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transplating ivy question

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Austin on December 07, 2006 10:07 AM
I have a healthy patch of ivy in my front yard that runs from the length of the house and extends about 7 feet out from the front. To better manage the water around the foundation of my house I am going to build dirt burm next to the house. I you like your opinion on handling the ivy. I would like to keep the ivy as it is attractive
and a good ground cover.

Here are the specifics and my questions.
The burm will be composed of fill dirt and formed into a triangular shape with the 90 degree angle of the triangle being at the base of the house. The height with be 5 inches(12.7 centimeters) and the length will be 5 ft. (1.52 meters) (thus a long gradual slope). Thus the ivy closes to the house will be covered in 5 inches (12.7 cm) of dirt and as the burm extends away from the
house the thickness of the dirt covering the ivy will decrease. When I build the burm I will be compacting the dirt with a manual ground
tamper.

I have though of several ways to handle the ivy that is currently on the site were the burm will be.
1) Do nothing to the ivy and hope that it is strong enough to push through the soil I put on top of it. (although I am fearful it won't
be able to once I tamp the ground.) In this scenario I would also hope the ivy on the fringe of the burm would start growing in the dirt and
eventually cover it all up.

2) Try digging up the ivy, installing the burm and then putting the ivy back on top of the burm. Would this cause too much root trauma?
Is this even feasible from a labor stand point since I believe ivy has an extensive root system. How deep do the roots usually go?

Do you have recommendations on what is the best way to transplant ivy?

3) If digging up the ivy is an option when is the best time of year, from the roots' health stand point, to try this? Is it acceptable to
do it in December in a relative mild winter climate (central North Carolina?) in the United States. This is a hardiness zone 7.

Thank you for your time and information.

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Austin
by hisgal2 on December 07, 2006 10:45 AM
Hi! [Smile] Welcome to the forum!!! Glad you found us!

First of all....is this English Ivy? If so, that stuff is very tough! I do not know if it would survive the tamping, but I do know that if you pull it up by the roots, it will not be hard to transplant the stuff at all. In fact, it is almost impossible to kill it. Many people here in the forum have tried to get rid of it because it is soo invasive. Burning doesn't work as the vine goes into domancy once the flames hit it. Anyways, if I were you, I'd pull enough up to make the area look half decent until the ivy grows back. I'd put it somewhere that it could have some water. If it isn't going to take too long to build the burm, it should be OK. Just put the ivy on the burm then and cover the roots up. The ivy will do just fine. I've transplanted ivy here, in Pa in the middle of winter before and was in not way gentle with it.....it did just fine, so I'm thinking that NC will be ok.

By the way, if you do end up tamping over the ivy, the ivy left on the fringe will probably take over pretty quickly once spring comes around.

FYI on ivy roots....they grow in 2 directions. They send out runners and from those runners, smaller roots go down into the ground. The runners go across the top part of the soil to form the vine. Don't worry about hurting the roots.....you can cut the runners, it won't hurt the ivy. I doubt you'd be able to find 2 ends of a runner anyways.

Also, something to remember is this... you need to be really careful with English Ivy near your house. It will try to grow up the side of your house and if you have a brick or stone house, it will send roots and runners into the mortar and will break it up and make the stones loose. I've seen it start to pull apart vinyl siding as well. i'd say to just trim the edges of the ivy every time you mow the grass. A weed whacker should do just fine for that.

Hope this helps you a little bit. I'm sure there will be some others around to help out also. [Smile]

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