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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Lawn Alternative + Eradicating Ivy

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Joan, I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog. Any chance of getting an update on how Agrostis pallens performs as a lawn alternative? Also, do you have any suggestions for ways to eradicate invasive ivy?

Joan says:

Hi Caroline,

Thanks for your note.

Regarding Agrostis pallens — I first saw it last year at a landscape show put on by All Around Landscape Supply here in Santa Barbara. I’ve suggested it to a few clients. But generally my clients are removing lawns, not putting in new ones, and I haven’t gotten one to bite yet.

However, coincidentally, the show runs again next Wednesday and I’m hoping that S&S will be there again with the sod so that I can find out whether anyone actually has planted it here. If so, I definitely want to check it out. And if you’re local — it’s at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. You could call All-Around to get the particulars.

Removing ivy is a pain. While I don’t generally recommend using chemicals, some eradication efforts don’t get far without them. For ivy, I recommend Brush-B-Gone, which is a very strong systemic that has to get into the circulation system of the plant to work. Ivy has a waxy cuticle, which makes it difficult for the leaves to absorb the chemical. The best approach is to slash through your ivy first, which opens up its stems and leaves. Then immediately spray the Brush-B-Gone on all the oozing wounds. Obviously follow the safety instructions on the label and don’t spray on a windy day.

Good luck!

Copyright, Joan S. Bolton. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text or photos in any form is prohibited without written permission.

One response to “Lawn Alternative + Eradicating Ivy
  1. Hi Caroline,

    Thanks for your note. I’ve taken a rather long break from blogging, but am planning to get back to it in another few months.

    Regarding Agrostis pallens — I first saw it last year at a landscape show put on by All Around Landscape Supply here in Santa Barbara. I’ve suggested it to a few clients. But generally my clients are removing lawns, not putting in new ones, and I haven’t gotten one to bite yet.

    However, coincidentally, the show runs again next Wednesday and I’m hoping that S&S will be there again with the sod so that I can find out whether anyone actually has planted it here. If so, I definitely want to check it out. And if you’re local — it’s at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. You could call All-Around to get the particulars.

    Removing ivy is a pain. While I don’t generally recommend using chemicals, some eradication efforts don’t get far without them. For ivy, I recommend Brush-B-Gone, which is a very strong systemic that has to get into the circulation system of the plant to work. Ivy has a waxy cuticle, which makes it difficult for the leaves to absorb the chemical. The best approach is to slash through your ivy first, which opens up its stems and leaves. Then immediately spray the Brush-B-Gone on all the oozing wounds. Obviously follow the safety instructions on the label and don’t spray on a windy day.

    Good luck!

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