How to clean out this mishmash?


I let this go too far and now I don't know what to do to clean out all these weeds. First off, know that the very thought of possibly encountering a snake in all this makes me nuts. I have only seen one tiny snake and one dead 3 ft black snake in the over 30 yrs I've lived here but I know that this kind of growth probably sings their song. Soooo, no way I can venture into the middle of it. It has poison ivy, some in the middle of things like some of the monkey grass that I'd rather not kill but will sacrifice some of it to get rid of the poison ivy. In the past, poison ivy has been all alone and not nestled among other plants so I sprayed it to kill it. I have VA creeper, which won't hurt me, but I'm not about to put my hands in this mess. I could hire someone to weed whack it all but doing that won't KILL the poison ivy and as I said, I'd rather not weed whack the monkey grass but I can if necessary because it'll grow back. So I guess my main concern is how to KILL the poison ivy without killing the monkey grass. I'd like to pull up all the stuff I don't want but I wonder if there's a way to find someone willing to do that since I'm not gonna. This is metro Atlanta, BTW.

q how to clean out this mishmash
q how to clean out this mishmash
q how to clean out this mishmash
q how to clean out this mishmash
  12 answers
  • Well I do this every year (except this one so far), in North Carolina, it is a procedure. Since you are so deathly afraid of snakes, just hire out and be done with it. You may have to sacrifice some of your monkey grass. And "pulling" weeds is useless unless one gets the roots. See if these help!!!

  • Betsy Betsy on May 05, 2020

    Hi Louise: Yikes, poison ivy! First of all, be very careful handling this mess. If you want to attempt to cut it down to about 1 or 2 feet before treating, that's fine. If not, here's what I do for vines that I don't want around, like poison ivy, bamboo, berry bushes, etc. Get a product called ground clear, it kills everything! You can get it at most home improvement stores. Then, put some in a small can and paint the undersides of the leaves with this, using a small foam brush. Be sure not to get the ground clear on anything else. The plant will take the poison to the roots, through the leaves, and kill just this plant, if you are careful not to get the ground clear on anything else. You can use this method on any plant you want to get rid of. If you are worried about the leaves touching your other plants, cut the unwanted plant short, leaving several leaves, paint the leaves with the ground clear and then cover it with a plastic bag and secure it to the ground with dirt or rocks. That way, even the wind won't blow the poisoned vine onto your other plants.

    If you are, or you know someone who is, diabetic, ask for one of their used needles, fill it with the ground clear and inject it, in a downwards direction, directly into the vine. Then, be sure to dispose of the needle properly and don't touch the needle part because you may get some of the poison ivy oil on you. Good luck with this, invasive plants are the worst!

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on May 05, 2020

    I would call a landscaping company and hire them to do this. They can pull up the weeds clean the area and either replant or save the monkey grass and mulch. Once it's under control you can more easily keep it up.

  • Can you dig out what you want to keep and have someone come in with a tiller of some sort? This definitely seems like a job for a pro considering all the scary things you laid out.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 05, 2020

    I agree that I wouldn't want to hand weed that clump. Do you have a hoe? My grandfather always used one when cleaning up an overgrown area, as they are also handy for dealing with snakes. Good luck and stay safe!

  • Deb K Deb K on May 05, 2020

    Hi Louise, how about saving some of the monkey grass and whatever else you want to keep, and have someone come in to get rid of it all, you could wear tall rubber boots & gloves to harvest what you want to keep, and get the rest cleared. You can spray one part of poison ivy with a homemade killer and that should take the rest out, Make a poison ivy killer spray: Combine 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon of vinegar in a pot and heat to dissolve the salt. Allow it to cool, then add and 8 drops of liquid dish soap and put the mixture in a spray bottle. You can spray the poison ivy or pour it directly on the plant

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on May 05, 2020

    We find the best way to get rid of poison ivy is to pull it up at the roots. Sometimes it requires gowning up and carefully gloving and having a secondary helper her hold the plastic bag to put it into. Then after carefully removing the PPE followed by showering.

    Of course the easiest way to handle weeds is to keep up with them.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 06, 2020

    Hello there,

    You must stop worrying about doing it yourself and employ a gardener who is used to doing this sort of work! Best wishes.

  • Chaz Chaz on May 06, 2020

    Try cutting the vine growing up the tree about 1 foot up from ground then the upper part will die and then spray the lower leaves of the Ivy and it will soak down to the roots and die then you can pull them roots out and off the tree more safely after they are dried up and dead.

  • Em Em on May 06, 2020

    Spray with poison ivy killer first. When that dies back remove the ivy with latex gloves and cover your arms with plastic and a long shirt. Put in a trash bag and dispose of. Even the dead plant has oils in it so you can still get a reaction. When that is gone, start at the edge and use a wide toothed garden rake to start to pull the weeds out. This will chase any snakes from you so you can pull the weeds out by the roots. I would say to use vegetation killer but it is too close to the tree and will kill it as well.

  • Dima Dima on May 07, 2020

    Buy a roll of heavy duty black plastic. After you spray the poison ivy, carefully lay the plastic over the area you want to clear. Top it off with a few inches of bark mulch then leave it for the season. Everything under the plastic will die. In the fall, pull back the plastic. The dead stuff is far easier to remove. The mulch makes the area look decent while nature does most of the dirty work. Remember, though, even dead poison ivy can cause rashes.

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