Author Topic: Poison Ivy  (Read 5588 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Poison Ivy
« on: May 13, 2016, 03:21:31 PM »
We've been in this house for several years and just in the past 2 or 3 we've been getting a lot of poison ivy.  I believe that nature will not allow a vacuum, so when I get this crap pulled up, I need to plant something in place of it.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I should plant to occupy their spot?  The latest batch is a spot in the middle of a big circle of Hostas.  There used to be a bush in there, but it's since died off.

Area is rather shady.  So anything planted there needs to do well in some shade.  It is not dense shade.

Offline r_w

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2016, 05:42:12 PM »
Do you want food, medicinal, or just not poison?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 05:49:56 PM »
Dump alot of lime bags on the poison oak/ivy. They both like acidic soils, and the lime sweetens it.

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Offline 1greenman

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 06:23:21 PM »
Will fireplace hardwood ashes do the same??

Offline Cedar

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 07:41:40 PM »
Will fireplace hardwood ashes do the same??

I have seen good results with the lime. For the ashes, they act the same to the soil as lime mostly, but it is really potash, calcium, potassium, magnesium and trace element compounds. One of the first thing I tend to see after a forest fire in Poison Oak country is Morel mushrooms and Poison Oak. If you have tons of woodstove ashes, what do you have to lose? The ashes will raise the pH, from a acid soil. Give it a go.

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Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2016, 08:29:03 PM »
Do you want food, medicinal, or just not poison?
Just not poison

Dump alot of lime bags on the poison oak/ivy. They both like acidic soils, and the lime sweetens it.

Cedar
So this will kill off the poison ivy and "something" will come up in place of it?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2016, 08:49:33 PM »
So this will kill off the poison ivy and "something" will come up in place of it?

If you do not replace it with something, Mother Nature will. Think of weeds as Nature's Bandaide. Weeds grow fast and in places to help prevent soil erosion from wind and water.

What should you plant? I have no idea. Depending on where it is, I think grass might be a good first choice and then see if the Poison Oak/Ivy comes back. I would rather deal with it in grass, than in an apple tree or something.

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Offline 1greenman

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2016, 08:55:51 PM »
No, they said it was rather shady.  Grass doesn't do well in shade.  Never thrives.  Needs lots of sun.   Search shady ground covers, or shaded area ground covers.

I really dislike poison ivy.   But milk goats can eat it and turn it into delicious milk!! Crazy!!

Offline Cedar

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 09:01:07 PM »
I really dislike poison ivy.   But milk goats can eat it and turn it into delicious milk!! Crazy!!

All good if you don't hand milk them..

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Offline 1greenman

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2016, 01:10:02 AM »
All good if you don't hand milk them..

Cedar

That is probably true for the highly sensitive. But we led ours to graze poison ivy patches periodically, and I never once got any rash from milking them.    I freaked out first time the older one started munching on PI, and I started reading all I could and was pleasantly surprised to find out none of the properties are transferred through the milk.   

I can see how a goat grazing a thick patch and walking through the grazed areas could get oil on her utters that would then get on your hands.   Ours wouldn't graze that deep into PI.  Munch on it for 2-3 min, then move on.   Maybe even intentionally avoiding walking over the grazed area....i never paid that close of attention.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2016, 06:36:07 AM »
We just have Poison Oak over here in my area.. not Poison Ivy. So maybe Poison Ivy is less 'toxic' than P. Oak? But I have seen plenty of people who look like they have had third degree burns, that I just stay away, even though it seems that my grandmother, my mother and I are 'immune' to it, as not one of us ever has had it, and we are in those areas a lot. My friend got it systemic through her body, and it took 4 months to be rid of it out of her system.

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Offline 1greenman

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2016, 08:00:36 AM »
I don't think it is less toxic.   People around here get bad cases of it also.

So, something to be careful and avoid as much as possible.

And don't ever Burn it, the smoke can go in your lungs and cause you to get burns/rash on your lungs

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2016, 10:13:23 AM »
The cure for poison ivy rashes is macerated wood nettle leaves, applied as a poultice... but they're just as nasty if you have to walk through a patch of them. Still, might be worth growing some in a small area.

