Need Advice for cleanup on a hillside

heldpJune 11, 2011

I am a new homeowner in DE and am having great difficulties cleaning up the hillside on the back yard.

The hillside is about a 50 degree angle and is about 5 feet tall. Most of it is covered with Ivy, as there is a large bush running the length of it on the top.

Towards the back, the previous owner had a large tree that was chopped down and burried under the ivy. It took me almost two years to get all of the rotted logs out, and I still find pits and pieces. Because of this, the soil back there is very soft and you can even bounce on it when you step on it.

Also, now that I have removed the logs, there was a bare spot with no vegitation. I placed a tarp over it last year for about 4 weeks to kill anything in there, but now weeds are coming up in there, including poison ivy.

I'd like to find a way for the ivy to take over and keep everything out, but I need to keep everything else out of there until the ivy takes over.

Any sugestions?

JN

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

The ivy I know sends out runners like a strawberry. If you 'pin' it down by resting a rock on the stem, then lightly cover it with some of your soft soil, it will probably send out roots and settle in.

Keeping the area free of weeds may be tricky if you have trees nearby because the birds will deliver seeds for free. And, if you have neighbours with weedy yards, seeds can blow in from nearby. Be prepared to do some hand weeding for a while until the runners you're encouraging get going.

I don't think I'd use any form of chemical control. The pitch on your slope indicates that there could be runoff and it just might have 'downslope' consequences.

Keep your runners damp as they settle in and they will probably reward you rapidly. Particularly if you were to give them some liquid compost tea every three to four weeks over the growing season.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:13AM
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