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Whether you know it as Ground Ivy, Creeping Charlie, or Creeping Jenny, this annual weed can be very difficult to control in lawn areas. The difficulty comes from the fact that the plant spreads using both above ground stems called stolons, and below ground shoots called rhizomes. This combination of root and stem systems means that you have to choose the right product and that your timing has to be good to control this weed. Liquid controls currently available include Bonide Chickweed, Clover and Oxalis Killer, Bonide Weed Beater PLUS, and Weed Beater UTRA. Granular products such as Bonide Weed Beater Complete also work well to control this weed. Best control is achieved with 3 separate applications of products, once in spring just after the plant flowers, one following up 3-4 weeks later and a final fall application to kill any residual weeds and to prevent any re-growth in the spring. Cultural practices including mowing to a height of at least 3”, applying a fall fertilizer and over seeding with a quality grass seed can also help control this challenging weed.

 

Ground Ivy Facts:

  • Also known as “Creeping Charlie” or “Creeping Jenny”
  • Spreads by stolons above the ground and by rhizomes below the soil
  • Related to the Mint family
  • Thrives in moist, shady well fertilized soils but can be found in sunny locations as well
  • Small blue flowers in spring may not be visible unless looking carefully because they are below the leaf canopy and grass surface
  • Can be difficult to control
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