We all have them and we need to work together to get rid of them! If you work diligently to control the weeds at your home but a neighbor or two don’t, you’re pretty much wasting your time! Encourage them to join the fight!
Creeping Charlie (also called ground ivy) is a fragrant, evergreen perennial weed in the mint family. It spreads by seeds, by cuttings (if a bagger isn’t used when the lawn is mowed, the problem will be that much worse!) and by rhizomes (creeping roots). It has a pretty purple flower and the leaves are shaped like kittens’ paws. Don’t be conned! The problem is that it will take over and crowd out everything else. If you have just a few, you can hand pull them, but they must go in a yard waste bag. Don’t compost!
Here is a recipe that will kill Creeping Charlie, but not your lawn. Mix 10 ounces of 20 Mule Team Borax (find it in the laundry section) with 4 ounces of water. Mix this goo with 2.5 gallons of warm water and spray on the weed leaves. Don’t get too zealous and over apply or a toxic level of boron can build up in the soil. Just spray the leaves and move on to the next infestation.
If you want to use a prepared product, look for one that includes triclopyr, determine whether or not the product includes ingredients that will kill your grass and follow the instructions!
Dandelions and thistles are the bane of my gardening life! Burnout II, Avenger and Adios will kill weeds and are approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute. Roundup has a product in gel form that I apply to each and every individual plant. Pulling them only makes the plants have to work harder to come back unless you are able to pull the entire root. I don’t think I ever have, in spite of watering deeply the day before to soften the soil. I put big rocks on top of the soil where the plant was removed. I am not a fan of pre-emergent products in my garden beds because they can prevent my bulbs – tulips, daffodils, etc. – from coming up, too.
If you decide to use a product on your weeds, be sure to read the instructions and follow them precisely. A combination of pulling and applying sprays and gels is my solution. I just wish they would go away and stay away!