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Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:29 PM

 

No matter what I do, the ivy just KEEPS coming back and killing everything else in my garden

So I am thinking of embracing it. i always loved ivy growing on a house until everyone told me it's bad for the house.

Does anyone have any opinions about ivy? I live in a woodland garden area (because of a HUGE elm tree in my front yard) in zone 7a, and it only gets some afternoon sun. My house faces north.

I am the worst gardener in history, so any suggestions...really....any would greatly help

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Reply No matter what I do, the ivy just KEEPS coming back and killing everything else in my garden (Original post)
LaydeeBug Mar 2012 OP
hlthe2b Mar 2012 #1
Retrograde Apr 2012 #12
Curmudgeoness Mar 2012 #2
hlthe2b Mar 2012 #3
Curmudgeoness Mar 2012 #4
HopeHoops Mar 2012 #5
curlyred Apr 2012 #10
HopeHoops Apr 2012 #11
kurtzapril4 Mar 2012 #6
LWolf Mar 2012 #7
kurtzapril4 Mar 2012 #8
LWolf Apr 2012 #13
kurtzapril4 Apr 2012 #14
LWolf Apr 2012 #15
mopinko Apr 2012 #9

Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

1. Personally, I love ivy... why is it supposedly bad for the house?

Seems like the centuries old English dwellings one sees that are literally covered in it have withstood whatever damage just fine....

I also love it as ground cover. Kudzu, I could see developing an impassioned hatred, but why do so many really hate ivy?

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 07:37 PM

12. It likes to pull the shingles off

There are several types of ivy. Boston ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata, can co-exist with masonry walls since it mainly stick to their surfaces. English ivy, Hedera helix, the most common type in California, is IMHO a noxious weed that given half a chance will take over large areas, provide tripping hazards for pedestrians, strangle slower-growing plants, attracts rodents and insinuate itself in cracks in structures. Once established, it's drought tolerant and low maintenance so it gets planted a lot. It laughs at Roundup. It took ten years of constant cutting along with new neighbors who also hated the stuff to get rid of it.

I've seen it trained as an attractive bonsai, though.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 04:25 PM

2. You sound like me with creeping myrtle,

honeysuckle, and mint. These plants have taken over everything. And I have reluctantly given in to it, but I just TRY to keep it under control. If you have a few plants that you want to save, just work hard to keep the ivy away from them. If your house is brick or stone, you could let it grow up the house if there is no damage to the mortar.

The problem with ivy growing up your house is when it gets to the eaves and roof. It can actually grow into the cracks in eaves and roof. But if you like the look of it growing on your house, just keep it trimmed away from everything that could have cracks. I actually use a weed eater to trim things down at the base of my house.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 07:14 PM

3. lol.... I'd be in heaven with a yard covered in ivy, honeysuckle, with edible mint & myrtle....

Add some nice trees and some lilac bushes and I'd be ecstatic....! Different strokes and all that, I guess.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 08:59 PM

4. LOL, You can have it!

And the trees twice the height of the house that shed a billion leaves in the fall, and branches all year long. And the lilac bushes all along the border of the yard. (Well, I do like those lilics, but they really would like more sun to bloom better---but, then again, there is those trees.)

All that I planted before I knew any better was those plants that I thought would grow----you know, the invasive ones!

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Wed Mar 21, 2012, 08:43 AM

5. We did battle with that as well. It looks like morning glory but chokes out everything.

 

It grows on a tuberous runner root and springs from there. So much as 1/8" of that root is sufficient to keep it in production. We've nearly eliminated it (over ten years) but it takes some work. It damn near killed our lilac bush, but I'm happy to report that the lilac is doing fine now.

1) Use a dandylion fork to get down to the root base and then follow it to get as much out of the ground as you can.
2) Even if all you can do is pluck up the sprouting vine, do that.
3) plant thick groundcover like thyme, sedum, and pennyroyal to choke IT out.
4) when a vine pops through with large enough leaves, use something like RoundUp (there are alternatives) with one of those 10/$1 foam paint brushes to cover the leaves without hurting anything else.
5) Do NOT transplant anything from the infected areas into other beds.
6) Deal with each and every sprout the moment you notice it. One day can quadruple the work.
7) The shit is evil.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:39 PM

10. That is the bindweed

I have always said if it were a cash crop I would be rich! I keep digging it up the best I can, since I want to avoid using Roundup...that will kill it very effectively.

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Response to curlyred (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 08:28 AM

11. It only takes 1/4" of stem left in the ground to survive. Nasty shit.

 

It's too intermixed with everything else to spray Roundup on it, but I have used those 10/$1 sponge paint brushes to carefully coat individual leaves. It works locally, but not systemically.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Wed Mar 21, 2012, 10:42 PM

6. I'd use Roundup

If you're near water, use Rodeo instead. Anyway, whichever one you use, if you do, mix as directed and add a tsp. of dish soap to the mix. English Ivy has a waxy surface, and the dish soap will help break it down so the Roundup can do it's job.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 11:25 PM

7. I'm allergic to it.

It leaves me covered in hives. So, when I've lived with ivy, I try to keep it under control without actually having to touch it.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 05:05 PM

8. The Ivy gives you hives?

Or the Roundup? You definitely don't want to use RU if you're allergic. Or if you're near water...it will kill fish.

I hate to come off as pro-petrochemical, because I'm really not. What I really think is that these chemicals should be used as pinpoint and sparingly as possible. My background is in Natural Areas Management, and we do use RU, because to mulch 8" deep or to solarise 50 acres would just be unmanageable.

I have some physical limitations, so if I spend a season or two pulling and digging something(in my garden) to make it go away, and it still shows up the next season.....that's when I go to the herbicide. Right now, I have been fighting a 3 year battle with Potentilla by pulling and digging, and this season I am going to go with the herbicide, because I did diligently try to eliminate it mechanically, for 3 years.

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 07:47 AM

13. The ivy.


Ivy has always given me hives, since I was a kid in the 70s.

I've never used round-up. I don't touch Monsanto.

I DO use industrial-strength vinegar, but it's not as effective in my area, because by the time it warms up enough to make it effective, the weeds are already too high.

If I could find a more natural, less damaging herbicide that didn't enrich evil mega-corporations like Monsanto, I'd use it, at least for some areas.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 04:26 PM

14. Vinegar only top kills

It will not kill the roots and it will acidify your soil, too. I know Monsanto is evil, but as far as I know their product causes the least environmental damage of all the pesticides. I'm NOT saying it doesn't cause some environmental damage.

You could solarise the ivy. It'd take about a year, though. But it is a natural way to get rid of weeds and weed seed in the soil.

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 08:05 PM

15. Acidifying is okay,

since I live in an alkaline/desert area. The roots, though...that's a problem, since my worst offender, perennial pepper weed, spreads underground.

I'm not allergic to it, but it sure is hard to get rid of.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 11:17 AM

9. personally, i think the idea that it is bad for houses is based on misperception.

when you pull ivy down off a brick house, chips usually fall. => the ivy did it. except that without the ivy there, the chips would fall a little at a time, and you wouldn't notice. in the meantime the ivy is protecting the mortar from sun and wind.
i recently had my house tucked, and i will bet $10k (ha) that no one could now point out where the main trunks were. there is no sign what so ever on the bricks. there was not really any sign in the mortar. in fact the worst wear was where there was no ivy.
"common wisdom" dies hard.

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