Ground Ivy, colloquially known as creeping Charlie, is a fast growing, highly invasive member of the mint family that can overtake an entire lawn if left unchecked. The plant’s extensive, hardy root systems make it very hard to effectively remove by hand. Some homeowners struggle year after year to maintain control over persistently creeping ground ivy populations. In this entry, we’ll examine a few ways to keep the invading ivy at bay.
By allowing your grass to grow to around 3 inches, you can not only allow your lawn to grow stronger, but also starve ground ivy of the light it needs to grow. The healthier your grass is, the harder it will be for ground ivy to spread.
Apply Herbicide in the Fall
Timing is key when it comes to ensuring the effectiveness of herbicides. Treating ground ivy populations with herbicide in the fall, just before your lawn goes dormant for the winter, affords you the best chance of eliminating ground ivy while mitigating collateral damage to grasses. If you’re uncomfortable using conventional chemical herbicides, researchers at the University of Iowa have found that a gentle solution of borax and water can help to control ground ivy without harming nearby wildlife.
Remember: Keeping the grass in your lawn healthy is essential to controlling a ground ivy invasion. Water in the cool morning hours, deeply and infrequently, in order to give your lawn the best chance at growing strong and fighting off the ivy.
Like it or not, throwing on a pair of gloves and pulling ground ivy out by its roots is your best bet at eliminating a well-established population. Remove Ivy early in the spring, and then again in the fall to keep it from spreading further into your lawn.
At Suburban Lawn and Sprinkler, we’ve been keeping grass green for over 50 years. Give us a call today, and find out how a new irrigation system can help your lawn to grow lush and healthy for many years to come.