Ask a Question forum: Spraying English Ivy

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TG
Nov 3, 2016 9:27 PM CST
I know about spraying English ivy with an organic spray that contains white vinegar and some liquid dish soap, to kill the ivy.
My question is, after I spray the ivy, how long will it be before the area can be planted again with grass seed? The vinegar is just an acid after all, which should be neutralized after a few good rainfall and evaporation cycles.
Will the spraying permanently poison the soil, or will it be ready to regrow some grass there in a little while, or do I have to wait until next season to replant that area?
I thought the fact that this method is non-toxic and organic, would not really "poison" the soil like Roundup will. Correct?
TG


Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 3, 2016 9:46 PM CST
Hi TG and Welcome! to NGA

I doubt that concoction will kill anything and especially not ivy. It might burn the leaves a little. If you don't want ivy and you don't want to poison your soil, start digging.

BTW, Roundup is a contact poison. It will only kill whatever green parts of plants it lands on but ... it won't kill all plants. The more extensive the root system, the less well it works.

Good news: Roundup won't poison your soil (the chemical reaction is done as soon as the Roundup dries). Bad news: Roundup will not kill ivy.

About the only thing that will kill ivy is brush killer and that will poison your soil.

You don't say where you live but I undertook the task of getting rid of ivy once because I feared it would eat my yard and smother my 100 year old oak trees. I discovered it was full of rats and rattlesnakes (probably after the rats).

Start digging. Watch out for snakes.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Nov 4, 2016 6:22 AM CST
Many people will not use Roundup, but it actually will not poison the soil if you are not opposed to using it. Once the ivy is dead - which may take more than one effort - you should be able to plant in about two weeks.
Porkpal
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Nov 4, 2016 8:37 AM CST
A suggestion I've seen for using Roundup on English ivy is to do it in the spring when the leaves are young and before they've developed their waxy repellent coating. I agree with Daisy, I'd be surprised if vinegar killed more than the tops. It usually only works with very young tender weeds (herbicidal vinegar is also stronger than supermarket vinegar). On more established ones it tends to kill the leaves but not the roots (I don't think most ordinary liquid dish soap would be considered organic BTW).

Might you have a picture of the problem you could share with us?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Nov 4, 2016 10:42 AM CST
Any foliar herbicide works best on young, fast-growing plants.
Porkpal
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Nov 4, 2016 6:18 PM CST
One thign to remember with RoundUp - read the fine print.

At my local HD, there are gallon jugs for sale with the word "ROUNDUP" in the largest letters they can possibly fit onto the label. Plus some salesy verbiage.

Then the fine print, like in 8-point font on ther back label or glued UNDER the label, shows that BESIDES the glyphosphate (which is what Roundup means) there are ALSO other chemicals that you need a magnifying glass and Google to figure out.

Sometimes those are benign (like soap that helps that helps the glyphosphate cling to and enter the leaves). Sometimes those are much more toxic than the glyphosphate.

I think they do it that because everyone wants something minimally toxic to animals (hence ROUNDUP in huge salsey letters on the front label).

But everyone wants something as effective as possible, hence the really toxic additions.

Ya gotta look close when so many vendors seem to go to the Ferengi School of Business Malpractice.

Maybe pull up as many vines as you can, then use a torch on the remaining above-ground parts, then use a mattock on the roots you couldn't pull. I would expect that to reduce the amount of ivy over a few years.

I have a lot of ivy growing around big old pine trees, and I periodically pull them down from the trunk and pull and cut them at ground level.

I don't really ever expect to get RID of the ivy.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Nov 4, 2016 7:14 PM CST
The original RoundUp is simply Glysophate with a surfactant (spreader/ sticker) added, and has no afterlife in the soil. The RoundUp+ is something I've never used, or researched. In any event, it has been so over used, that some plants have become immune to it. All weed killers work best on young, actively growing plants, but English ivy is almost indestructible, so dig first.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Nov 4, 2016 7:23 PM CST
I agree with Carol. The added ingredients in the newer Roundup products are usually a 2,4-D or some such broadleaf herbicide included to take care of the weeds, like pigweed, that have become resistant to Glysophate. They may have lasting activity in the soil. It is important to read the WHOLE label.
Porkpal
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Nov 4, 2016 7:29 PM CST
That's true of any chemical you intend to use for anything.

