I’m pretty sure I have poison ivy growing in my garden. Not extensive, just a couple three foot long strands. What’s my next move?
If you don’t have kids or pets who will get into it, spray it with roundup to completely kill it. It will shrivel up and die in a week or so.
If you are worried about someone touching it within a week, you will have to wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt and latex gloves inside of gardening gloves and pull it out. Put it in a garbage bag and seal it up. Put your clothes into the washer without touching them (the reason for the latex gloves) and wash.
Don’t really want to kill the surrounding ground cover. If I go with your second suggestion I should probably assume the evil oil will be on the surrounding plants but is there any time frame as to how long before it would be safe to work in that area again? Would heavy rains (or heavy watering by me) expedite that process?
You can get spray bottles of brush killer (that’s better than weed killer) that can spray a very thin stream. It is not too had to just hit the ivy. You could also put a bit of the spay into a paper cup or something and paint it on the leaves. On of the disposable foam paint brushes would work well.
I’d also recommend getting Technu. It is a product that you can use to wash up afterwards. It works much better than soap and water. Read the instructions. do not wash your hands first; it goes on dry.
Another thing to do is after you spray it, hit it with landscapers paint. Usually bright orange or red. That will remind you where/what it is as it shrivels.
– a long time poison ivy sufferer.
Some collateral damage might be necessary. Poison ivy is tenacious stuff, and if you leave even a little of it alive, it’ll grow back. Better to be sure, and then let the stuff you want come back eventually.
Good suggestion. Since you only have a little to deal with, perhaps you can lay a disposable plastic sheet/tarp down over the desired ground cover and then paint or carefully spray the weed/brush killer on the evil ivy. The ground cover will be protected by the plastic. Then carefully dispose of the plastic sheet.
I just wear gardening gloves and deal with it, either yanking vines out or dipping leaves into RoundUp.
A few years ago, a neighbor saw me doing this and told me the vines I was destroying were harmless Virginia Creeper. I told him maybe I was being overly cautious, but I disagreed. He picked up one of the vines and rubbed it on his arm as “proof”. I did not say, “I told you so”.
The best way I know to surgically remove a few undesirable plants is to *brush *some *undiluted *vegetation killer, the stuff labeled to kill everything, onto a few leaves.
Cut a slot in a piece of cardboard to shield other plants from the spray. You need a brush killer to get rid of that evil stuff, simple weed killers won’t do the job.
The poison ivy reaction is an allergy. Not everyone reacts; something like 15% of people are immune. And like all allergies, I believe, you must be exposed to it before your body can learn to react to it. The rash may not develop for more than a week on first exposure and can take days even on later exposures. (Some of us lucky people can develop a rash in minutes just being in the same yard.)
Also whatever you do, DON NOT BURN the leaves and vines when you discard them. You can get your airwaves infected.
I do not listen to the radio.
Clip off the plants and then dip the exposed ends into undiluted roundup. I use a little shot glass that I keep specifically for the purpose. I’m in a war with a bunch of Oregon grape and it’s the only thing that works.
Here’s how I handled a similar situation - just a few strands growing amid pachysandria and vinca.
I took crazy precautions - pants, shoes, gloves I was going to wash immediately, large plastic bag for disposal, clippers, and Roundup in a spray bottle.
I identified each individual strand of poison ivy, and clipped it near the ground. By taking a careful approach, you really expose no more than a couple of fingers or your workglove, and can pretty much assure that you keep it from your clothing/skin.
Spray Roundup right on the clipped stem.
Carefully insert each clipped piece into the trash bag, being careful to only touch the inside of the bag.
Work slowly and methodically.
When done, tie and dispose of the trashbag, wash clippers in soapy water, strip and place clothes directly in washing machine.
By taking such precautions, it really was a simple job. I monitored the site, and think I had to repeat on 1 or 2 stems 1 or 2 more times over the following year. But by getting on it right away, it was pretty easy and effective.
Just for the record (and to back up Kayaker), Virginia Creeper can be problematic (not really allergy but reaction upon skin) to some folks. I know my wife is sensitive to it in a big way due to me making a ‘bonsai-starter’ outta an old-growth stump of VC (that had taken over an entire tree!) and her handling it one day. Oh, how she learned a lesson that day as did I when her hands both became inflamed/red/itchy. Odd that I never had any reaction to it despite me getting the sap all over me while cutting/potting it up. It was a great stump to grow into a great bonsai, but oh well…
One suggestion on the Poison Ivy stuff - if possible, take a vine(s) and stuff as much of it (with leaves and all) as you can into a large bottle/bucket (etc) and let it sit as such for days until its obviously dead and then awhile longer, just to be sure. I’ve had to resort to this a number of times, and very successful each time , ie no regrowth from unkilled rootage. Don’t dilute it either - PI is tough stuff to kill reliably, IME.
I just take a shovel and chop into the base of the vine a few times. Do this when they are small and they rarely need a 2nd chopping. I keep an eye out, esp. this time of year, for new seedlings.
I endorse everything here. Technu is great stuff. Get the lotion and the soap. One thing I would add. After it is dead, PULL IT OUT. It’s a tenacious bugger. Be very sure you’ve got it all. You’ll still need to be wearing your protective garb. Follow precautions on how to wash your clothes and you afterwards. I think Technu has something you can use on your clothes as well.
Well, it’s the inhaling the smoke that will get you. Don’t burnt it. You can get really seriously ill, or pass the gift of deathly illness to your neighbors.
Great advice as usual. I just want to point out that dead poison ivy can give you a rash just as easily as live poison ivy. The oil that causes the reaction doesn’t go away. I also agree about Tecnu, but it is expensive. I still use it on me, but tools get rubbed down with mineral spirits, which is the basis of Tecnu, and is a whole lot cheaper. One gallon of mineral spirits is about the same price as a 12 oz bottle of Tecnu.
And whatever you do, don’t use the branches as hot dog sticks.
Old family history from slightly before my time. Glad I missed it.
Fels Naptha Soap is easy to find and cheap, and it’s also very effective against poison ivy when you want to wash it off. It can be used for bathing AND laundry. Just use a grater and grate a little bit into the washing machine.