organic way to kill poison ivy, english ivy and creeping jenny

I am looking for an organic recipe to kill poison ivy, english ivy and creeping jenny. My husband and I bought a very distressed property last year and the yard has not been touch in a decade, so it is over run with all things" weeds and creeping".We are hoping to kill it so then we can see to pull up all the runners. I also have poison ivy growing up about 10 of my pine trees. What is the best way to kill it?
  3 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 08, 2013
    Cyndi, one product you might want to try is Avenger, which bills itself as the first EPA registered and approved herbicide for organic gardening. It is hard to find independent testing of the product, but it does get the Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) seal of approval, and won the 2008 Green Thumb Award from the Mail Order Gardening Association. I think it is important to use products that have been tested for their safe usage. I'm sure people will recommend dumping bleach or vinegar and all manner of other things on these plants, but the fact is no one has ever tested these home remedies for the amount you should use or what the side effects might be. One thing to keep in mind is that all organic herbicides are contact-based, so there is no residual action. It will be a longer process and take more repeated applications to get your weeds under control. Your situation with the poison ivy in the pine trees is going to be particularly difficult because anything you are likely to use, including the Avenger, is going to be a non-selective herbicide, that is, it acts on anything it comes in contact with, and you have all those pine boughs around the ivy. The best solution is probably to cut the vines toward the bottom of the tree, then cut again a couple of feet above and spray the leaves on the bottom where you can safely spray without getting the herbicide on anything else. And, of course, wear gloves and protective clothing when you do so.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on May 08, 2013
    Douglas, thank you for the advice. I will look for the Avenger at my local nursery or big box store. I have cut the poison ivy around most of my trees and it has made the ivy die, but the ones in the furthest part of my property is covered with vines and the ground around them is covered too. I was hoping to kill the ivy's on the ground so I could see under my feet before I attempted cutting the vines around the base of the trees. I am not real fond of snakes... :)

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 09, 2013
    It's a very reasonable strategy, Cyndi. I'm not so fond of herpetological surprises myself.