Alternatives poison ivy
You wrote: <<Does anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of poison ivy
growing into the lawn and up trees in the yard--other than using Roundup
and 2-4D? Will continuous mowing and cutting the big roots help or do that
just cause it to spred more?>>
A while back, I asked this question to some experts I know, who came back
with these options:
OPTION 1: "I have found that if one is willing to be diligent about it, you
eradicate it by frequently cutting it: every time it comes up. Every week.
Right to the ground."
OPTION 2: "On a small area, like 100 to 200 square feet: mulch
a) Cut plants with a weedtrimmer, probably with a blade. "The operator must
wear full coverage, gloves, glasses and a bandana and hat. Suggest using
clothing that can be thrown away. Cover shoes with a small trash
bag as well. The juice will contaminate everything. Remove gloves last. Put
everything into a bag and haul it to a landfill. Do not burn it. Smoke is
very toxic. When removing mulch, care has to be taken also." NOTE: For
lighter cutting, just washing the clothes is probably be fine; I think he
was thinking of really thick stands....
b) Mulch using: "construction plastic ( rolls are fifty bucks for 100x20),
available from lumber yards and larger mass market outlets. Old carpets.
Thick layers of cardboard and newsprint. If it is on a hill, the plastic is
best, but care must be taken to not poke a hole in it. It also has to be
weighted with rocks or brick/old lumber to keep it in place. The plastic
can be clear, since the sun will cook the foliage. The mulch has to remain
in place throughout the year, because in the following spring, whatever is
left over may try to come back."
OPTION 3: "Fenced in goats that intensively graze. Reseed with appropriate
strong growing plants. If you drink the milk, you develop an immunity, but
watch petting or rubbing on the goats especially when the growth is
tall and rank.
Another friend replied to that one that one should probably be cautious
about drinking that goat milk, especially at first, to make sure there
wasn't enough poison to cause a reaction in the digestive tract. I don't
know how serious this concern is - perhaps someone else on the list knows -
has this ever been a problem that you know about?
OTHER POSSIBLE OPTIONS:
* Hot water? (I've heard used on weeds in general. I've seen info on
* After cutting once, seeding with strongly competitive plant? (Someone
else might have an idea if this would work, and if so, with what plant. I
think ivy's pretty competitive/strong...)
* Change the nutrient balance?? (There's been discussion on this list about
certain weeds revealing certain nutrient states... You can look at the SAN
archives for that thread, or I can send it to you if you want; it has
specific book suggestions. I do remember hearing once that poison ivy/oak
grow in poorly nourished soil, perhaps as a natural step in the process of
reclaiming it, but this is just a hazy memory...)
Hope this helps!