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What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

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What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

Post  farmgirlatheart on 5/31/2012, 3:09 pm

I just built a compost bin in an area where poison ivy vines were growing. I got rid of all the vines, but noticed after building the bin that there were roots under the ground where the bin is. Now when I turn the compost, I invariably dig up some of the roots also. Should I cover the bottom of the bin with something so as not to disturb the roots, or is moving the bin to another area the only solution? I am very allergic to poison ivy.
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Re: What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

Post  kgooding on 5/31/2012, 3:31 pm

I would think that you could try putting a bottom on the bin, but eventually a wood bottom is going to rot away, and any other material you may puncture holes through. Of course, if you are one of the many that have a reaction to poison ivy I'm sure you already know that the roots contain the oils too and if you touch the roots you'll break out! I'd also be concerned about the fact that the poison ivy is going to probably grow back through your compost pile from the roots. My thoughts would be to move the compost pile for now, and round up the area with the roots. Then keep after it for a while spraying it if you see the poison ivy coming back up. If after a while the ivy isn't coming back up anymore I would think you could put the pile back in the location. It might be overkill, as I do think a wood bottom would be enough to suppress the ivy as long as it's in place, but well, I wouldn't risk it!
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Re: What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

Post  camprn on 5/31/2012, 5:31 pm

I would relocate the bin elsewhere and if I could afford it, hire someone to take out the poison ivy... That stuff is awful and one plant I will use Round-Up on.

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Re: What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

Post  walshevak on 5/31/2012, 5:33 pm

@kgooding wrote:I would think that you could try putting a bottom on the bin, but eventually a wood bottom is going to rot away, and any other material you may puncture holes through. Of course, if you are one of the many that have a reaction to poison ivy I'm sure you already know that the roots contain the oils too and if you touch the roots you'll break out! I'd also be concerned about the fact that the poison ivy is going to probably grow back through your compost pile from the roots. My thoughts would be to move the compost pile for now, and round up the area with the roots. Then keep after it for a while spraying it if you see the poison ivy coming back up. If after a while the ivy isn't coming back up anymore I would think you could put the pile back in the location. It might be overkill, as I do think a wood bottom would be enough to suppress the ivy as long as it's in place, but well, I wouldn't risk it!

+1 poison ivy is tough to get rid of. What a Face takes extra tough weed killer. relocate. Used Triox from Ortho and still took 2 years to get it beat back. Was mixed with Kudzu which I never managed to eradicate.

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Re: What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

Post  Jola on 5/31/2012, 8:47 pm

I would definitely move compost bin. It took me 3 years to get rid completely of poison ivy in my very small but wooded garden. You can try to remove roots by yourself but dress appropriately (like for a biological war combat). I look for a poison ivy every spring (with a Round-up in a hand) as birds drop poison ivy seeds and some always sprout here and there.

Luckily we do not have kudzu in MI (I think)!!!
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Re: What to do about poison ivy roots under compost bin?

Post  squaredeal on 5/31/2012, 10:26 pm

Not just move it, but abandon the current compost. I met a local gardener who used some of the municipal compost which had had composted poisen ivy and she had a very bad reaction.
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