you’ve gotten rid of the weed, reseed the lawn so that good, healthy grass will fight off Charlie should he return.