I LIKE my ivy and have a q.

e_f_gOctober 29, 2011

OKMy problem is the leaves that fall at this time of year. There is no leaf collection here, and I have no place to out them. Hubby and I run over what we can with the lawn mower for mulch. But the older I get the tougher a job it becomes.

1. If I simply run my lawn mower over my shaded ivy, will it come back? I did it once and it seemed to quite set it back. I'd like to mulch the leaves on it, but raking them off the ivy is murder. This would be a yearly chore.

  1. If I let the leaves sit in and on the ivy, will it kill the ivy? We're talking about a lot of leaves here...and I want my yard to look neat come spring.

...don't ask me to move. Hubby is willing but not until real estate is out of the toilet.

...don't ask me to rip it up. There is far too much and nothing else willingly grows. And I'm an old lady who hasn't got the money to pay someone to do it.

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How about a leaf blower?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:02AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I can't tell you for certain, not knowing your climate, but I'm assuming that if you leave the leaves on the ivy, pretty soon both will be covered by snow. Come spring won't the leaves have disintegrated and rotted back down amongst the ivy? Ivy is the natural ground cover in many of our woodlands over here and no one clears the leaves off it. Somehow it manages to thrive.

Alternatively do you have room for a simple leaf bin made from a circle of chicken wire? If there's room for 20 trees can you hide a leaf bin behind one?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 2:46PM
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esh_ga: We have a leaf blower, but it will only work on small amounts of leaves. It would take us forever to grind up what we've got here. Plus, leaves get so stuck in to ivy that it can be difficult even to rake them out. Pretty much we just try to rake up whatever is on top.
Flora_UK: No room for all these leaves. We absolutely must grind them, which we do with our gas lawn mower (this is only used on leaves, as we have no grass). It isn't so much an issue of where to put them as it is of simply moving them. it's awfully hard work. That's why I wanted to find out if ivy can thrive after mowing-- it would be easier to grind the leaves where they sit. We have a lot of oak, which doesn't disintegrate very fast.

I could just leave them where they are, but it's much nicer to have a neat yard in this neighborhood. I keep the ivy trimmed and it really looks lovely when cleaned up.

Thanks for both your considerations, though!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I suspect that the ivy would come back after mowing, but now is not the time of year to do that kind of thing. Your ivy needs its foliage over the winter.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 1:17PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Do you own a spring tine rake or besom are you trying to rake them with a normal garden rake? Spring tine would make it much easier.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:25AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

What kind of ivy is it? Do you have a picture? In zone 5a I imagine it drops its leaves in winter?


    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 7:27PM
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I inherited a similar planting in a former house. English Ivy growing on the ground under Norway maples. I left the fallen leaves lay year after year. It might not have been tidy by some standards, but it was fine with me. It did not seem to cause any harm to the ivy. Ivy will grow roots all up it's vine, so it will just root in the leaf mulch and reach for light.

IMO, I think as long as you keep your foundation plantings tidy, and your lawn mowed, it's just fine to have a less manicured understory area away from the house. Best of all, your trees will appreciate the decomposing leaf mulch.

In my current yard I have mostly native plants. I leave the leaves lay where they fall in my wooded areas. In spring I simply displace those leaves by pushing them aside exposing my woodland ephemerals to sunlight. Soon enough, the foliage from emerging summer perennials cover the leaves. Leaves decompose quickly in wooded areas. As the leaves decompose, it creates a rich, dark, beautiful mulch without extra expense and time on my part. I think it gives my landscape more of a deep woods kind of feel. I think you could at least give it a try for a year or so to see how it goes. I doubt you will cause irreparable harm.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 9:45AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

What do your neighbors say about your Ivy creeping in to their gardens....or property, for that matter.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 4:10PM
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railroadrabbit(7b - Atlanta)

If you want low-priced woodlands plants, check with local junior colleges and vocational/technical schools that have horticulture programs. They usually have plant sales at reasonable prices to help fund their budget. If you buy a few plants, you can learn to propagate and multiply until you fill your area. If you volunteer to help a couple of hours a week in their greenhouse, they will probably pay you in plants.

We are in different zones, but if your ivy has the same genetics as my ivy, any setback from mowing will be very temporary and recovery will take less than a month next spring.

I'm near Atlanta. The English Ivy was here when I moved to this property 25 years ago. I cut it with a lawn mower, spray it with roundup, pull it up, and it continues to plague me. If you can kill it, please provide the details of your methods. The ivy and the privet seedlings cause feelings of great disgust for those who originally planted both in my neighborhood. Both have spread uncontrollably.

Many woodlands plants, ferns, and other shade perennials have been choked out by such invasive imported plant species. You may keep it controlled, but the next property owner may not be as conscientious as you are, resulting in invasive spread.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 8:04AM
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