Organic solution for poison ivy/oak

nnsgardenMay 13, 2007

I have a couple questions...first, yesterday, my neighbor pointed out to me where some poison ivy and poison oak are trying to climb their way up our shared chain link fence. Very nearby, I have some ornamental grasses and a hydrangea, so I want to keep the soil good for them. How can I zap the poison ivy/oak organically without harming the nearby plants that I want to keep? I've heard vinegar kills weed, but would it really work for poison ivy/oak?

Also, does anyone have any good way to keep the weeds down in between pavers, driveway cracks, etc? Do you just keep spraying them with vinegar again and again?

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Vinegar will take the tops off the plants. Repeated applications will eventually exhaust the supply of nutrients in the roots and the plant will die.

Between pavers I use a weed whacker.

I suppose goats are out of the question, huh?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 3:14PM
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These two plants are often mis-identified. The Virginia creeper has often been called poison ivy and only twice in about 20 instances has poison oak been accurately identified to me. In those two cases I was able to cut off the plant at ground level and carefully remove it. There was a little rhyme that went, "leaves of three, let them be."

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 5:26PM
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If the area isn't too large you might try smothering the poison ivy with an old pond liner or roofing underlayment. Keep it covered anywhere from a week to a month or two and the heat and lack of air/sun might kill it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 9:57PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I was going to mention virginia creeper also. It has leaves in clumps of five and is often misidentified as Poision Oak.

Even though I try to be organic as much as possible, I will break out weed killer (Ortho Brush B Gone) for Poison Ivy in certain areas. I am very allergic. I've tried cutting it off, but invariably it gets on my tools or my clothes or my dog and I end up getting a severe (and I mean hospitalized for blood poisoning) rash. So I let it be, if its growing in areas where I won't be in contact with it. But if it creeps up my shed or a tree in the mown area of my property.

I take off my organic hat and put on the chemical one.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Thanks everyone, for your advice. I will google virginia creeper and try to figure out what it is that I actually have back there.

Joepyeweed, my husband has also ended up in the ER with blood poisoning from getting into poison ivy, so I understand wanting to get rid of it asap. I have tried to keep him away from this back area until I figure out what to do with it back there!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 5:06PM
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