Blurv500
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Best time to whack weeds

Is there a time of year when it's best to whack the weeds that would be most damaging to them and possibly make it harder for them to carry on. I have several kinds of sticker bushes, poison ivy, grapevine, etc.

imafan26
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Re: Best time to whack weeds

Get them before they set seed. Some weeds are perennial and will not be killed just by whacking them. You will either have to dig them out or use an herbicide. Herbicides work best when the plant is actively growing and not dormant. You need to read the labels to find the best ones and how to use them. Some vines have deep roots so whacking the top off won't be enough, you have to kill the root as well. To keep seeds from germinating in established beds you can use a preemergent like Preen.
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Blurv500
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Re: Best time to whack weeds

Thanks for your reply.

Well, chemicals are out. My wife hates the idea of chemicals because we have pets roaming around the place. Weeds that resemble grasses or miniture wheat don't bother me, and while I see them seed in late summer, for the most part, they look good where they are and can stay. But it's the stickers, vines, poison ivy, and other stuff that climbs up on trees specifically that I'm obsessing about. I don't see them going to seed- I assume it's mostly a root thing

So if I may, let me refine my question: If you wanted to weed whack these things once a year, when would that be? How about twice a year? I have a lot of woodland edges to maintain here in Pennsylvania.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Best time to whack weeds

If you are going to set poison ivy and grapevine back much, it would need to be twice a year, spring and late summer/early fall.

I'm not a fan of poisons either. But poison ivy is about where I draw the line, since I'm very allergic to it. I can't weed whack it, because all those little particles flying in the air would have me in painful, itchy rash anywhere they managed to find skin. There's a couple alternatives. You can clip the poison ivy vines (well gloved up) a few inches above ground and then immediately paint the clipped end with RoundUp painted on with a brush. RoundUp is still a poison, but one of the safer ones as far as people and pets are concerned and painting it on instead of spraying limits the environmental damage while concentrating the effects.

If you are resolute about the poisons, you can try treating it (painted or sprayed) with a concentrated solution of vinegar and salt. It will definitely kill the foliage, but less likely to be taken up and kill the roots.

For vines growing up trees, you can't weed whack, you have to clip them at the bottom and then pull the now unrooted top part off the tree. They send roots into the bark, so have to be pulled loose.

Best wishes!
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Blurv500
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Re: Best time to whack weeds

Summer, early fall- I'll try that. Vines really seem to be taking over everything around eastern PA the last few years. They're completely engulfing trees around here and along the highways. I'm surprised the PENNDOT hasn't addressed this yet.

Well, anyway, Thank you for your help.

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applestar
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Re: Best time to whack weeds

If you have poison ivy in the area, I recommend you learn to recognize their seedlings. Birds eat the berries and drop seeds everywhere. They are easy to recognize once you get used to it, and one of my spring chores is to go around uprooting the young seedlings after rain or ground is saturated from irrigating -- they are pretty easy to pull at this stage, and you will forestall new vines getting established.

Note also that if you can recognize them as soon as they start to leaf out, it's easier to get at the more mature vines before all the wild growths start. Then in the fall after frost when their leaves turn brilliant red, you have final chance at them before before they become unrecognizable or at least harder to tell apart.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Best time to whack weeds

Blurv500 wrote:Summer, early fall- I'll try that. Vines really seem to be taking over everything around eastern PA the last few years. They're completely engulfing trees around here and along the highways. I'm surprised the PENNDOT hasn't addressed this yet.

Well, anyway, Thank you for your help.
Well, I did say twice, once in spring and then again in late summer or early fall. If you don't do anything about them early in the season when they are getting started, they will have taken over the world by end of season.

These are very hardy plants you are talking about!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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