Gardening tip: getting rid of ivy. I am sorry to have to tell you this but there is only 1 way to get rid of ivy and that is to pull it out. There is no way to contain English Ivy in a garden unless you hire someone to spend countless hours keeping it in check and within its boundaries. Ivy is invasive and it sucks all the nutrients out of the soil and the life out of any plant, shrub, or tree it comes in contact.
Getting rid of ivy requires:
- sharp shovel or edger tool
- lawn rake
- a few hours
- garbage bags (because this is an invasive plant and should not go to the dump if they recycle brush and debris into mulch
- wear long sleeves, jeans, boots or good shoes (this is for your safety against bugs and snakes)
Dressing appropriately for pulling out ivy is a must. You will find that gnats, bugs, and even snakes hide out in the ivy plus if you have any kind of reaction to holly or other plants you will not want the ivy continually touching your skin. Wear gloves or your hands will get tore up! If you can sharpen your shovel or edger tool because this makes cutting the ivy easier. The time it takes? I removed an area of about 20×30 going up 30′ Oaks in a day and I am no spring chicken.
How I pull ivy and other invasive vines (watch the short video for a better idea):
- I start at a tree (you need a starting point) and I take my edging tool (or shovel) and jab and slice the ivy vines from the base of the tree.
- I then pull the ivy from the trunk of the tree and pull it down. Check for bird nests or even branches that may come down. If the ivy is thick, I leave the ivy on the tree to die and go back later to pull it down.
- I then start at the base of the tree and pull the ivy away from the tree to see how it is growing and then I take my edger and start plunging it into the ivy to cut the vines
- Then I go back 4-5′ and ‘chop’ the ivy in a line about 10′ or so across working in sections (for large areas)
- Then I go back to the base of the tree (or the last position where you pulled the ivy out) and start pulling the ivy out away from your starting point
- This may require chopping more ivy because Ivy grows and weaves itself around plants and itself
- Work in sections and remove the ivy as you go either placing it on a tarp to put in garbage bags or immediately put in the garbage bags for disposal
- NOTE: do not ever throw ivy in a wooded area because it will grow!
- Keep chopping and pulling until you remove all the ivy. It will take a couple years to eradicate all the ivy because any roots or partial vines will grow so just keep checking and pulling out any strays that grow.
The soil will not be any good- Ivy depletes the soil of any nutrients and makes it hard. I recommend that you get some composted horse manure (or any other compost) and cover the area. Then I would mulch the area for a year or two to give the ground time to rejuvenate itself. If the ivy was really bad, then it can take a lot longer for the soil to become fertile again.
Getting rid of English Ivy or any other invasive vines is hard work. There is no spraying RoundUp or other chemicals. Please do not dump salt or even white vinegar because you think that is natural or organic. Any plant with glossy green leaves will not be affected by spraying RoundUP or dumping salt and vinegar- all this does is ruin the soil. Pulling the English ivy out is the only way- sorry.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Just know I have pulled out ivy by the tons, literally, tons and so I have tried to find ways to eradicate this invasive monster. Pulling it out is the best and most environmentally way to do it. When it comes to finding snakes, please do not just kill them! Most garden snakes are very beneficial to your garden.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique