How to Kill a Creeping Charlie Without Herbicides

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Keep creeping Charlie off your lawn by keeping the lawn healthy.
Keep creeping Charlie off your lawn by keeping the lawn healthy. (Image: lawn,grass image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma bederacea) is also known as ground ivy and gill-over-the-ground. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, it is a member of the mint family and produces purplish tubular flowers that bloom from April to June. It is a common weed in many lawns, and may be difficult to eradicate without resorting to weed killers or herbicides such as borax. However, it can be easier to control in a small garden, and you can try a natural approach on your lawn as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Lawnmower
  • Grass seeds

Fill a clean plastic spray bottle with plain white vinegar and then spray any creeping Charlie weeds in your garden. Be careful not to spray other plants, as the vinegar will kill them as well.

Pull the weeds. You can do this after spraying with the vinegar or simply as its own method. Just grab the weeds by the hand and pull. Try to get all of the roots out as well. This step may need to be repeated several times, as creeping Charlie is notoriously difficult to get rid of this way.

Overseed your lawn. The best way to kill creeping Charlie on large lawns is to choke off its nutrients and water supply by making sure that the grass around it is dense and healthy. Start by mowing your lawn very short, almost to the soil, as grass seeds will germinate only if they touch the soil. Then use any commercial grass seed, but follow the manufacturer's instructions for seeding a new lawn, not re-seeding an existing one. This will ensure that you use the maximum number of seeds so that your lawn grows in thick and kills any creeping Charlie weeds.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a plastic tarp to protect garden plants while you spray the creeping Charlie with vinegar.

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