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Large poison ivy area  RSS feed

 
Ben Good
Posts: 27
Location: Central Ohio - Humid continental climate - USDA zone 6
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I have a poison ivy meadow. It's about 1/4 acre of poison carpet. It was growing in tall weeds so I figured mowing it repeatedly would kill it. Nope. Just grew back thicker and started crowding out the grasses, clovers and weeds. Anyone try setting the mower really low and repeatedly scalping the ground? What about plowing it all under? Unfortunately this also happens to be the perfect area for my bee hives. We are not ready to get goats or sheep yet. Hopefully next year though.
 
Cortland Satsuma
Posts: 319
Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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Why no on the goats? We got two bucklings to start 1 1/2 years ago for clearing purposes. They were worth their wt. in gold! Saved us a ton of labor, getting areas under control. We put them on dog body harnesses and lead lines to keep them where we wanted as we worked on getting goat proof fencing. If you do not want to keep them; get meat bucklings and have them slaughtered in the fall.
 
                    
Posts: 238
Location: AR ~ozark mountain range~zone7a
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It has been my experience that if remove as much root as you can dig, then it will be gone. You might try that smothering trick some people recommend using thick news paper/cardboard and the like...but I haven't tried that.

I know this you can mow/scalp the dirt to the dirt, and it will come back either this year or next. If you use a disc & tractor, if you immediately rake the roots out, that would be the easiest, quick way.

james beam
 
trampas jones
Posts: 3
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Plowing under will not work the pieces regenerate plus all the debris will spread into the air. From 1styou hand experiance I have can tell you plowing
under or tilling is the las thing you want to do. Goats would be a good idea. If your worried about long tern destructiveness just sell them or slaughter them once thier job is done. Other than that hand removal and turning the poison ivy into biochar would be what I would do.
 
Ben Good
Posts: 27
Location: Central Ohio - Humid continental climate - USDA zone 6
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We have most of our cash committed to getting a couple of pigs and a big flock of chickens this year. Hand removal is out of the question: I'm very susceptible to the rash and I don't have the time to pick through that large of an area. I'm going to try to plow, disc, rake. Hopefully that should work. Especially if I do it in the summer when the sun can really shrivel up the root pieces.
 
Bob Dobbs
Posts: 145
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I whacked a bunch of it one time using *****WARNING- EVIL SPRAY WARNING--- ORGANIC BUT EVIL----*******
pelargonic acid- trade name scythe. Did that after the goat catastrophe, I don't get poison ivy and petted a kid and 'infected' the whole household. Trying to save a crazy asian pear variety that I got from a non-english-speaking woman from budwood directly from korea.

You could probably do the same with some high-strength 30% acetic acid vinegar, if you use either wait til a hot, sunny day, spray it down wearing a tyvek suit, throw away tyvek suit, repeat maybe once. Profit

Poison ivy weakly comes back so if you can whack its leaves once or twice it will die forever, but the poison doesn't break down easily so be careful.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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I saw a suggestion to make bio char from poison ivy. Burning poison ivy is a seriously bad practice as it puts the irritating oil into the atmosphere. I would be very hesitant to do anything that involved heating poison ivy. People have been seriously harmed by the smoke from burning poison ivy.

I do not know what would escape from a retort when making charcoal from poison ivy, but I am concerned that it could also be hazardous.
 
Steve Hoskins
Posts: 65
Location: NW lower Michigan
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We have been using pigs to kill poison ivy for two years and it's working great!
Like your description, we had (and still do have) meadows of it.
On roadsides, where it is sprayed and cut, it only gets stronger.
Where I can't put pigs, I pull it out (carefully) after a rainstorm, and immediately wash up very thoroughly.
No, the pigs don't taste itchy.
 
Mike Patterson
Posts: 38
Location: nemo, 5a/b
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So when I was walking in the woods the other day... I was thinking about how poison ivy can get to be crazy huge with gnarly vines growing all the way up trees. So I thought maybe if one carefully harvested these vines, perhaps they could maybe be used for building something? Something you didn't have to touch once it's built, of course. Maybe like a rope-ish bridge? Or anything you might need a really long piece of roundish sorta flexible wood for? Maybe it wouldn't be flexible once it dries.

