ivy and berry roots how to get rid of them after 60 years of letting them go?

Asked October 5, 2018, 2:36 PM EDT

I killed the roots with caseron root killer since the roots were 18 inches deep and I could not did the ground. 2 years later I have tilled but by adding compost I really have no worms but the roots are dead but not decaying in. I have added some permmatrix to the soil but still no worms but one are I also added plants and added more permmatrix type fertilizer and the snow berry plants and other things really started to grow this year. I added chicken manure, compost and delivered compost but still no worms?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

I'm not sure why you have no earthworms. It was a very hot dry summer, so they may have gone down deeper. It may also be due to the Casoron. There are reports of toxicity to earthworms by the active ingredient, dichlobenil, in Casoron. Casoron remains active in the soil for months up to years. Two years is quite a long time, though. Hopefully by spring with winter/spring rains the earthworms will be back.

Casoron acts by preventing seedling from germinating. It does not damage the trees and shrubs that are growing in your yard, and so is useful for controlling annual weeds around them. It often is not effective against most perennial weeds, like blackberry and ivy. Because of the time it remains active, it should be used with great care.

Right now plants are slowing down growth in preparation for winter. The work you have already done to improve the soil with manure and compost will continue to work over the winter, and next spring the plants should be ready to grow well. Fertilizing now will result in soft, vulnerable growth that winter can damage.

The best way to control berry vines is to cut them off at the base and immediately paint the bases with undiluted brush killer(triclopyr). Fall is the very best time to do this as the plant is moving nutrients from the leaves into the roots for storage, and will move the herbicide down to the roots as well, injuring the roots.

Glyphosate at a 2-5% spray (dilute concentrated glysophate according to directions on the package). The best time to do this is during a sunny period during winter - ideally early-mid January. Always read the package instructions before using it to get the best results. Glysophate works best at temperatures above 60 degrees.