Weekend Gardener

Blog based on my best-selling ebook "The Weekend Gardener"- The Busy Persons' Guide To A Beautiful Backyard Garden by Victor K. Pryles

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fighting Weedy Vines

Do you have a yard that's overgrown with all kinds of vines? Once my vines started pulling down my lilacs, and there was some poison ivy. Fearfull that I would have to put a "scorched earth" policy in effect or start over from scratch. Instead, I put my Weekend Gardener hat on and decided to emulate General Sherman.

Starting over really would be the best idea, but there's no need to really scortch the earth. You can easily restore order without resorting to big applications of herbicide, too.

A lawnmower is better.

Begin by cutting unwanted barberries and the thicket vine stems at ground level---start with killing the lilacs. Cut by hand, if possible, to minimize flying debris that might have poison ivy in it. Wear gloves at all time and long sleeves, long pants tucked into your boots, too.

After clipping or sawing the thick items, pick up all the cut material and pile it in an out back area. Cover it with a dark tarp and let it decompose. Don't ever burn it, because the poison ivy smoke can cause reactions.

Then let the mowing begin. About 2 inches from the ground and after a year of consistent mowing (don't stop until your first hard frost) you will have destroyed the established vines, including the poison ivy. Just wear protective clothing when you mow.

During your year of mowing, instead of planting, think about what you really want in the landscape department. Next year you can put those plans to work.