Anyway, it made me wonder how persistent the urushiol is, and no, I didn't know that term at the time, but I've since learned it from the internet. Apparently it's quite persistent. BUT, on urushiol's wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urushiol it mentions that ...."The name comes from the Japanese word for the tree Toxicodendron vernicifluum (漆 urushi?).[2] The oxidation and polymerization of urushiol in the tree's sap in the presence of moisture allows it to form a hard lacquer, which is used to produce traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese lacquerware." which I found to be very interesting.

Has anyone heard this before or have any idea if anyone (aside from traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese) has tried it? I'm just now realizing that I don't really know what lacquerware is, but it sounds cool... especially if it's "traditional".

Also, I'm open to the possibility that these are terrible ideas.

Oh and, the other thing about all that was... What if you had this "large poison ivy area" and couldn't get rid of it or whatever, so you selected a few to climb up a tree or something and pulled up the rest, and then all that energy had somewhere to go, you know? A few large vines instead of a ton of little shoots all over? Also possibly a terrible idea.

-WY
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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I was aware that oriental lacquer was made using an oil from a tree and that it was irritating, similar to poison ivy. Had not understood that it was the same compound in Chinese lacquer trees and our poison ivy. I wonder if we just recognized a potential yield from some of the most annoying weeds?
 
Christopher G Williams
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
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I've been pulling poison ivy out of our garden for years now; finally starting to get it under control, but there has been plenty of itching to show for it. You really have to get down and pull every single root out, even leaving one tiny piece will allow it to regenerate and start spreading again. I understand if you are too allergic, but the method I used was heavy rubber gloves up to the elbow and going out after a good rain; they seemed to pull up easier. A single root can run for 8 to 10ft or more, so be thorough.

If you just absolutely can't get near it to pull it up my only other suggestion would be solarization. Just cover up the patch with some old carpet, several layers of cardboard or tarps. Make sure to leave them in place for at least a full season, preferably two.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I like your suggestion Christopher. I was helping a neighbor keep hers under control for years because she is so sensitive to it.

I no longer live there but I may go back and put down some carpet and cardboard in the area and I could go check on it every other month or so.
 
Ben Good
Posts: 27
Location: Central Ohio - Humid continental climate - USDA zone 6
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I posted this question a while back when I first started getting seriously interested in the permaculture concept and was quite overwhelmed with the how far my current life and property was from the outstanding models that so many people share. I've come up with a couple of solutions to deal with the poison ivy field. First, goats. Although buying goats is not economically feasible for us this year, I found a friend that will let me borrow her goats! And they shall feast on poison ivy, weeds and multiflora rose.

The reason I was so concerned with the ivy is because our bee hives are in that area and I did not like to go there. I would neglect the bees because I did not like to go there. Which brought me to the second, and most important, realization: WHY ARE MY BEE SO FAR AWAY?!? The ivy area is clear over at the corner of the property by the only few trees on the land... Why not put them near the house? Why was I trying to develop 5 acres of land with permaculture principles when I should be developing the 1/2 acre around the house first?

Hours on the computer reading permaculture threads has paid off!
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1210
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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I am one of those who react strongly to poison ivy, but I have also found that washing very thoroughly with soap and water within a couple of hours after exposure does actually prevent the reaction. Completely. The urushiol oil is on the leaves and in the roots and other parts of the plant. For example, one time I sat out in the winter talking with a friend and idly making shapes from leafless vines and roots, and then realised they might be poison ivy roots. I went home and washed thoroughly, put all my clothes in the washing machine and washed myself again afterwards. Although I'm always the first and worst to get the rash, I didn't get any that time, but my friend got a horrible case on his arms, his first case ever. He had taken his coat off while we sat there and presumably smeared the oil inside the sleeves when he had put the coat back on. So when he went home he washed everything except the leather coat, and then had been exposing his arms to that repeatedly.

I don't envy your situation. Great that you can borrow goats, but don't touch those goats, nor touch things that they might rub up against like fences! And wash everything with soap within a couple of hours, every time you might have touched something.

You don't need any special soap. My family uses dish soap on the theory that it is known to cut oil and wash it away, but I have also used any old bar of soap in a pinch and avoided the rash. But do think in a paranoid way about everything that might have gotten the oil on it in any way, and then wash all of those things with soap.
 
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