TG
Nov 5, 2016 11:12 AM CST
Hi Folks,
Thanks for all your help. I relied on a Google search for the vinegar and soap solution. I should have known better.
The ivy problem is quite extensive. I've let it go on much too long now. It's too late this season to do this now, but in the spring I'm going to rent a really powerful roto-tiller and get rid of this stuff.
The people out here who rent this machine, stopped renting them for the season on November 1st.
Now that I know how persistent this stuff is, I'll get that machine and really "rock and roll". Luckily the ivy is almost all on flat ground, in one area of about 250 square feet.
Thanks again,
TG
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 5, 2016 12:26 PM CST
Sad Crying Um, if you roto till it will chop the ivy into little pieces and each piece that is left behind can grow into a new plant. Better to yank them out after a heavy rain (or a good watering) and toss them into the trash.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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pirl
Nov 5, 2016 3:14 PM CST
I totally agree with Greene. Easier to do the job once and be done with it. For any new growth that might come up, after you've dug it out, you can use Ortho's Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer - concentrate. I don't dilute it but give any nasty weed one shot and it dies. April is the best time since it will be taken up quickly by the new leaves.
Thumb of 2016-11-05/pirl/79ebb2


TG
Nov 5, 2016 8:31 PM CST
greene,
I see. Good point. But there are just too many of them now, to pull each one of them out by the roots. Besides that, they are in-grown with other weeds and grass. If I roto-till the soil, there might be a lot of them that do come back, but the soil will then be very soft, and it should be very easy to pull any new ivy that grows in that soil out by the roots, because the soil is so soft and unpacked. I could simply go through the tilled area once a week and pull out any new plants as they appear. They shouldn't have a very deep root system; only a couple inches at the most. And if I keep on top of this on a regular basis, there should come a point after a while, where any new plants simply stop showing up. Or I might spray each new plant with "Tough Brush Killer" as the new leaves show up, as "pirl" suggested. I might have to keep after this for one whole season to get the results I want. I don't know. I've never done this before, but it seems like it might work. In any case, I'm not going to be growing anything in that area for at least one whole season anyway, until this problem is corrected.
TG
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Nov 5, 2016 8:58 PM CST
TG, just wondering - from your description is this definitely English ivy? Edited to add pics, this is English ivy



The description of multiple individual plants and shallow roots made me think more of something like ground ivy aka creeping Charlie

[Last edited by sooby - Nov 6, 2016 5:15 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Nov 5, 2016 9:24 PM CST
Brush killer is not a contact poison - it sinks into the soil and continues to work. If there are any suseptable trees or other shrubs in the area, they will be poisoned.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Nov 5, 2016 10:13 PM CST
I suggest weed whacking the ivy first. The new leaves are much more vulnerable to sprays. And if it is a large area, cover it with black plastic. They won't grow without sunlight.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Nov 6, 2016 8:45 AM CST
In 2007 I spent the entire month of October removing ivy (that we did not plant) from the earth and from 13 huge old spruces. That was a huge job.

In 2012 I gave up trying to eliminate the evil Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' from an area about 50' x 12' - all from one pot of it that I did buy. I had spent many 9 and 10 hour days trying to dig it out from between the roots of the spruces. Finally I resorted to the black plastic but had to move a few hundred daylilies to do it.

After a few months of being covered with black plastic (all summer) I lifted it gradually and was happy to see so much had died but treated each new growth that appeared with the Ortho PI killer. I was over 70 and tired of digging.

Now I have a nice peony garden there, along with a rose, sedums and hydrangeas.

The black plastic purchased at Home Depot:
Thumb of 2016-11-06/pirl/7eda19 Thumb of 2016-11-06/pirl/3962a7
Before:
Thumb of 2016-11-06/pirl/d3ffb7
During:
Thumb of 2016-11-06/pirl/53f89f

Now:
Thumb of 2016-11-06/pirl/2e3a68


TG
Nov 6, 2016 11:17 AM CST
Thanks again folks. It definitely is English Ivy.
TG
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Nov 6, 2016 2:23 PM CST
Good luck!
Porkpal
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Nov 15, 2016 10:36 PM CST
TG Welcome!
In a post about broadforks, a wise man by the name of cybrczch stated what is so plainly obvious its overlooked 99% of the time. If you have a broadfork or know someone who's willing to lend it, then you could bust up the soil without causing too much root breakage, then you'd be well on your way to ivy eradicational bliss!

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