Gardening: How to remove ivy from brickwork and trees
A vine that grows rapidly and is capable of creating an invasion wherever it grows, English ivy is known to choke or strangle other types of ground covers and even trees in gardens.
English ivy does this by blocking out the sunlight and becoming engrossed with all the plant’s nutrients.
This plant grows best in moist, rich, well-drained soil in partial or full shade. The ivy tends to grow slowly the first year but, after that, can grow up to nine feet every year.
Ivy is not only invasive and steals nutrients from neighbouring plants, it also becomes a haven for pests. The thick, dense foliage is appealing to rodents and spiders.
Rather than using a toxic weed killer to get rid of English ivy, there is a natural alternative that can be used instead.
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According to gardening expert Paul Nicolaides of Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners, households can use rock salt to get the job done.
He said: “Ivy has a serious dislike of rock salt especially when it comes into contact with its inner parts.
“If you have a stubborn ivy plant which has a thick base rock salt will help to kill it.”
To carry out this method gardeners first need to saw the ivy plant off a couple of inches from the soil.
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Drill a wide hole vertically down into the stump and fill it with rock salt.
It is important to seal the top of the stump with robust tape in order to create a tight seal.
Paul claimed that this will then “draw moisture away” from the crown and “corrode the cells” of the plant.
Examine the plant on a daily basis. Apply more rock salt around each stem if the plants don’t die within a week.
Reapply salt every seven days until the English ivy dies. In most cases, one or two applications is enough to kill even the most stubborn plants.
For this using this method, they need to be sure to protect any plants surrounding ivy as rock salt can kill them off too.
Rock salt can be picked up at local supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s for £1.25, at Asda for £1.70 and at Tesco for £1.80.
Once the plant is dead, the roots can then by dug out easily. This will prevent the plant from returning.
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