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Old November 4th, 2009, 11:03 AM
jpasquini jpasquini is offline
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Looking for Creeping Charlie "Ground Ivy" seed


I have a rather small backyard with two dogs, they trample the life out of any lawn seed I can plant. Time and again I plant a new lawn in the spring, keep the dogs "in quarantine" for several weeks, then release. They immediately set to work wearing paths (they love to follow the same routes), bald spots, sleeping patches.....they trample the dirt so hard it becomes like concrete. By the fall the yard looks like a desert landscape (with small piles scattered about, lol).

For added challenge, the yard has lots of heavy trees/shade. This makes growing just about anything hard. I've tried every seed imaginable, even clover for several years. Still defeated.

The only plant that seems to tolerate the beating is this stuff called "Creeping Charlie", or Ground ivy, Ale-hoof, catpaws, the plant of a thousand names. The plant sends runners out that fill in the bald spots, and spring back after trampling.

At this point my options are either this or look at a bald lawn. And I'm tired of burning $50 bills annually to the grass seed companies, and trying exotic "Stepables" that cost $15 a pail. Actually, Ground Ivy is attractive in a wide swath, never needs fertilizing, and keeps nice and short and rarely needs mowing. So I want a Ground Ivy lawn!

So I've searched all over the Internet, everyone is one resounding chorus of "poison", "uproot", "destroy", etc. Nobody sells the seed anywhere I can find. And its practically unheard of in nurseries as far as I can find.

My yard is surrounded by concrete driveways, so no problem containing. I'd just like to find some!

Does Anybody know of any site or place where you can buy Ground Ivy or Alehoof seed? Would much appreciate the help.

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Last edited by jpasquini; November 4th, 2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 12:01 PM
thanrose thanrose is offline
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Re: Looking for Creeping Charlie "Ground Ivy" seed

I searched for propagating Glechoma hederacea and found a few tips.

First, make sure that Illinois doesn't prohibit you growing this. Yeah, I know you've already said you can keep it confined, but some states list it as an invasive species. I don't think Illinois is one of them, but a quick google is all I did.

Second, there is a variegated leaf that is desirable and cultivated by some folks. They say the propagation is vegetative. One person says she takes cuttings, pins them to the soil surface with a rock, and they root very easily. Other places talk about rooting under a cloche, but that's more typical of container grown plants.

Third, it likes shade and moist soils.

And fourth, there are some suggestions that it could be harmful to pets. You might want to look into that, since some dogs will eat anything.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 12:24 PM
jpasquini jpasquini is offline
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Re: Looking for Creeping Charlie "Ground Ivy" seed

Ha ha haa, it could even be outlawed! Wouldn't that just figure. Arrested for trying to keep your lawn from being bare.

No no problem with dog poisoning, it is already in the back and has been for at least a decade. Despite the terror rumours of its unstoppable aggressive nature, Alehoof Catpaw still hasn't managed to take over more than a corner of my backyard. But its usually one of the only green areas I have.

Like any crazy American though, I have to have all my yard the same stuff and uniform or it doesn't look right, no prairie assortment of variety, however interesting it may be to a botanist.......... although I can say firsthand all of the costly "Stepables" plugs I tried (many different kinds) burned out in a couple months, not one of them is living anywhere out there.

I actually have a friend (not nearby) whos backyard is solid wall-to-wall CatPaw, and they have a very shady yard........theirs just came in as a weed, but I haveta admit despite the weed status their yard looks alot more inviting and green and attactive than mine. Mine looks like a lunar landscape.
I've kept my dogs over there for weeks at a time in the past when going on vacation, no Ale-munching or sickness.
They like to roll in it though! Then they smell minty...........which could be worse............lol
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Old November 4th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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joclyn joclyn is offline
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creeping charlie is EXTREMELY invasive and you really don't want to purposely plant it!!!!!!! it's virtually uncontrollable once it's got itself established (and that doesn't take but a couple weeks). your neighbors will NOT be happy if you plant it!!

oh, just to give an example of how invasive it is, it even grows through zoisa grass!!!

Last edited by Daniel Mosquin; June 9th, 2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Merged 2 posts into 1
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Old November 4th, 2009, 05:16 PM
jpasquini jpasquini is offline
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Re: Looking for Creeping Charlie "Ground Ivy" seed

Well, I already have it, and I can't even get it to take over MY lawn! And I'm up to 12 years now waiting. Mine sure hasn't lived up to the hype.

I have to wonder how and when the Grass Seed companies conditioned us all to give them millions of dollars every year buying and trying to grow plants and lawns that are hard to grow, millions more on chemicals fertilizer and boosters to get them going, and still millions more on toxic poisons trying to eradicate the plants that grow easily and pop up all by themselves.

When lots of them look pretty similar to me.

Decades and decades of media advertising has apparently paid off.
I especially like the fact that most grass seed sold now that I find at WalMart and the Marts isn't even perennial anymore, it just voluntarily keels over and dies the first year, forcing you to buy more bags every spring. Despite all the high tech coatings and moisture-lock and boosters. Or maybe only 12 to 20 percent of it will be perennial.

Oh well................ *sigh*
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 04:08 AM
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strut526 strut526 is offline
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Re: Looking for Creeping Charlie "Ground Ivy" seed

have you looked into other ground covers for your area? between clover and creeping charlie..i am one busy gal, pulling them up all summer,it gets into the garden,grass..yikees!
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Old June 8th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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Annageckos Annageckos is offline
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Re: Looking for Creeping Charlie "Ground Ivy" seed

I have this growing in parts of my yard and it has been there for years. It has not taken over here. IMO, it is a nice plant and I love the flowers it has. But I couldn't tell you where it find it.
With lot and lots of Plants and Animals!!
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