Creeping Charlie is another obnoxious lawn weed.
Beginning gardeners often mistake this violet colored flower spreading into the grass as an attractive little plant. It is attractive (the variegated variety is sold in garden centers to the unwary as a rock garden plant) but it is also a major lawn weed.
A good raking will remove quite a bit of this weed. You may be able to find a metal rake where the tines are closer together than the normal lawn rake. I have one where the tines are actually triangles rather than long tines and it just chews up creeping Charlie. By raking the weed with this close-tined rake, you actually pull it out quite easily and you’ll be left with quite a mound of the stuff.
I am often asked if this kind of rake has a special name. I bought it under the name “landscape rake” but it’s also known as a “thatching rake” but I’ve seen it under other names as well. The identifying characteristic is that it has closer tines or diamond shaped tines when compared to the common rake. See below in the resources section for a source for this rake
Creeping Charlie flower – image courtesy wikipedia
You can compost it as long as you don’t let it root in your compost pile. Otherwise discard it to the garbage. I note that it will root quite easily if it is at all alive. Dry it out before you put it on the compost pile or simply discard it.
Repeated rakings will control this weed quite nicely and doing this raking is cheaper than going to a health club.
You’ll also find that as you sow grass seed down every year that your turf will thicken up and Creeping Charlie will have a harder time becoming established.
And believe it or not, as you thicken up the lawn and use organic compost your soil improves, Creeping Charlie will also start to disappear. It does not appreciate a good soil where it has to compete with turf. There are other organic tips for having a sustainable lawn here.
Step By Step Directions For A Sustainable Green Lawn
Best Organic Solution
So, in the long run a little raking, topdressing grass seed every year and organic feeding techniques will eliminate Creeping Charlie from your lawn.
I have never used this boron trick but it is recommended by some turf specialists. I caution you not to repeat this application. It is a one-time application; otherwise you run the risk of polluting your lawn and killing off your grass. Do not overfeed with boron – this is a perfect case where a little is good but a lot is NOT better.
You can also increase the boron in your soil. This acts to prevent the plant from growing properly without bothering grass plants. If you use the liquid Borax, use 20 ounces to 1000 square feet. It doesn’t matter whether you use one gallon of water to spread this 20 ounces across the 1000 square feet or 100 gallons. The constant amount is 20 ounces of liquid Borax soap spread across 1000 square feet of ground.
This too is a one-time application.