Can I plant a vegetable garden where I just removed poison ivy?

frival(5)April 25, 2012

I just cleared a small patch of land next to the rear line of my property so I could use it as a vegetable garden. Lo and behold I discovered the hard way the roots I was pulling out were poison ivy. I believe I've gotten as close to all of the roots out of the soil as is possible in one pass but I'm not sure if the poison ivy will affect the plants or if the oils will somehow transfer to them as they grow. I really don't think my kids would enjoy ingesting urushiol-laced carrots and such. Can I plant without worry or is there something I need to do first or wait til next year or should I find a new spot for the garden? Or perhaps something entirely else I haven't considered?

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ltilton

I would wait a year. Not because the urushiol will infiltrate the carrots, but because the PI will probably come back and you won't be able to control it in the midst of your vegetables.

I would also, in this case, throw away my scruples and hit the sprouts with herbicide whenever they poke their heads up out of the ground.

But that's me. YMMD

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 6:02PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I'm voting on a new spot! If that nasty stuff starts sprouting up, are you going to send your kids out to pick some lettuce for a nice little salad?
I'm also with 1Tilton about spraying the hell out of the stuff! It's almost as hard to get rid of as blackberries!
JMHO Nancy
PS I have both poison oak and blackberries at my summer home!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 9:11PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Sorry but I have to agree with the pick-another-spot crew. Or at least wait another year and continue to eradicate it from that area in the meantime.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 9:18PM
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glib(5.5)

I disagree. I agree that it will come back, but poison ivy is perhaps the most sensitive plants to Round up. You can apply two drops on three leaves with a small paint brush, and the whole plant dies. I was able to eliminate it from my blackberries without losing a single bramble. Once the plant dies (3-4 weeks after painting), cut it at the base so it falls to the floor and starts rotting.

But I would not plant carrots, lettuce or turnips in there the first year, only stuff that is well elevated, tomatoes, pole beans or cucurbita with a trellis, collard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, okra, pepper, eggplant. PI usually grows in good soil. You could also lay down cardboard and mulch, and punch holes just for the plants. That will separate you from the PI, but pay attention not to touch the trowel blade while you plant. This second method is probably as good as the first.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 10:28PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

i think glib has some sound advice.... I don't believe you stated if it would be a raised bed or not...

you could definitely do a raised garden or lasagna garden. as glib pointed out the cardboard would help eradicate any remaining poison ivy.

and if the raised bed was of sufficient height, you could would even be able to grow those carrots.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:38AM
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pnbrown

I have PI, and blackberries, and greenbrier infesting my property. The blackberries never make much in the way of fruit because we have co-opted all sufficiently sunny areas for vegetables and flowers. Anyway, I pull PI every year from the gardens, so it can be done. And has to be done, if you aren't going to use round-up.

Round-up binds up minerals and impoverishes the soil.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 6:49AM
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planatus(6)

After reclaiming space from a melange of poison ivy, stinging nettles, bindweed and burdock, I can't say enough good things about continuous cover cropping with buckwheat for the summer, then a hardy cover crop like hairy vetch in the fall. Each renovation is a chance to dig out the invasives. In a year it will be a fine garden.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:38AM
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glib(5.5)

The paint brush method uses minimal amounts of RU. I still have half of a four oz. bottle, and it was bought in the late 1990.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:44AM
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