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How to get rid of Ivy

I've just moved into a new house which has been empty for nearly 2 years, so lots to do.  However, there is ivy everywhere, smothering the borders and fences.  I have started pulling and digging it out, but it is very determined.  I would prefer not to use chemicals but am wondering if this would be the better option.  All ideas gratefully received. 


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 4,475
    A long old job and dig it out
  • WibbleWibble Posts: 67
    Snip all the stems just above the ground - the stuff clinging to the fence will die (can take some weeks) and be much easier to pull off. You’ll have to dig out the roots, which can be deep. A 2’ wrecking/jemmy bar is a very useful tool for this. 

    You’ll probably have to keep an eye out for new shoots for a long time and pull them out as they appear.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 544
    But do leave some areas as ivy is so beneficial for wildlife in the winter and early spring.
    Yes we do clear out sections that are climbing up trees/shrubs that we feel could cause issues but we leave other areas for birds to nest in and the insects to feed on the flowers in the winter.
  • mandtpetersmandtpeters Posts: 3
    Yes I will leave some for the wildlife, you're right it is really important. At the moment though it is smothering everything else and I can't see what else I've got to work with.  I have even found a 2ft brick wall I didn't know was there. 
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,044
    When we bought the house it was covered right the way up to the roof with ivy, it was coming in the windows and generally being a nuisance. we cut it down as short as possible and painted the stumps with a brushwood killer. Digging it out sounds wonderful and fluffy but absolutely impossible when it's up against a house and paving. We have a garage that's covered and will need excavating at some point that ivy will get the same treatment. there's a stand alone "bush" of ivy about 10ft tall in the front garden that can stay but it covers everything here choking out anything else you want, EXCEPT ground elder that manages to kill the ivy, but I cannot recommend it as a form of control.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 897
    I agree with the comments above about keeping some for wildlife.  I understand you don't want it everywhere but if you can have a bit of garden that is wild, it would be so good.  Ivy berries ripen in February and they are valuable food for the various thrushes in particular when there is little other food for them. Plus it's good for pollinating insects and nesting birds.
  • traceymtraceym Posts: 13
    edited 7 April
    We were infested in our new house so we hauled ours off with a rake -  a foot at a time - and cut off the long strands with lawn-edging shears. Then, we rotavated it and raked again to level it and put down membrane and mulch for two years so far.  Still daren't look under the membrane 🙃
    'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.' 
    Audrey Hepburn
  • mandtpetersmandtpeters Posts: 3
    My borders look just like that, I look forward to mine looking more like yours.  A bit of work yet though. Thank you for sharing your photos.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,900
    Wibble said:
    You’ll probably have to keep an eye out for new shoots for a long time and pull them out as they appear.
    "... keep an eye out for new shoots for a long time ever" ;)

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • homebirdhomebird Posts: 105
    We have it growing up the hedges in the borders and it’s very difficult to get out altogether as it’s rooted into the roots of the shrubs, so we just keep pulling out as much as possible. We have allowed it to cover the remaining 6ft trunk of a dead tree. Good luck getting to the roots of yours.
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