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poison ivy growing in among the strawberry  RSS feed

 
Posts: 51
Location: Near Missoula
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We recently planted some strawberry plants we were given. The area around our house is very rocky, so we brought in some soil and mulch. The strawberries are doing wonderfully, but unfortunately so are some new comers. It appears we may have some poison ivy growing in among the strawberry. I've heard it's pretty tough to get rid of. I also assume it's not much fun to pick or eat strawberries that are jiving with the poison ivy. I suppose we could relocate the strawberries, but they have really done well where we put them and I'd like to keep them there. Nothing has really tried to bug them, and I want to keep it that way. Any good ideas for getting rid of the blasted poison ivy? I'll get some pics up when I get home from work.
 
pollinator
Posts: 223
Location: Western North Carolina - Zone 7B stoney
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Poison ivy is really tough to control, because of how invasive of a root structure that it has.  If you have just transplanted, then the ivy is small. This is the time to pull it up as much as possible.  I would wear protection, and read several articles on how to pull it best.  There's a soap that is supposed to help if it gets on your skin, but it's best to not get to that point.  Get those roots out of the ground, asap.
 
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Location: Montana
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Temp. Fix: Natural weed spray.  1 gal. vinegar to 2 cups epsom salt to 1/4 dawn dish soap.  Spray this solution atop the poison ivy and it will burn away the leaves and possibly the root.  (non-toxic to the environment and strawberries).  I tried this recently and even after to applications I had to go back with a hoe and dig out the roots which seemed to be still alive.  Good luck, be persistent.  
 
Posts: 13
Location: Asheville, NC: Zone 7a-6b
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If it hasn't gotten out of control I do the following.  Please note I am horrifically allergenic to the stuff.

  • Put on old clothes
  • Put on old gardening gloves
  • Get two plastic grocery bags. (Yes I try to use reusable ones, but I will sometimes forget)


  • I then use the grocery bags over the gloves, dig into the soil, pull it out as best I can, and turn the bags inside out trapping the noxious stuff inside.  Then I wash myself and everything on me.  

    I continue to pull it up as soon as it shows it's ugly head.  Much easier to deal with when tiny and doesn't require the full suit of armor.  

    Usually within one growing season you can eradicate the stuff unless it is up in the trees above.  I have two patches I am dealing with, where that happened, and the birds dropped the berries all over the yard.  They are ancient thick vines, so we are cutting them at the base and will hopefully pull them off the trees this winter.  Be aware though, the stems and roots can cause the same reaction, and god help you if you try to burn it.  The smoke can be equally as bad.

    If it is just completely out of control decide your threshold for spray.  However, if it is anywhere in your yard it will spread so moving the strawberries might be a short term solution, but eventually you will likely have to deal with it.
     
    William Wallace
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    Posts: 223
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    That's a great idea.  You may want to just move the strawberries while you can, and then eradicate the entire area.
     
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    The soap that can clean the urushiol oil of poison ivy is a bar laundry soap called “Fells Naptha Soap”. Most groceries carry it in the laundry section.  We keep pieces at every sink and it’s good at preventing eruptions when exposed areas are cleaned thoroughly. Clothes that have been exposed can be washed with small chips of the Fells soap mixed in with the laundry soap.
     
    gardener
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    Any soap or detergent works to prevent poison ivy!

    Any soap or detergent works to remove the urushiol oil IF you wash everything before it has a chance to sink into your skin.

    My father was, and I am, very very reactive to poison ivy. He was convinced that we had to use dishwashing detergent (whatever bottle was on the sink), and after any suspected exposure we would peel off clothing directly into the washing machine and wash our arms, feet, and face with dishwashing detergent. We'd run the clothing through the laundry with any laundry detergent. It always worked (when we knew we had been exposed).

    I read up about it and realised that any soap that removes oil would work. And it does! The essential thing is to think about the urushiol oil, and any way that it could get onto your skin and stay there for a day. Think of clothes, shoes, socks, outerwear, pets, goats, hair, etc. Things that you take off, don't wash, and put on again days later can expose you to urushiol and give you a rash.

