10 Things I wouldn’t do Again in My Garden: Number Three: I wouldn’t  use herbicides to kill off unwanted weeds except poison ivy. Vinegar doesn’t kill poison ivy. That stuff just needs to die.

Every year. Seriously. Every single year except this one, I’ve gotten into poison ivy. A few times it has been in my garden. The first year was probably the worst. I had decided to tackle the iris patch that was in the front yard. There were some beautiful iris in that patch – many I hadn’t seen before, but they were all congested in this little patch, and the weeds were atrocious.

My goal was to pull the weeds so I could dig up the iris to replant them throughout my garden. I had this great idea of making  a winding path throughout my yard, and the iris and lilies would be the backdrops. (Some of my ideas are not that great.)

So, I started pulling weeds. On a very hot June day. Of course, back then my hair was really long, and I didn’t think to put it up. I kept putting it behind my ear, wiping my face because it was sweating, and generally rubbing poison ivy juice all over my body.

You see. What I didn’t remember was “Leaves of Three Leave it Be.” Good lord.

The next day, my eyes were swelled shut and soon I was having trouble breathing. I had a severe reaction to the stuff. My husband had to take me to the emergency room, where I got steroid shots and got on enough steroids to last me throughout the summer and into the fall! It was awful! My face swelled so badly that my nose just looked like two little slits in my face! After I started healing, I went to the store, and I scared a little kid. I’m not even joking!

So, that year – my very first year – I broke my promise to be organic. While I still mourn for those lovely iris that would have made a beautiful winding path through my garden, I attacked that patch of poison ivy with a passion. I’m surprised that anything can grow there even 20 years later!   Pictures of Poison Ivy

There are times when you just have to use the bad stuff to control some weeds. When I have found poison ivy or similar weeds, I nuke them. I don’t want to take the chance of my health being compromised because of some weed. For the most part, though, there are ways to control your weeds organically that are pretty effective.

I keep vinegar, salt, Epsom salts and Borax on hand throughout the summer, There are several recipes. Here is my favorite:

  • 1 gallon white vinegar
  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 TBLS Dawn Dish soap

I use a weed sprayer that I bought cheap at Walmart and just spray. This requires frequent use, and it works best if you pull the weeds first and then spray when they are itty bitty.

What do you use for weed control??



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