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Poison Ivy

06/11/10 1:04PM By Charlie Nardozzi
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VPR/Tim Johnson

I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. Leaves of three, let them be. Poison ivy vines can cause severe rashes even from minimum exposure. The oil can spread from wood, clothes, tools, and even animal fur. What a pain! Poison ivy is a shade-loving vine with 3 leaflets attached to the stem at one spot. Mature vines are brown, hairy and cling to trees.

If you get severe poison ivy rashes, don't attempt to control it. The more you're exposed to poison ivy, the worse the rashes will get. Hire a landscaper, or a friend who owes you a favor, to tackle it. Wear a long sleeve shirt taped into leather gloves and long pants tucked into rubber boots. If you only have a few young vines, dig them out after a rain, getting as much of the root system you can because they regrow from the roots. Send vines to the landfill - don't burn them. Wash all your clothes and yourself immediately after working with poison ivy. To control older vines, cut them to 6 inches tall and paint the stump with a chemical herbicide. Cover the stump with a yogurt cup attached to the wood with duct tape to contain the chemical.

For this week's tip, strawberries are maturing early thanks to our warm spring and recent rains. So watch out for slugs on your berries and spread iron phosphate organic bait to kill them.

Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about growing flowers for bees. For now, I'll be seeing you in the garden!

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Poison Ivy Poison Ivy factsheet Organic Slug Bait
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