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clover and creeping charlie

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JFGauvreau, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    Anyway to remove clover and creeping charlie in a organic way?

    I have some lawns that the creeping charlie is taking over the lawn. I know that KBG can outgrow the charlie, eventually giving enough shade to the creeping charlie to kill it. But if you have patches that are covered in 80%+ of creeping charlie or clover, it's really hard for the grass to compete with these kind of weeds.

    Any tips or tricks you guys have?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    KBG will always lose against CC... remove with an iron garden rake regularly throughout the season and you may get lucky...

    Clover should be uprooted as individual plants... just pretend you're in the gym, and the exercise is for flexibility training... good luck...
  3. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    I believe a great healthy and thick KBG lawn doesn't loose against weeds, it only loose if their is weak spots on the turf, were the CC can infiltrate.

    The problem is home owners not watering their lawn, cutting to short, eventually leaving a weak lawn. But ya like you said, rake it up would be the best I guess.

  4. TheLawnGuy01

    TheLawnGuy01 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I realize this is a strange time to be offering my insight into your creeping charlie question, however this may help you moving into the upcoming season.

    I have had great success using Fiesta on creeping charlie and clover. Sometimes though you have to adjust, adapt and evolve into your own methods to make the product work the way you need it to work. Following the mixing directions and the repeat application suggestions works fine for general applications. When the lawn seems to be 80%-99% overgrown with weeds increase the Fiesta concentration by 10%. Instruct the customer to water the affected areas for at least an hour the evening before you apply and don't plan an application if rain is forecasted within 24 hours of the application. Because you've increased the concentration you'll notice a rusting discolouration, this will fade and eventually be cut when mowing. This will kill 50%-80% of the weeds but because of the large amount of weeds you'll see a lot of new growth plus you will have missed some spots when spraying. Repeat the spraying process 2 weeks after the first spray. You will be pleasantly surprised with how quickly the existing turf spreads into the previously inhabited CC and Clover areas.

    Fiesta recommends retreating after 4 weeks or more but I've discovered that because of the rapid spreading of the creeping charlie that in 4+ weeks a large amount of the creeping charlie will have filled back in.

    To summarize:

    1) Pre-soak
    2) Increase concentration
    3) NO post watering or rain for 24 hours
    4) Repeat in 2 weeks
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Good tip. But just to be clear, in the US Fiesta is registered as a Bio-herbicide and requires a pesticide license to apply professionally. It is not considered organic, but it does have a lower toxicity rating than chemical herbicides.

    Ohio State University did field trials this summer and gave Fiesta positive reviews even with lower than label rates. The 2012 label will have lower rates for blanket treatments.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,218

    Creeping charlie is at home in shade. Kentucky bluegrass is at a disadvantage in those situations.

    Clover as a legume produces its own nitrogen. It does best where the lawn is underfertilized. So...lawns that are heavily fertilized will crowd it out...not likely right away, I suspect.

    Be sure to overseed often with a highly rhizomatous dense type of bluegrass. One of the athletic field types...dense...thatch-forming. Such grasses have the best chance of crowding out weeds. Look for a type that can be cut short--as some weeds cannot withstand short cut.

    Langara is a good choice.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  7. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 846

    When the lawn is at
    a 1 time fertilizer application will make a difference in weed reduction.

    Off label usage with fiesta will solve our problems. I doubt it.

    Phasthound, This is not a personal attack but give up on the fiesta, its been tested extensively here. It doesnt kill weeds. It knocks them back and they regrow within weeks. Fiesta is a great product if you have to no other options but hand picking. That is if you can afford it. Pitching Spot spraying with a green up product is funny, using a lower rate is not going to work unless you apply every 2 weeks for the year (off label).
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Haybay, I don't take your statement as a personal attack. You are attacking a product.

    But I have had a different experience when using Fiesta than you. It has worked very well on dandelions & clover, my 2 main targets. I recently attended a lecture where Dr. Linde, director of Turf Management Studies at Delaware Valley College rated Fiesta very good on weed control and turf quality. His charts showed Fiesta to be almost as effective as several chemical controls. The OSU study I mentioned should be published soon. The lower rate worked with 2 applications about 4 weeks apart.
  9. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 846

    We have given up on going to turf related lectures here lately, promoting products from suppliers that fund the lecturer is bad enough with synthetics, its even worse with Natural or Organic Bio-Pesticides.

    Neudorff put out a chart comparing Fiesta to Killex. It said the same thing, very comparable results.

    That was not how it worked out in the field.

    We have seen a drop by 50% in Licensed Landscape Exterminators registered in Ontario since the Pesticide Ban.

    We have had access to Fiesta longer than in the USA.
    Fiesta is our only option for dandelion (chemical option)
    I highly doubt there is a secret with using this product that Ontario cannot figure out.

    Don't get me wrong, a lawn treated with Fiesta does look better than a lawn that is ignored. But a regular fertilizing program will get you a decent lawn if you don't mind a percentage of weed cover.

    Fiesta can be used acceptably on postage size properties. But hand weeding those properties is just as comparable and much cheaper.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,218

    Some weeds cannot stand short mowing. Some weeds are crowded out by tall mowing. Possibly some weeds can be controlled with short mowing at certain seasons of the year.

    What is your experience? Local recommendations?

    What grass types are weed resistant?

    What watering schedules?

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