by Marg Dudley
Creeping Charlie, (Glechoma hederacea, also known as ground ivy, creeping jenny and gill-over-the-ground) is an invasive perennial weed that vines throughout lawns and chokes out grass. It spreads by seed. The best way to control it in flower and vegetable gardens is by hand pulling and hoeing and the key to effective control of ground ivy in gardens is persistence. But the vining stems root at their nodes so it is difficult to dig out or remove by hand because a small piece of vine will sprout again.
Borax (sodium tetraborate, a white, crystalline mineral salt) has been found to be an effective herbicide for Creeping Charlie. Used since the 1920s, borax detergent has only recently been tested scientifically for effectiveness on Creeping Charlie.
Remember: The borax recipe has been tested only on Creeping Charlie and is not to be used on other broadleaf weeds. Be sure to use the borax spray only in the lawn because research shows established grass is tolerant of the spray. It should not be used in gardens.
Borax Solution for Creeping Charlie Control:
Dissolve 10 oz. Twenty Mule Team Borax in 4 oz. (½ cup) warm water.
Dilute in 2.5 gallons of water.
This will cover 1,000 square feet.
If you have a smaller area to treat, cut the recipe accordingly.
It is most effective when used on newly growing vines in the spring when the ground is moist.
Tips and Warnings:
Grass may turn a little brown after treatment with the borax weed killer. The grass will regain its green color after a few days. Borax remains in the soil for a long time. Do not use the borax weed killer more than once a year and do not use it more than two consecutive years. If Creeping Charlie weeds come back after a borax treatment, use manual weed removal techniques.
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