Gardening Life

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Gardening Life magazine ceased publishing at the end of 2008...

Eliminating Creeping Charlie

How do I eliminate Creeping Charlie from taking over my yard?

**FULL QUESTION** Dear *Gardening Life*, Can you please tell me how to get rid of creeping charlie? It’s taking over my yard! *—Marie Barry*

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**FULL ANSWER** Marie, Creeping charlie or ground ivy (*Glechoma hederacea*) is a tenacious, invasive plant that is difficult to eradicate. Mind, some people actually grow it as a ground cover, but here’s the best chemical-free way to get it out of your lawn. In spring, when the ground is moist, rake the area with a dethatching rake pulling out as much of the weed as you can. Spread an inch-deep layer of triple mix over the area, concentrating on the weed-infested parts. Spread fresh top-quality grass seed at the rate of one pound per 400 square feet and rake smooth. Step on it or roll it using a roller only 1/3 filled with water. Water well. When the grass has sprouted, fertilize with a balanced, organic fertilizer; repeat in two months. In late fall, feed your lawn with a layer of well-rotted manure or compost. Never mow the grass shorter than three inches. Thick healthy grass will compete weeds right out of existence. You may read about treating creeping charlie with Borax—don’t. It is difficult to get the dosage correct and is a one-time application with unpredictable results. It could kill your grass, too. Good luck! *—Mark Cullen, garden expert, and Karen York, Botanical Editor* Other questions recently answered by the GL team: When to move irises Maintaining blue spruces The best way to grow gunneras Getting rid of sawfly larvae on roses Eliminating earwigs from clematis flowers Beetle damage to spruce trees Removing whiteflies from hibiscus leaves Building a cactus garden Maintaining redbud trees Maintaining Boston ivy growth Using black walnut leaves for mulch Stopping powdery mildew on maples Planting trees near a swale Growing on a septic field How to battle weeds between flagstone and alternative options Mysterious orange powder on the lawn What to do with end-of-season potatoes on the vine How to control Japanese knotweed What to grow in a dry area The proper way to plant astrantia What is the star flower and how do I manage it? How do I eliminate my ant problem? Preventing red beetles from attacking lilies Vine types to grow on a new pergola Maintaining purple fountain grass Keeping bougainvilllea healthy throughout the winer How to rid invasive green goutweed Good garden uses for fireplace ashes Growing grape hyacinth indoors The best way to convert a lawn into a meadow The proper way to grow rhododendrons Eliminating beetle damage to spruce trees Annual resembling Japanese maple Planting ivy near cedar trees In search of the 'Sundance Kid' sunflower Caring for canna bulbs A supplier for barren strawberry ground cover Winter care for roses Cutting back mauna loa The best time to harvest curly leaf lettuce

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