    When I lived in the US I'd get a little poison ivy on my face every year or two, because I have a habit of washing my hands with soap a few times a day, and I guess I'd get exposure on my hands, touch my face, and then wash my hands as a matter of course, but not wash my face until the next morning.

    Once in the winter, I sat with a friend in the woods, winding roots into shapes. Suddenly I remembered that in summer, that spot is lush with poison ivy, and those roots were probably it. We went back to the house and washed our arms, face, etc with soap, and threw our clothing into the machine, but not his leather jacket. We both escaped poison ivy rashes on our faces and hands, but he got it so bad on his arms that he ended up in the emergency room for cortisone shots. It is clear that while the oil was on his hands and he took the jacket off, the insides of the sleeves got coated. For days, the insides of the sleeves continued to apply the oil to his arms. What a disaster! But it sure proved the efficacy of soap in preventing it, and the importance of thinking through your possible exposure very very thoroughly.
     
    pollinator
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    To me, this all seems so anti-permicultural as people seem to be dealing with the result and not the problem.

    Poison ivy at my location anyway, has always been in areas where there was dabbled light and shade, it will not grow in full sunlight. To eradicate the poison ivy, just eliminate the shade, which will be better for the strawberries anyway. If your unwilling to remove the shade, then moving the strawberries to full sun would be the next thing to try.

    Poison ivy resembles strawberry plants so if the area is in full sun to start with, then I would be sure they were really posion ivy and not off shoots of the strawberry plants.

    As for poison ivy, I am in no way suggesting a person go out and get sheep just to rid their area of posin ivy, but my sheep LOVE poison ivy. With their wool, it does not bother them, and they love it...it is their favorite food. One time I grazed a patch out of existence in 20 minutes time using my flock of sheep.
     
    Posts: 353
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    I've always thought that what you need to do if you come into contact with poison ivy or poison oak was to wash off the sap. I'm no expert but I'd guess the oil is in the sap and I'd say the sap is harder to wash off than the oil. But, anything that will cut the sap will prevent you from getting the skin problems. I've used gasoline to wash my hands and arms if I KNOW I came into contact. A little less disagreeable is to use rubbing alcohol. I'd guess these are better at getting rid of the sap than any soap. But use what you have handy. If you're at home you have a better selection. If your camping or working in the outdoors plan ahead. A small piece of Fells Naptha doesn't take up a lot of room.
     
    Anthony Cooley
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    Location: Near Missoula
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    Travis Johnson wrote:To me, this all seems so anti-permicultural as people seem to be dealing with the result and not the problem.

    Poison ivy at my location anyway, has always been in areas where there was dabbled light and shade, it will not grow in full sunlight. To eradicate the poison ivy, just eliminate the shade, which will be better for the strawberries anyway. If your unwilling to remove the shade, then moving the strawberries to full sun would be the next thing to try.



    I would agree that I want to keep with a permie of a solution as possible. We were given the strawberry starts and told they like either partial shade or full sun only in the late afternoon/evening. As such we planted them on the west side of our house where they only get full sun after the hottest part of the day. They have done amazingly well and are sending up more and more shoots.

    The area we are planting was rocks and some grass patches a couple of weeks ago. We put in some potting soil/compost mix, planted to starts, and covered the dirt with wood chips. It wasn't until about a week later that something not quite strawberry started to show up. So either the roots were in the planting mix or they were already there and waiting for enough soil and nutrients to jump.

    I'm all for getting rid of them, but my darling wife believes that having a close-to-the-house example means our kids will be able to easily identify poison ivy in the future, and when they inevitably do get the oil on them, we'll have the ability to clean if off without too much panic. Which means for now, it may be staying.

    On the plus side, we are getting a couple of sheep this weekend, so maybe they will accidentally end up near  that side of the house, and I will have accidentally uprooted some of the strawberry, and we won't have to worry about it any more....
     
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