Vinca/Creeping Jenny hell

thenightingale(6)April 9, 2012

We recently purchased a home where a vine I'm certain is vinca/creeping Jenny (creeping viney groundcover, dark leaves, small purple flowers) has overtaken the garden (previous owner�I'd NEVER plant vinca, ever). It is SO aggressive it has actually devoured the entire (sizable!) front and side garden beds, and has managed to move across the driveway to the other side of the garden!

I spent about eight hours hand-pulling, which gave me a 4x4 area vinca-free...but now (of course!) it's coming back. Again, this garden is sizable, so hand-pulling the entire thing would take two weeks of straight work at the very least.

We've sprayed with Weed-B-Gone Max (I'm not a fan of pesticides, but I hate invasives and my back can't handle all the pulling), but despite some wilting, this nasty thing is still going strong!

Anyone have suggestions? I'm at the point I don't care if I kill the various lilies, roses, Japanese maples, and everything else in this garden if we take out the stupid vinca. I can't plant anything else until it's gone, because of that doggone root system (and it's smothering the rose and even giving the Japanese Maple trouble as I type). Hubby was thinking RoundUp next; I was wondering about covering it with fabric or cardboard to block the light and try to smother it to death. The Weed Dragon is tempting, too, if only because setting this thing on fire would be deeply satisfying.

Thanks!

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This is what I would do. Anything worth saving, dig it up, remove any roots not coming from it, rinse it clean if you have to. Put in a temporary pot home. Chop everything else down (except roses and maples and anything else big enough to bother working around) with pruners, weed-wacker. Then cover the area with cardboard or 10-page-thick layer of newspaper, overlapping by at least 6", going around roses & maples. Cover with enough mulch that it's no longer visible and is held firmly to the ground. Pull any shoots of vinca that pop out of the barrier immediately. Go back & double- or re-cover areas that aren't being smothered if you see areas of growth still. By fall you should know if it's OK (vinca = dead) to dig holes through the barrier to put the potted plants back in their homes.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 12:25PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Likely the waxy leaves are shedding the spray.

So, mow the stuff, let it regrow, then apply the weedkiller to that very tender growth. Likely to require several cycles.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:42PM
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