To replace poison ivy you need to crowd out the root zone. You can't overshadow it, it is adept at growing through shade. I like sweet woodruff, ostrich fern and hosta for shaded areas.  Since you already have hostas, divide them. Just cut every clump into 6 equal pieces, keep one in the center, and move the other 5 out in a circle about 8" away from the center. They'll fill in with a solid root system. This gives you an opportunity to dig up the poison ivy from the area and keep it cleared while the hostas fill in again. Woodruff will turn into a dense carpet in a couple of years. It won't compete with established poison ivy, but it will block seeds from ever reaching the soil. It's also a very useful plant. Ostrich fern has edible shoots and the spores can penetrate the woodruff layer after it's established, so you'll get them popping up all over the place.

Mostly, removal will be grunt work you just have to get through. Find a patch, yank the plant out (in pieces if need be) and toss in a wood chipper, shooting the chips into a contractor bag. Just leave the bags out in the sun for a couple of weeks to sterilize them and they can be dumped back in the woods without fear of regrowing. That's always been the most effective method I've found. Spend an hour out there every couple of days until the problem is resolved. It's really just persistent pressure on the plant that will do it in. Get as much of the root as you can, but make peace with the fact that you'll miss some and it will re-grow in 6-8 weeks. You just need to keep at it, probably for a couple of years. Each time gets a bit easier, and eventually, it'll all be gone.

Get in there with a wood chipper, lay down some cardboard as a temporary soil barrier in any exposed areas, and cover it with wood chips from any branches you might need to prune, or fallen debris.

The irritant in poison Ivy is "Urushiol". It causes a histamine (allergic) reaction in most people, which causes the rash. This is an oil-based allergen, which is what makes it nasty. Rinsing with water won't remove it, and using soap will dissolve it enough to spread it to the surrounding skin, and the glycerine in the soap may help it get deeper into the skin. You're better off rubbing mud on it, then let the mud dry and peel it off. You could use a baking soda paste if you're not into rubbing mud on yourself, though you must let it dry in place, it's not doing anything chemically, it's just there to pull the oils off the surface of the skin. Baking soda will not be as effective however, it doesn't draw oil out, it can just remove it from the surface. A clay-based mud (or a more sterile clay colloid mix used in brewing) will work much better. This removes the oils so they don't spread, but doesn't do anything to relieve the symptoms beyond the cooling effect of wet mud.  Afterwards, a lanolin salve infused with wood nettle and witch hazel will reduce the irritation. That's the awesome thing about poison ivy, for once the best medical advice is quite literally "rub some dirt on it" ;)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2016, 11:23:25 AM »
I just stay away, even though it seems that my grandmother, my mother and I are 'immune' to it, as not one of us ever has had it, and we are in those areas a lot.
Never count on being immune.  All my life I've been camping.  As a teen, I'd backpack with the Scouts and usually sleep under the stars.  More than once I woke up and had rolled off the ground tarp and was laying in a patch of poison ivy.  Never got it.

Then I was about 35, I was geocaching and reached through a bush to get the cache.  There was some poison ivy.  I didn't care since I'm immune.  NOT!   I got my first ever case of poison ivy when I was 35.  I've had it several more times since. 

Just 2 weeks ago, I knew I was cutting a thick poison ivy vine.  I made sure I didn't touch anything or any other part of my body and the rest of the plant did not touch anything but my hands.  Went inside, scrubbed down with soap, then with alcohol.  I ended up with my eyes almost shut from the swelling.  Must have been misting out the oils as I was cutting the vines.

For this area with the poison, it's a circle about 4' diameter.  It is surrounded by hostas.  It is a bit shady, but gets a lot of light filtered through pine trees all summer.  It never gets direct sunlight.

Offline r_w

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2016, 12:56:43 PM »
Clematis, wisteria, wild grapes, Virginia creeper. Any shade ground cover helps.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2016, 01:11:33 PM »
Never count on being immune. 

I never have. Which is why I avoid it.

Cedar

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Poison Ivy
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2016, 08:12:17 PM »
Clematis, wisteria, wild grapes, Virginia creeper. Any shade ground cover helps.
I have lots of Virginia Creeper.  Maybe it's time the transplant some of it.