Need advice re: creeping charlie ASAP!!

mariana6b(6b)May 16, 2014

I need advice on how to clear a former vegetable garden lot (50' x 30') of a heavy coverage of creeping charlie. The lot belonged to my late parents; the garden was cultivated for about 50 years and has been untouched for over a year. We aren't currently living there; I wasn't aware until recently that the creeping charlie has taken over and is spreading quickly. We need to get it under control before it invades the neighbors' yards. I've spent hours researching on the internet, talked to the county extension agency which referred me to a master gardener and called the Scott's help line; have received conflicting advice.

1) I've never used lawn chemicals before so have no experience with how well they work. The plan is to kill everything off and replant with grass seed. We may want to use a small area for vegetable growing in the future (next year). I tried applying Roundup to a test area and it had no apparent affect after a week. My research indicates tryclopyr can be the best choice for creeping charlie (of the commonly available products for "amateurs".) I bought Ortho Weed B Gone purple label which contains tryclopyr. Plan on trying this weekend but have this concern: If I use this and it's not very effective, will it then be harder to treat it with something else later? I want to get it right the first time.

2) I tried thinning the weeds in one area with a dethatching rake. Thinned it a little after hours of effort. Is this a bad idea? The master gardener believed stressing/weakening the weeds is a good idea before spraying. She also thinks less foliage means less area the herbicide has to kill. Other info indicates that healthy new foliage takes the herbicide in more efficiently. The weed coverage is very heavy. Any advice?

3) Thought about solarizing the area we might plant with vegetables in the future. Live in central Ohio; summers can be blazing hot and sunny or cool and cloudy. No way to predict in advance. Area gets full sun in the afternoon only. How do you prepare soil for solarizing? Is hand removing most weeds and watering the soil deeply enough prep?

My husband and I work long hours and have only weekends to do this. We're also inexperienced. Should we just give up and call someone like Tru-Green to nuke the area - if they even do that?

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Sorry about the double posting here. Wasn't intentional.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 2:17PM
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ForsheeMS(Lexington, NC)

Triclopyr takes weeks and weeks of spraying to get it under control. In your case, glyphosate is the best choice. Buy the stuff from Tractor Supply under their brand Groundworks 41% glyphosate. Mix it per the instructions and add some plain old dish detergent to help it stick. It's much cheaper than the brand name Round Up and will kill CC. Spray it when you won't be getting any rain for at least a couple days. The hotter the temperature the better it works. All you need is a good mist on the leaves of the plant. From there the leaves take it into the root to kill it. Expect a week to 2 weeks to see results as it takes some time to get the herbicide from the leaves to the roots and with creeping charlie you have to kill the roots or the stuff comes right back..

For most herbicides including Glyphosate, they work best when the plant is healthy and actively growing. This way the plant takes in more of the herbicide straight to the roots. You really need the folliage to absorb the herbicide. Sounds to me like you need to seek out another master gardener.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:40PM
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