How to Get Rid of English Ivy
English Ivy can be a beautiful and lush green ground cover, evoking images of quaint English cottages in the countryside. Until it covers up your trees and bushes, eats the mortar from between your bricks, or proceeds to pull the siding from your home. Yikes! Now, you are wondering how to rid of this stuff and replace it with a more garden-friendly plant. There are many people who have fought the battle of the Ivy, and some are still fighting. Here are just a few ways you can get rid of the English Ivy plaguing your landscaping.
The Old-Fashioned Way
The old fashioned way to get rid of the English Ivy involves simply pulling the stuff out, by the roots. Grab some gardening gloves and start yanking. This is hard, back-breaking work, but it does get rid of the ivy immediately. After pulling the ivy out of the ground, put it in a plastic bag or wagon or some kind of container away from the ground. If any of it gets back into dirt, it will start growing again. Once you have an area cleared, you will have to work on that area until you have pulled up all the little shoots that will come up. While this is the most labor intensive, it is also the most inexpensive way, and it does not hurt your surround plants. You know, the ones you want to keep.
Pass the Salt, Please
Another way to get rid of English Ivy is the hot salty water method. This is another inexpensive way thing to try, since most of have water and salt just lying around the house. This is basically pouring boiling salted water over the area where the English Ivy is covering. The mixture of hot water and salt is supposed to break down the waxy film on the leaves and kill the plant. While it sounds good, this may not work if you have large areas of ivy, and the salt water can harm surround plants.
Hand Me the Bottle
This is the most expensive method, since it involves herbicide and a weed eater. Buy some ivy killer at your local garden or home improvement store. For a large area, you may want to mix this up in a large garden sprayer. Use the weed eater to mow off the leaves of the ivy, and then spray it liberally with the herbicide. You must do this while the fresh vine is exposed so that the chemicals can travel through the plant. If you are careful with your spraying and mowing, the herbicide will not affect your surrounding plants. Once the ivy is dying, pull it up, and continue the process.
Whichever method you choose, patience and diligence are the keys to ridding your lawn or garden from English Ivy. Good luck!