Trimming ivy?

decaturkatApril 27, 2009

I recently purchased a house and the previous owners had really neglected the yard. On the slope of the house is ivy which I actually like (I know it is invasive). I would like to keep the ivy but how do I trim it? I got all the leaves and debris out of the ivy this weekend but now it looks worse! It is just long brown vines with only a few leaves at the very end of the vine. I heard that ivy comes back nicely if you run a lawnmower through it but there are soo many layers of vines, there is no way I could put a lawnmower through it. If I just trim it all back, will the ivy come back? Or will new leaves sprout from the brown vines now that I removed the leaves that were blocking the sun? I am new to this gardening thing so any advice would be appreciated.

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Since you know it is invasive then you should not be surprised to learn that yes, it will certainly come back, no problem. For the best long term look, I would run over it with a lawnmower or use a weed whacker.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 4:56PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

get a weed eater. use it as an edger to clean up the edges. run a mower over the long flats. it'll come back. in fact, you'll probably never get rid of it.

whatever you do, under all circumstances, DO NOT LET IT CLIMB YOUR TREES, if it hasn't already killed and downed all of the nearby trees. when ivy grows up trees, it suffocates the tree and will kill it (holds moisture to the bark, etc). this is a huge problem in the Buckhead area in particular from what i've seen (people too rich to care, i personally believe, whether it's legitimate or not)

if it's already climbing the trees, cut the vine at the ground, then ~3ft up the tree and remove that entire section of the vine. let the top half die; you can pull the remainder of the vine off the tree it off easily once 3-4 months later.

if everyone understood the dangers of ivy and were responsible to keep their ivy contained and off of nearby trees, i honestly believe it WOULD NOT have the negative reputation it's acquired. i truly see it as an invasive treekiller, though, because that's what people've let it become...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:12PM
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woody_ga(7a GA)

Yesterday, ny wife began her battle to rid the yard of english ivy. We both figure it will be a long tough fight. The war has begun!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:05PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

Good luck to you! I am 99.9% rid of ours! It IS possible, just be persistent.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:18PM
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Mowing and weed whacking doesn't do much, in my opinion. I just grab the runners and pull and pull and pull and pull... Like satellitehead said: don't let it climb your trees!

Also, I'd suggest wearing gloves when playing in the ivy. After two years of battling the stuff barehanded, I've developed a contact allergy to the stuff and break out in a rash a million times worse than poison ivy.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:17PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

Just to clarify, Re: weed whacking and mowing, that was just in response to the original poster's question about trimming.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:56PM
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