Can the grisly groundcover Creeping Charlie possibly be any good?

    Listen 00:52:57

    Creeping Charlie sounds like a character in an old monster movie, but is this aggressive groundcover eminently evil—or just misunderstood? On this week’s You Bet Your Garden, we will open the castle doors and let Charlie creep right in. Plus your fabulous phone calls.

    Question of the Week:

    “I unknowingly made a huge mistake by mowing over a patch of creeping Charlie last fall and it has now taken over almost ALL of our backyard. We have small children so we wanted to solarize the entire yard with clear plastic sheeting instead of spraying poison. Is it too late for that this year? If it is too late, when should we try? Are there any other methods that are “safe”? We were hoping to have a nice lawn by next Spring but now I think that might be impossible.”
    -Holly in Silver Spring, Maryland

    “My lawn is two-thirds covered with Creeping Charlie. My lawn guy recommended applying weed killer this Fall, but I’m balking as I hate chemicals—and he says my lawn would be all muddy in the Spring. So—If I use the 20 Mule Team Borax home-made herbicide solution as described in your A to Z article on creeping Charlie, when would be the best time to apply it? Or would you just leave Charlie alone to finish killing the lawn and be happy ever after? (Not counting my having to periodically weed the flower beds.)”
    -Susana in Minneapolis

    Mike ponders this persistent plant»

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