Over-run with creeping charlie in your lawn? Here’s how to tackle it.

Creeping charlie, aka ground-ivy or Glechoma hederacea, is an aggressive weed that spreads so pervasively it makes many gardeners ready to pull their hair out. Here are some tips to control it so you can keep all your hair!

1 – Rake and pull all the creeping charlie you can. (I do not use herbicides. If you want to use them, they must be labeled for creeping charlie and then are best used in August, probably twice.)

2 – Scratch up the bare/weak areas vigorously with a rake (getting more of the weed roots out as you go) or use a tiller.

3 – Spread and lightly mix into the soil a high-quality compost with the loosened soil. At Masterson’s Garden Center & Aquatic Nursery they have the excellent EcoVerde compost. Wherever your lawn is weak or you want to improve planting beds, use that product. If you live farther away, find a good quality compost or compost-rich soil mix such as the Big Yellow Bag from Lakeside Sod. (Don’t buy standard “topsoil”.)

4 – Seed over the area with a quality grass seed – research is necessary to be sure it is labeled for the amount of sun the site offers.

5 – Cover it all with straw (never hay) so the rains don’t wash it out.

6 – Water the area if rain is not consistent. If the seedlings sprout and dry out, they are dead, but many seeds will germinate in spring too.

7 – You may have to repeat a similar process in spring, and if the lawn is really far gone, I suggest you do it right with assistance from a top company like Lakeside Sod.

I recommend organic lawn care procedures. For more information, refer to The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn by Paul Tukey. This book will help you whether you are DIY or plan to hire and supervise a service.