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Poison Ivy Solution?

 
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An area where I would like to create a nature path on my property is currently overrun with poison IVY. I had an idea for a solution and need some advice.

My idea: Sheet mulch the entire path with a corrugated cardboard roll at about a 9' width. Wood chips go in the middle 3' to create the path. Compost and organic mulch go on the 3' wide strip on either side of the wood chip path.

I'd like to plant these side strips with plants that will out-compete the poison ivy, effectively creating a living barrier preventing the poison ivy from coming near the path. The path might be quite long (1500-2000 ft) so ideally, it would be something I could seed that would colonize these strips. Maybe there are a few plants I could use so there is some variety? Maybe a few larger plants could be planted along the strips as well for interest.

What do you think? Will this work? What plants should I use?
 
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Eric Giordano wrote:An area where I would like to create a nature path on my property is currently overrun with poison IVY. I had an idea for a solution and need some advice.

My idea: Sheet mulch the entire path with a corrugated cardboard roll at about a 9' width. Wood chips go in the middle 3' to create the path. Compost and organic mulch go on the 3' wide strip on either side of the wood chip path.

I'd like to plant these side strips with plants that will out-compete the poison ivy, effectively creating a living barrier preventing the poison ivy from coming near the path. The path might be quite long (1500-2000 ft) so ideally, it would be something I could seed that would colonize these strips. Maybe there are a few plants I could use so there is some variety? Maybe a few larger plants could be planted along the strips as well for interest.

What do you think? Will this work? What plants should I use?




I have grazed out poison ivy by using sheep.


BTW stay away from that stuff. I mow the sides of the road for area towns, and got into some a few weeks back, I ended up going to the hospital to get rid of it.
 
pollinator
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This seems like an awful lot of work to get rid of something that is native, beautiful in autumn (the early English explorers took it back with them to grow just for the autumnal foliage colors) and even beneficial if you learn to look at it in a different light. (For example, deer love it!) Why not make your path in a different place or at least clear a smaller area and leave some of the poison ivy? Then plant jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) close to the path so if you do brush the poison ivy, you can grab some jewelweed to counteract the effects of the oil (crush the leaves and stems and use the juice on the affected area). In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not allergic so I can probably appreciate its good points better than most.
 
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I also have an interest in ways to be rid of poison ivy. It's been rare on my property for 10 years. It's been sprouting up all over in the shade this year though.

I am highly allergic. It must go.
 
pollinator
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I think the poison ivy would thrive under the cardboard and be back stronger than ever in short order.

Borrowing some sheep and then doing cardboard might be better.

Or wait until winter when sap is down, and pull as much as you can and then apply cardboard.

If you go in where angels fear to tread when its warm the effects will be much worse.

Btw, if you get exposed, cold water rinse, followed by Dawn dish soap slather, let it air dry for ten minutes, then cold water rinse, pat dry with clean towel. And dont touch any contaminated clothing or towel after your shower, and you might just escape itch free.
 
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Deb Stephens wrote:This seems like an awful lot of work to get rid of something that is native, beautiful in autumn (the early English explorers took it back with them to grow just for the autumnal foliage colors) and even beneficial if you learn to look at it in a different light.



Deb,

Some of us are so allergic to P.I. that there is no middle ground with the stuff.  Even a little bit of exposure is dangerous.  There's no such thing for me as having a little tolerance for the stuff: its like being "a little bit pregnant"—you either are or you're not.  

I don't have sheep or goats, but even if I did, I'd find a lot of other things to feed them.  There are plenty of other beautiful and edible natives to propagate than poison ivy.

My solution: eradicate it aggressively while it's small.  Pull it up and chop it down (being careful to wash your tools afterward with lots of hot soapy water).  And burn your leather gloves after just one use when working with the stuff.  Ask me how I know this.
 
pollinator
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J Davis wrote:
Or wait until winter when sap is down, and pull as much as you can and then apply cardboard.



No guarantees on the cold protecting you.  I yanked out some shrubs in the winter, not knowing that there were poison ivy roots in the tangle.  Blisters galore.
 
Travis Johnson
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Just to be clear: I do not propagate poison ivy for my sheep. Sheep, with their greasy wool, are immune to it. And sheep love weeds, so poison ivy is one of their favorite foods.

I have successfully grazed out patches of poison ivy simply by mob grazing.
 
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Another thing to think about, in grazing sheep and goats on p.i. - if you have to handle them, afterward, they oil from the p.i. will be all over them, because they've been walking through it. If you're allergic (I am highly allergic) to the stuff, then not only will you be at high risk from just touching your livestock, but handling they wool afterward, to wash the p.i. out of it, will put you at even higher risk, because they oils in the wool will spread it throughout the fibers.
 
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I usually just cut/pull the excess. It is fine in moderation. It is just a part of how I do chop and drop, and is general management in my mind. It has it's place, but I limit it at my place.
 
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I had an overrun fence line of poison ivy. I put on a tyvec suit and taped gloves on gloves at the cuff so I could get in with the battery powered reciprocating saw and cut down the woody growth and old fence posts. Then I hooked wherever I could with a tow chain and pulled it out with a truck. That gave me access to cut/dig/chop out the underground bits of vine. And after all that I can now use the mower to keep it down.

I hear it's dangerous to burn because the oils that cause the rash get into the air and then your lungs. I'm waiting for the right day for wind direction and figure I'll add some liquid accelerate to burn it quick and tend the pile while wearing a respirator.  

Planning to continue mowing the area until the ivy stops coming back, then re-plant something else after it's gone. I wouldn't count on anything plant being able to overtake it since it's just so adaptable and robust.
 
Travis Johnson
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Poison Ivy is actually pretty easy to kill off. It likes dappled sunlight, so cut all the trees that are shading it, and give it full sun, and it will die. The problem of course is, most people want to keep the shading trees.
 
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I'm very allergic to it, but have successfully pulled it and prevented the rash by washing with soap, any soap, well and thoroughly within an hour or two of exposure, and being careful about what clothing, tools or shoes might have the urushiol oil on it, and making sure to wash those / no re-infect myself. It's just an oil but it takes an hour or a few hours to work itself into your skin and irritate you, so use soap to remove the oil before it can get into your skin.
 
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