I have a certain detest for poison ivy. Years of attempting to “work it out” with this plant have only left me feeling itchy and ill at ease whenever I see a plant with three leaves. So imagine to my chagrin when I came across a three-leafed plant on my property with all the nasty characteristics of poison ivy! Well, it had to go.
In my own garden and on my own property, I tend to shy away from chemicals due to my own hesitance to introduce something like this to the place that delivers my drinking water (well water).
I wanted to use a spray so as to avoid getting close to it and having any accidental contact with this dastardly plant.
Here is what I used:
- 1 gallon of white vinegar
- 2 cups salt
- 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid
The basic recipe is to mix the vinegar with the salt. Then, put this mixture into a pump sprayer and add a couple tablespoons of dishwashing liquid.
Find the offending plants you want to remove from existence and spray away. It is best to do this on a bright sunny day when there is little chance of rain. You may need to apply this several times in order to get the full effect of an all-natural herbicide, but it really does work. A word of warning, though: Only plan to use this method if you do not intend on having any plants in this area for the foreseeable future.
The reason I picked these three ingredients is for their potential to do just what I want them to do. The soap will help whatever spray you are applying to adhere to the plants. The vinegar will kill all living material above ground, but won’t do anything to the material below the surface. The salt will penetrate the soil and will raise the salinity too high for it to support plant life.
If you want to kill off a ground cover while leaving the soil able to grow life, then just leave the salt out.
I have only used this mixture on the poison ivy I have on my property, although I do intend on using it on a larger scale around my driveway and in the other areas where I want to limit the growth of weeds and other plant matter.
Some claim that a mixture of vinegar and dishwashing liquid is a good way to remove weeds from a garden bed prior to working with the soil. The great draw is that it will kill all the offending material without harming the soil itself. I am personally a fan of weed-retardant paper when it comes to gardening, although I would be willing to try this mixture in a small quantity on a new space next year.
If you are like me and consider poison ivy (or any other plant) to be among your enemies, then consider eradicating it with these household ingredients. They are easy to get and readily affordable.
What all-natural herbicide have you used? Share your tips in the section below: