I want to be proactive and start eliminating weeds now. I have a whole back yard area that is full of weeds including vines of poison ivy that are growing up my trees. Is there any specific weed eliminating spray that you recommend? Thanks!
Here are three alternative methods for controlling poison ivy in a landscape. Always use proper protective clothing or find a volunteer with immunity.
1) Grubb or hand pull small vines when the soil is wet. With small plants place a bread bag over your hand, pull up the seedling and fold the bag over the seedling, then the poison ivy can be neatly disposed of in its bag.
2) Cut vine then paint herbicide on the cut surface of the remaining stub or treat new shoots that emerge with an herbicide to kill the roots.
3) Treat the leaves with an herbicide, which may mean painting individual leaflets to avoid contacting the landscape plants. Covering desirable plants during application and until spray dries may be needed.
Remember there are no herbicides that will selectively control poison ivy and not harm landscape plants if the herbicide contacts the stems or leaves of desirables. Do not apply on windy days or while temperatures are above 85 degrees F. Be sure to read and follow all label directions. During hot dry weather herbicides may not be as effective, therefore reapplication according to label directions may be needed.
Herbicidal soaps such as SharpShooter work well on small seedlings, but older plants may regrow from the roots. Glyphosate such as Roundup or Kleeraway is effective when applied 2 weeks on either side of full bloom in early summer. Commercially available brush killers containing triclopyr or combination of herbicides seem to be most effective.
For the other weeds, it would be important to identify them before I can safely recommend ways to manage them effectively.