Questions on: Ground Ivy

Ron Smith, Horticulturist, NDSU Extension Service

Q: I have written you before about the ground ivy I have in my lawn. You recommended Trimec. We have used it at least three times already this year and it does not kill the ground ivy. I use a hand held sprayer and even use more than the recommended amount of trimec. What else can we do to get rid of it? (Napoleon, N.D.)

A: Never use more than what is recommended, please. In the meantime, don't give up. Hold off applying any more for 30-35 days. Then, with Trimec and a wetting agent, make an application based on label recommendations. This being the end of the summer and beginning of fall, the Trimec will be translocated into the root system of the plant and give you an efficient kill of the unwanted ivy.

A lawn care operator could use Confront, a broadleaf herbicide that is a little more potent than Trimec. It is not available to homeowners. If this doesn't work, then more drastic steps will have to be taken, such as applying Roundup to the lawn.

Q: I think my lawn is plagued by ground ivy, but I also need to know how to get rid of it. I also have some plant that has bluish purple star-shaped flowers that I would like to get rid of.

Is crabgrass best treated with spray or pellet chemical treatment, and is fall the best time for treatment? (e-mail)

A: Ground ivy will take a couple of applications of Trimec to control it. The same chemical will also take care of the violets -- the purple flowers.

Crabgrass should be dead now from the frosts. Being an annual, it is best controlled by a pre-emergent herbicide in the early spring.

Q: Please advise me on what I can use on Creeping Charlie. I am losing ground pulling it! Also, I have fungus on my Canadian chokecherry tree, and it has sucker growth around the base. Can these problems be controlled with chemicals and not damage the tree? (Enderlin, N.D.)

A: Creeping Charlie, or ground ivy, can be spot sprayed with Trimec herbicide, if it's a weed in your lawn.

There isn't any way to stop a Canada Red chokecherry from suckering without killing the tree, but you can spray fungicide to control the fungus. A general all-purpose fungicide is Daconil 2787. It is most effectively sprayed in early spring as a preventive measure.

Q: Can you please tell me how to get rid of a weed in my lawn? I've had three applications of Weed-B-Gone and it hasn't even touched it. (McLaughlin, S.D.)

A: No wonder. Your weed is ground ivy, one of the toughest to control. Switch to Trimec, which is potent enough to kill off this persistent pest.

Q: How can I get rid of a weed that is about 1 inches high and has small blue flowers on the plant? (Erie, N.D.)

A: Your weed is ground ivy—Glechoma hederaceae. It's a very tough perennial to get rid of, but it can be done with repeat applications of a product known as Trimec. Be sure to follow label instructions.

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