POISON ivy is a pesky plant to effectively kill, but one gardening expert is sharing three hacks to make it easier.
There are multiple methods to the madness that is poison ivy, but by learning about the plant, you may be able to get rid of it for good.
Michelle Slatalla of Gardenista shared her poison ivy hacks, which many might find helpful as gardening season rapidly approaches.
For starters, the roots of the poison ivy plant must be killed or dug out. The same goes for the stems and leaves.
But if not handled properly, this could lead to contact with the plant and result in a painful rash.
The gardening expert says that identifying the plant is the first step to get rid of it for good.
That’s because it’s actually easier said than done when it comes to recognizing poison ivy in a yard.
Poison ivy, while known for its clusters of three pointy leaves, can also be mistaken for similar plants, like raspberry leaves or Virginia creeper.
The best way to identify poison ivy in your yard is to gear up with the proper personal protective equipment and cut a sample. From there, you can examine the leaves and compare them to photos easily available on the internet.
If you’re having trouble determining what type of plant you’ve cut from your yard, you can always take it to your local nursery to be examined.
Poison ivy is a tricky plant, as it not only looks like other similar plants, but can grow alongside them as well.
You might find poison ivy in the sun or the shade. It might be on tree trunks or fences. And it will likely become intertwined with other plants, like ferns, in wooded areas.
By learning how it interacts with other plants, and where it tends to grow, you’ll have an easier time weeding it out of your property.
Finally, there tend to only be two ways to eradicate poison ivy: naturally or chemically.
Going the chemical route may work faster, with the writer detailing Roundup and Brush-B-Gone as two of the most commonly used chemical herbicides.
“These are chemicals I don’t use in my garden, but if I had a backyard overrun by poison ivy and small children tromping through it, I might want a speedy solution to the problem,” the author said.
“If you spray chemical herbicides on poison ivy, it will die fast. As with other methods, watch for new growth and spray again immediately.”
Natural methods may be more labor intensive, but could also be successful.
One involves digging out as much poison ivy as you can with the trick being to get the roots.
That means digging down at least six inches and then reaching in to pull them out. Gardenista reports that the job is easier if the ground is soft, like after a rainy spell.
“Watch for new growth and pull it out as soon as possible to weaken the plant, or at least to try to break its spirit,” Slatalla wrote.
She also recommended pouring a kettle of boiling water onto the weeds and doing so again once new growth emerges, saying over time the new growth will slow.
The last laborious method to killing poison ivy involves covering a patch with a plastic tarp or big piece of cardboard to kill it.
The author’s final piece of advice was to bag the poison ivy in plastic and dispose of it in the trash, rather than putting it in a compost pile or burning it.
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