Creeping-Climbing Ivy


What is it that climbs, creeps, covers and smothers? You got it, its ivy i.e. the non-poisonous kind.

No doubt, ivy looks very attractive as a ground or wall covering, however, it can also overrun other plant species, while providing shelter for garden pests; and what you don’t know is that it can even cause structural damage to your house. Whether, you look at ivy as a garden fiend or a friend, given below are several ways to reclaim your landscape.

When dealing with climbing ivy, remember to play it safe, as climbing ivy, particularly on tall trees, carries great elements of danger in its removal. And, if you have decided to go for herbicides as a solution to your out of control ivy, ensure the products you buy are specifically made for getting ivies and shrubs under control. Diligently follow instructions for herbicide dilution and application for best results.

Ground ivy is particularly tough to remove, as its mature leaves develop a waxy protective layer that makes it difficult for the herbicide to penetrate. As ivy spreads, the vines re-root themselves each time ground is touched, which makes hand-pulling well-nigh impossible. Your best bet is a two-pronged mode of attack i.e. herbicides and digging. For those uncomfortable with applying herbicides, digging can be used.

How To Apply Herbicides
Apply herbicides when the ivy leaves are in the budding stage, as they have yet to build up a waxy layer. As you already know, new leaves typically appear in the spring and summer.

Spray the leaves, as these will conduct the herbicide through to the root system. Usually, it takes one to two weeks to kill the plant and don’t be surprised, if it takes multiple applications. Keep a look out for any fresh growth and spray these spots again. Wait till the ivy completely turns brown which makes digging it up easier.

If, there is no new leaf growth, scar the old leaves by raking over them with a coarse broom or a leaf rake, then apply an herbicide. Else, cut the old leaves and wait for new growth to come in, and then spray.

How To Dig Out Your Ivy
Although, digging is easier with dead ivy, don’t wait before starting at one end of the growth and digging along the edge. Once you’ve dug along one entire edge, pull the ivy up, including the roots, and shake as much dirt as you can from it.

If you don’t use herbicides, it’s important to remove all of the roots as if left in the ground, they can sprout again. To be extra cautious, sift the loosened soil through a hardware screen or cloth mesh with holes no larger than 2-cm.

Once you’ve removed the ivy, till and replant the soil or leave it fallow. If you replant, pick strong varieties that can establish themselves quickly. Again, keep an eye out for any new growth. Ivy doesn’t give up easily and can sprout back after months of no sightings.

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