The Q&A Archives: Poison Ivy

Question: Hi. I seem to have a lot of poison ivy growing in my lawn. Obviously, I want to get rid of it, without killing my grass. (I don't want my kids getting poison ivy.) What can I do to get rid of this stuff without ending up with a yard full of dirt (instead of grass)?

Answer: I'm not aware of any product you can use on your lawn to kill poison ivy that won't affect your lawn, as well. You might be able to smother at least some of it by cutting it off at ground level or digging out what you can, then covering the root area with heavy cardboard or numerous sheets of newspaper, then topping that off with a heavy layer of organic mulch. If it manages to come up through that, cut it off again, then replace the covering. Eventually the root reserves should become exhausted. There are some new, soap-based herbicides that are considered quite environmentally friendly and safe to use, so those are worth investigating. For more information on management practices in your area, contact: The Saugus Conservation Commission 298 Central Street Saugus, Massachusetts 01906. Helpful folks there may have more suggestions.

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