The Q&A Archives: Maintaining Ivy As Groundcover

Question: I use ivy as ground cover in several sections of my yard.

What is the best way to remove the leaves that gather in it each fall and winter? Or will new ivy grow around the leaves, eventually burying them?

Answer: Although the ivy will eventually grow up and over the leaves as they break down and settle with exposure to the elements, it may look tidier if you remove some of the leaves. A flexible tined leaf rake, a leaf blower or a layer of netting set over the ivy before the leaves fall will all do the job. At my house, I leave all but the heaviest layer of sodden maple leaves in place because the rotted leaves help feed the soil. It's a matter of personal choice.

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