Best way to remove ground ivy.

Ground Ivy is used in various landscapes for many reasons. The Ivy though has a tendency to envelope everything around it, if it is not managed properly. In this discussion form the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one landscaper looking for the best options on how to remove an area covered in ground Ivy. There are various methods suggested, depending on the way you want to attack it.

One lawn care business owner asked “I have a landscape customer that has ivy on their grounds and they want it removed as a method to combat mosquito. Any suggestions on how to remove it? Should I do this with chemicals or without? She wants the roots removed too. Is there any way faster than pulling each one at a time? Maybe tilling and picking up the excess??

The customer had a company come in to combat the mosquitoes and they said get rid of the shrubs and ivy as a method to get rid of them. I haven’t heard of it before but they are paying the bill, so I didn’t question if that was effective.

The ivy isn’t growing in the lawn, they used it in ‘garden areas,’ empty beds filled with ivy.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “there are a couple of ways to do this depending on state and country restrictions.

  1. The only non chemical way is to use fire. You need a propane tank with a torch, the ones they use for asphalt. Then you then burn the ivy to the roots. This is the best way.
  2. With chemicals, I’d use round up that you have to mix. Use 8-9 ounces per 2 gallons. Yes it is double the dosage recommended but it works great.

The best results would be had on a hot sunny day. With the chemicals you will need multiple visits.  Spray when you cut the grass every week. Once the ivy starts to die, keep spraying until it is totally gone.”

A third shared “there are several kinds of ground ivy so the first thing to do is to recognize what you have. Vinca is woody and the roots are fairly gnarly. English Ivy does not set deep roots and is a lot easier to remove. Around here everyone likes Vinca and most lawn care companies I have seen do not manage it with the lawn. This is easily done with a string trimmer.

I have just finished a job removing the Vinca where the customer wanted to save a tree it was choking and the plants. Then replant it in the woods near her kids tree house. She also wanted to re-purpose the area where I was pulling up the Vinca. By doing that job, I have learned several things. The only spray that would allow re-purposing the area is one that would be gone in a few days like Round up. She was worried about the tree also. So I did not use any spray.

When transplanting, don’t plant too thick. The Vinca comes up in mats so thin the mat out a bit before planting.

The other thing I learned is that, for weeding and edging, using a sod cutter will make life easy! What a great tool. I rented this one on the recommendation of a guy at the tool rental place. I used it to put in a garden bed and weed another and did not have to bend down until I needed to clean up the weeds!

I was also concerned about the time it was going to take and at one point she asked me for a quote which she later decided I could not tell her what it would cost. (I usually charge $15/hour for weeding and remediation because I work alone and have no idea how much it will cost.) This turned out being a 2 person job. One to trim, one to rake material out of the way. One to cut, one to rake material out of the way.

I currently have 33 hours into this project. The area under the tree is 20ft in diameter and has the difficulty of spreading roots which is why the Vinca was placed there to prevent mowing roots. There is another area that is smaller also and I ran into a bees nest there. They were carpenter bees so they did not swarm because they have individual nests but they still sting if you get them too mad. I need to make some more measurements to find out a good estimate of my time and the time a job like this will take. So estimate yourself some extra time for the job. Jobs like these can really catch you off guard unless you are used to bidding them.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.”

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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