How to Get Rid of Thick Ivy Groundcover?

tonym(z7 VA)June 17, 2005

Have recently moved into a new house and want to put a raised bed for a vegetable garden next year in a sunny area that is covered by ivy at present. This stuff is well-established and very thick. Frankly it looks good and serves its purpose, but my priority is a vegetable garden. Is there any way to get rid of the ivy it by smothering it, or using a weed killer, or is the only solution to pull all the tendrils from the ground and rototill the area? Even then, there's risk that I won't get it all, and it could keep reappear. Any advice to begin prepping the area now, and steps to follow between now and Spring?

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creatrix(z7 VA)

Pull up all you can, mow or weed whack the rest and Round-up any new growth. Ivy has thick coated leaves, and Round-up works best on the tender new growth. There are ivy killers out there also, I haven't tried them.

Water the area before you use the herbicide, allow the leaves to dry. This will get it growing, and it will absorb the herbicide better. Also, most herbicids don't work in temps over 85 or so, or they take longer to work. Plants don't metabolize much at higher temps.

I'm sure you know to apply any herbicide on a calm day to avoid it drifting onto plants that you want to keep.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 7:38PM
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scott_h(z5 OH)

You should check these folks out. They have a page on control methods that is very good.


Here is a link that might be useful: No ivy

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 9:45PM
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If you don't want to use herbicides on an area you will be using for food, smothering would probably work well in the short term. You could put some organism-rich compost right over it, then spread newspaper over it, then all of your fall leaves, and then soil on top; if you make it about a foot thick it would probably decompose.

How long do you plan to use the area as a vegetable garden? Is there a chance you might want it to revert to ivy at some point?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 3:33AM
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tonym(z7 VA)

Creatrix, Scott H, and Eibren,
Thanks for the tips and good advice. Gives me a plan to work this through the Fall and have it ready for Spring. Appears to be less daunting than I initially thought.

I'll be using this new area for vegetables permanently, and have no intent to revert to ivy as a ground cover, as best I can predict.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 6:56AM
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rizzir(z7b TN)

Personally I'm very fond of black 4-mil plastic sheeting laid in the summer after a deep watering. The temp under there will get so hot it will literally steam the plants dead. And it will sprout, then kill, seeds left in the soil. This works less effectively in shade, but left on long enough, it will still kill.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 8:54PM
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:) a flame weeder will give you a good head start on killing it- though that black solar oven method that Rizz describes is the perfect backup method (some people shouldn't play with fire. my father is one of them)

you don't have to burn the plants up, just cook them so they wilt. the residual chemicals are minor (it's not like you're spreading lighter fluid on the ground)

lee valley hardware sells both the small kind (takes a little propane tank) and the big one that runs off a big old BBQ tank.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 9:13AM
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How about the ivy that has crept under the foundation and now under the house???

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:33PM
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