How to get rid of this vine/groundcover
We recently bought a house that was previously owned by very old people and it seems that over time they stopped maintaining the yard. There's a great deal of overgrowth everywhere, and I'm planning on overhauling the landscaping to provide more privacy from neighbors and to lend more cohesiveness to the outdoor space.
In order to do that, I must first clear out all of the overgrown stuff that's an eyesore, and in a weather break, we had a 50Âº day over the weekend and I begun digging out this groundcover vine so I can remove 2 stumps and "get to it" when spring comes along. My method so far has been to use a shovel to "cut through" the thick vine and root mass and then pull sections of it up like a thick sod. DH suggested just laying landscaping cloth down to "kill" it, but that seems like the lazy and "wrong" way to do it, which will ultimately result in the vines growing back through it, and the landscape cloth showing through under bark over time. It seems like I'm removing a LOT of dirt from this area too.
First : What is this?
Second : Am I doing this properly?
Third : Am I doing this the hard way?