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is there a natural way to kill poison ivy?

 
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It is about a 12'x12' area or so.If I buried it in about 2' of hay would that kill the poison ivy?It is a highly fertilized area I was going to plant asparagus in and when I went to check it after about a year it had grown up in poison ivy or is there a safe poison ivy killer?
 
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john muckleroy jr wrote:... is there a safe poison ivy killer?



There are a couple ways to go about this that I can think of. One, is using goats as they will eat the leaves and young vines, but goats may not be practical or accessible for some. Another idea that comes to mind is using a 10% vinegar to spray on the leaves. Grocery store vinegar is 5%, and 10%'s can be found at some garden centers or online. This can work very well on many things but I find it is only temporary on grasses, as grasses can be relentless and grow back from the stored energy in the root, but other things usually succumb and don't have the stored energy like grasses do. Vinegar works by stripping the waxy coating from leaf surfaces and the plants dehydrate themselves and die. It works well applied on a hot sunny summer day after any dew has evaporated. Another option is a product out on the market called Weed Slayer. It's made from clove oil, and it is non-selective meaning it will kill anything the spray contacts, and it is systemic so the clove oil compound travels back down the plant and kills the root. All three options are non-toxic and relatively safe. I say relatively as 10% vinegar can burn if it comes into contact with skin, and a billy goat may get fun to him ideas in his little goat brain and charge, knocking a person down.


 
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I periodically have Poison Ivy sprout on my property (it grows on a neighboring property). I take my hoe out to it and hoe it up roots and all. Usually its only a little bit so I throw the plant out in the road to dry up.

Dig it up, pull it up.. But you've gotta keep after it every time it comes up. Eventually it goes away!

 
pioneer
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We had some poison ivy growing near the house when I was a kid. My dad managed to eradicate it by pouring nearly boiling water on it whenever he made pasta or potatoes. I actually find this technique good for many plants. I usually use the water from my water bath canner to "weed" certain areas. I suppose the deeper the roots are the longer it will take to truly kill the plant, as any roots deep enough to survive the heat will continue to try to re-sprout, until they run out of energy to do so.

 
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Mow it low and black plastic over the area, hold it down with cinder blocks and leave it
 
pollinator
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I'll be looking into the Weed Slayer as I get horrible rashes from poison ivy.

Edit:  Ugh!  Weed Slayer is pricey.  I guess worth it if it can actually eradicate the poison ivy.  Wonder if there's a homemade version that uses clove oil?  I do know my grandma killed out a small batch with her pickling brine one year, which also contained vinegar.
 
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I would cover the poison ivy with black plastic. Plywood also works but is more expensive and slower. I would cover, put weights on the edges and trample it all down under the plastic (recruit some help if possible). It's easier to cut down the vegetation, but poison ivy is definitely a special case. I would not allow anyone else who is not sensitized to cut it either, however carefully. People do not react to poison ivy... until they do. Then it is NASTY.

This will take some time, unfortunately. The hotter your weather, the quicker.
 
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I've successfully used boiled salt vinegar. You dissolve salt, to the saturation point, in boiling vinegar. Let it cool, and apply generously, with a sprayer.
 
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Hi John,

Lots of good advice here.  I am very allergic to poison ivy so getting rid of it is important to me.  Unfortunately, for my purposes that means severing every vine and/or pulling vines to the point where they reach a sort of central tap root.  I once pulled out over 200’ of vines and traced them back to one central mass of roots that were thick and went down deep.  At this point I smothered the central mass (I think I used a piece of plywood).  

Goats work as well as pulling, but the central root can go deep and will continue to shoot up new leaves unless blocked.  I am afraid that even 2’ (or 6’) of straw/hay would pose much of a problem for poison ivy.  It is so relentless that it would just keep growing through the straw/hay till it reached daylight.

Good Luck.  Getting poison ivy is no fun and the best thing to do is get rid of it.  BTW, if you try the smother method, check to see if it is trying to grow sideways out from under the barrier.  If it does, pull, chop or otherwise get rid of it before the new leaves can feed the central mass.

Eric
 
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I hate poison ivy too it was growing right in the middle of a natural asparagus patch this past season, also have/had 2 inch vines of it climbing trees!  What I try to do, as I have caught it a few times on hands, is grab a pick axe/maddox and cut it at base.  Then plunge the pick axe a few times in soil just to get rid of the oil.

How I dealt with poison ivy growing in asparagus was to use pruner and carefully hack off the most that I could safely.  I went after it after I saw it flowering!   Plunged the pruners into soil too.  Also used pruners to grab cut thin vines and pull out and toss on yard to dry out.  Can't remember what I did after that.
 
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This site says Weed Slayer is significantly Roundup:


https://napavalleyregister.com/wine/popular-organic-weed-control-product-found-to-include-banned-chemicals/article_e367219f-919d-5b35-8015-cf36eb1d7617.html
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