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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - May 08, 2010

From: Grand Junction, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Control of non-native invasive ground ivy in Grand Junction TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in the Southwest portion of TN about 50 miles east of Memphis. We have an invasive plant, called Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea L in our yard and pasture now which is taking over completely! What is your suggestion as to how to get rid of this plant. I have tried Round-Up, and this worked for about a year. The next year, the plant came back where it had been poisoned before twice as thick. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Glechoma hederacea, ground ivy or creeping charlie, is native to Eurasia, and was probably brought to America by European settlers for its medicinal properties. It has, indeed, become a very vicious invasive weed, particularly in the East and Southeast, which you already know. From Iowa State University Extension, here is an article on control of Ground Ivy in the Lawn. From that article, we extracted this information:

"Control of ground ivy in lawns is difficult. The key to control is the use of the proper broadleaf herbicide. The most effective broadleaf herbicide products are those that contain dicamba. Trimec and Ortho's Weed-B-Gon Weed Killer for Lawns are two widely sold products that contain dicamba. Fall (mid-September through early November) is generally the best time to control ground ivy. Two applications are usually necessary. The second application should be 14 days after the first. As always, when using pesticides, read and follow label directions carefully."

Here is a discussion of Creeping Charlie Control that also gives clear instructions for the use of dicamba.  We are hoping that changing the timing of when you treat this noxious weed will make the difference, as well as changing your lawn care practices. 

Pictures of Glechoma hederacea  from Google.

 

 

 

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