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Poison Ivy

I follow the same procedure as Marge does in getting rid of poison ivy.  It
does help to put the garbage bag in a trash can to keep the bag OPEN.  Of
course, I usually don't follow my own advise! In a pinch, I use a big leaf,
instead of a bag, to wrap around a small poison ivy plant and then dump it
in a trash bag (most of the time "trash bag" translates into any discarded
mulch or potting soil bag that I haven't disposed of).  Actually, I
purposely save those bags for PI or other thugs like nut grass or Japanese
lantern sprouts.  Yesterday, the old peony foliage went in a mulch bag.  I
like to recycle!

One more piece of advise that I do follow, is to deliver your clothes,
including shoes if they are washable, to the washing machine immediately
after working around poison ivy.  I rarely get the rash if I'm careful and
we have lots of it around here.

Long Island, NY
Zone 7a (Average min temp 5 - 0)


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On Behalf
Of Marge Talt
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 3:43 AM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Hi I'm A Newbie with a ??

Welcome to the list, Holli!

Well, I pull poison ivy VERY CAREFULLY!  Wearing long pants, rubber boots,
long sleeves and gloves with my hand and arm covered in a plastic bag (our
newspapers come in perfect long, narrow bags for this job)...with a black
plastic trash bag in one hand, I pull with the other and stuff it into the
trash bag...being very careful that it doesn't whip around and grab me
somewhere - PI vines are like hoses...sneaky...they will whip out when least
expected.  You want to avoid getting it on your clothing as it can spread
from there to you.
 When you're done or the plastic bag starts to wear out, just remove it into
the trash bag.  

I find heavy duty rubber gloves very good for this task as well, since they
cover a good portion of arm and if you get them in contact with the PI, you
can wash them off easily or trash them as well.

If you have a lot of this stuff, you need to get a bottle of Tecnu Outdoor
Skin Cleanser (used to be called Poison Oak and Ivy Cleaner).
 This stuff is the best thing since sliced bread.  If you wash with it -
following directions - up to several hours after contact, it will remove the
urushiol....sooner is better...and you won't come
down with an itchy rash.    See the manufacturer's web site for more
information plus places to buy it online and off.


If you pull while the ground is moist, you will get most of the vine.
   The vines can travel a good distance.  You can also dig it up - again,
VERY CAREFULLY.  If you just pull, and the vine is mature, you will probably
not get all of it, since a good deal will be underground and it will try to
come back so you have to watch it and go after any new sprouts when you see
them.  If you have mature vines growing up trees, just saw out a 2" section
and the top part will die
- takes a few years for it to fall off the trees, but it will.  You then
need to dispose of the bits using the same caution as in pulling live
material.  All parts of PI can cause a rash.

Birds love PI berries and I find seedlings all the time, especially under
large tree branches.  I've been battling it for nearly 30 years here....it's
not a plant that you can eradicate once and have done with it...it is an
ongoing task.

My concern in using the heavy duty herbicides needed to kill PI is that, in
my woodland garden, its roots are entwined with those of trees and shrubs I
don't want to kill and I am always worried that the herbicide might
transfer, plus, I'm just not a fan of most of the 'cides' out there.  Too
much is unknown about how they affect the rest of the web of life.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade

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