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News & Press: OTF News

Broadleaf Weed Control - Ground Ivy

Tuesday, July 21, 2015  
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Written by David Gardner, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University

Ground Ivy (also called Creeping Charlie) is a prevalent and difficult to control perennial broadleaf weed in turfgrass. Ground Ivy creeps along the ground by above-ground lateral stems that root at the nodes. This fact is useful when distinguishing ground ivy from mallow, which is a tap-rooted annual weed with a similar leaf shape.

The lateral stems make ground ivy difficult to control, because oftentimes the herbicide translocation is incomplete and the plant can regenerate. Ground ivy is a perennial, and conventional wisdom is that best control of perennial species is with an herbicide application in the fall.

The difficulty with this application is that ground ivy may lose much of its above ground leaf structure prior to when that application would typically be made. There is also some research evidence that good control can be achieved in the spring just after the plant has flowered. If you attempt control at this time of year make sure to use an amine formulation of the herbicide, but be aware that you need to use caution around ornamentals when applying herbicide.

As far as recommended herbicides to try in the fall, best control tends to be with combination products that contain ester formulations or that contain either triclopyr or dicamba, such as T-Zone, or 4-Speed XT. More information about these herbicides may be found here

There are several newer products on the market that combine herbicides for the control of both grasses and broadleaf weeds. The best time of year to use many of these products is May to early June, while crabgrass is still young and before broadleaf weeds have hardened off due to heat/drought. One of these products is Solitare herbicide, which has been shown to be quite effective against both crabgrass and ground ivy. If you use natural weed control products, then Fiesta herbicide can be effective. More information about Fiesta herbicide can be found here

Learn more about broadleaf weed control at the Turfgrass Research Field Day on August 11th. Click here for more information.

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