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How do YOU get rid of ground ivy?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by TomR on May 10, 2004 03:09 AM
Well, I've been loaded with it in the backyard for another year and I've tried Ortho's weed killer with no luck after 3 applications. Tried the Borax 20 mule team formula to no avail. Seems the only way to deal with this stuff is to hand pull it but if you have TONS of it that is obviously out of the question.

Anyone have any tip/ideas?

Flamethrowers are not an option!

Thanks in advance!


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My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
by Bestofour on May 10, 2004 05:21 AM
I don't think you can get rid of it. I've been trying for years. Roundup doesn't even turn it yellow. I pull it off my trees and off the house. It's a menace.

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by papito on May 11, 2004 07:18 PM

No flamethrower?

How about mowing,and rototilling and covering the tilled area (after removing ivy) with clear plastic to "solarize" or green/black heavy tarp to prevent exposure to sun.

Here's a link to Killing Ivy

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by weezie13 on May 12, 2004 12:06 AM
Hi TomR,
[wayey] [wayey] [wayey]
You said Ground Ivy,
Is it this??
Ground Ivy
English ivy, Hedera helix

Let us know!!! [critic]


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Eugene Carroll on June 11, 2004 08:45 PM
Ground Ivy requires professional treatment with chemicals that are not available to the public.

The best way for a homeowner to control it is to treat the lawn with roundup (broad spectrum herbicide that kills everything), lay down an inch of fresh topsoil and replant.
by Eugene Carroll on June 11, 2004 08:45 PM
In response to Popito: Do not rototill within 6 feet of the dripline of any large tree. You can kill the tree.
by Phil and Laura on June 11, 2004 10:45 PM
Ground Ivy can be controlled organically, as with any weed, the earlier you begin , the better.
Pretreat your lawn in the fall or early spring with corn gluten meal, a natural, light fertilizer that fights weeds before they germinate.

Vinegar with at least 5 percent acetic acid is an effective herbicide for young weeds, working in just hours; you can find more concentrated vinegar, for older weeds and quicker killing, at farm-supply stores or in vinegar formulated for canning, for a better KILL, add some orange oil to the vinegar to remove waxy coatings on some weeds, I do not have a source for orange oil( I kill mine while they are still babes!)

there are organic herbicides available. BurnOut Weed & Grass Killer RTU is basically vinegar and lemon juice (i.e. 6.5% acetic acid)

Nature's Glory Weed and Grass Killer RTU (with 6.25% acetic acid as well)

Another option is; Matran 2,like BurnOut,It is USDA Organic, but unlike the others Matran 2 does not contain acetic acid; its active ingredient is 33.7% clove oil.
Papito, your solution will work well also, but the drip line statement is correct...
by The Plant Doc on June 12, 2004 01:28 AM
Ground Ivy does not have to be treated by a professional to get rid of it. I would never do anything as drastic as hitting the area with a "kill anything green" type spray, it is not needed.
Any 24D product should take care of it.
The key is when you do an application is the timing. It is best done in the spring when plants are young and fresh or fall after the 1st frost has hit them, weakening the plant, but not killing offn the top of it. It can be controled during the late spring and summer, by spraying it within a half an hour of a thunderstorm hitting on a hot day. The plants sense the drop of air pressure with an incoming storm and open up their pores to absorb the incoming rain water, making it a great time to do an application.

This time of the year I would personally try to stay away from any of the so called organic herbicides that contain citric acid, as using that in the heat of the summer will likely wind up killing your lawn as well.

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by Eugene Carroll on June 12, 2004 05:42 PM
Plant Doc:
You are right, of course, but I was under the impression that the original poster had "tons of it", meaning his lawn was completly overrun. In that case I would start over.

If you want to control it, it requires repeated applications of herbicides, both granularand liquid. This is because the plant has the ability to seal off at a node and drop the poisoned part of the plant and re-sprout. It can take many applications to kill it.

Late summer and autumn is the best time to control ground ivy because the herbicide product will be translocated to the roots more efficiently at that time. A product with "Tryclopyr" is most effective, but strong products with this chemical require I licesnce, I believe.
by The Plant Doc on June 16, 2004 04:10 AM
A little ground ivy trivia:

Did you know that this vile, obnoxious, pain in the ars weed was actually introduced to this country on purpose?

It was brought over from Europe in the late 1700/early 1800's as a ground cover that would reduce mud around homes. I wonder if they used to get ticked off when the grass grew up into it [dunno]

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by Eugene Carroll on June 16, 2004 05:03 PM
Interesting trivia! It has the opposite effect in my yard. The areas with ground ivy are muddier than the areas with grass.

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