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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
I'm posting this in the Weeds forum, as I am following the definition of a weed as an unwanted plant existing in the landscape. I am completely cognizant that these two plants are not necessarily considered weeds by all, but they are in my case.

OK, most of you who have been around this site for long know my long standing battle with these two plants. This year marks my tenth at this site and my tenth year of dealing with these two obnoxious plants. What plants are these? Alright most of you know what is coming, but for those new to this forum ... Virginia Creeper and False Onion/Garlic.

What am I to do? As I mowed today, I have no choice but to pass by my front bed all in bloom with the onion/garlic plants. Not that my nose missed their pungent smell as I mowed those which have travelled to the lawn. One of my fears has been realized in that the plant has now made an appearance in my back yard and in two smaller beds. Is there no end to this plant? I need help! Suggestions?

Oh yeah, a reminder of some of the tactics I’ve used before…

• Heavy (4-5”) mulching with cedar mulch – Does not faze this plant
• Manually digging out the “bulbettes” – Luckily due to the relative health of the soil and the pounds and pounds of amendments this is a rather easy task. It is however, time consuming and frustrating as it is relatively ineffective.
• Orange Oil/Vinegar Spray (repeated daily/weekly) – Initially this “kills” the tops, but the plant bounces back rather quickly when spraying stops.
• HEAVY applications of dried molasses (repeated weekly) – Though I’m sure the beds appreciated it, NO effect on the plants.
• Several layers of newspaper and corrugated cardboard, topped with a heavy cedar mulch in spots and lava rock in other areas. – As soon as the cooler weather and rains began, I am seeing the tops pop through again.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 9:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:24 pm
Posts: 62
Location: austin
If you want to kill the whole bed, maybe put a layer of clear plastic over the top of the bare soil and let it sit several weeks.

Hopefully the soil temperature should get high enough to kill everything in it, particularly if you do it in July/August.

Someone please correct me if this won't work, all I know is that if you do this method on your lawn it will kill all the weeds and their seeds, and even kills bermuda. I guess the question would be how hot you can get the soil temperature where their little bulbs are.

Maybe you could figure out how deep those bulbs are on average, try this on a 3x3 foot or so space and then measure the soil temperature with a thermometer.

Of course the downside to this method is that you kill everything... :(


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:51 pm
Posts: 747
Location: Garland, Texas
Well Tom, solarization is one thing I haven't tried. I have avoided it for a couple of reasons, 1. I really didn't want to kill off the "life" in the upper soil crust and 2. The bed in question has an orientation such that it receives very little sun.

Thanks for the suggestion. I will consider that approach.

Anyone else? Am I the only person in the D/FW area who is afflicted by this?

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 8:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:17 am
Posts: 315
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
I'm finding myself in a somewhat similar situation with one of our large landscaping beds. I've got virginia creeper, asian jasmine, english ivy and yet another type or two of ivy that are voraciously competing to choke out every other living thing in the area. Last Fall I scalped the bed, dug up as much as I could, sprayed 20% vinegar and heavily mulched the bed hoping to knock some, or all, of it out - or at least back. No luck whatsoever. All of it is back with a vengeance this year.

I'm seriously considering the clear plastic/razed earth/tilling approach and basically starting over with building up the soil. If it gets rid of the problem plants and takes a season or two to recover, then so be it. The way I look at it, I'm not interested in spending years trying half cocked measures only to be defeated each round and still left with a bed that's not useable and an eye sore.

~Dave


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