Ground Ivy / Creeping Charlie
The occasional dandelion can be dug out of lawn and crabgrass can be stopped by applying a crabgrass preventer each spring. But weeds that creep through a lawn can prove hard to eradicate. Especially fast spreading, root-as-they-go ones that come back every year are the ones that really cause extreme frustration. These include such common invaders as chickweed, creeping speedwell, wild strawberry, mugwort , bindweed and the emperor of lawn annoyance - creeping charlie. Also called ground ivy, creeping charlie is a mint family plant and at one time a beer ingredient that has light purple flowers and glossy, rounded leaves with scalloped edges. These annoying, creeping weeds all have the potential to mat their way completely over top of turf grass, ultimately smothering your lawn. If they’re thriving in your Norton lawn, it is generally a sign that your lawn isn’t in ideal shape to begin with. Lawns with poor performing turf are an open door for weeds.
Weeds are opportunists and bare dirt is their ally. So the best solution is to keep the grass as thick and healthy as possible so weeds can not gain their way into the planting. If you beat them to the punch by getting grass in there first, you will win. If you are losing that battle, your fight begins with getting rid of the creepers you have in the lawn.
Identifying the weed, is an important step. There are numerous online sources to help you do that or you could contact a qualified professional. Once you know the enemy at hand, check the herbicide label to make sure that product is listed as effective against the weeds you have in the turf.
Creeping charlie is almost impossible to remove by hand. It leaves nodes attached in the ground when you pull it. Each one of those nodes become a new plant. Although herbicides are effective any time a treatable weeds are actively growing, one of the best windows for perennial creepers like creeping charlie is early fall. That is when these weeds are beginning to transfer energy and food to the roots for winter and when they’re more vulnerable to herbicide. So if your first try at killing a creeping charlie isn’t very effective, try again at a different time. It is also not uncommon for some of the tougher weeds to need two or three treatments before they finally give up like creeping charlie.
By eliminating the weeds you will clear the soil and pave the way to fill the space with new grass. Fall and Spring are two ideal times to plant grass seed, but it can sprout any time during the growing season so long as the ground is kept consistently damp.
Then it is a matter of “playing a good defense” to encourage grass to grow as quickly and thickly as possible to head off the return of weeds.