Normal weeds are a pain, but poison weeds are AWFUL. The main culprit here is poison ivy and it is EVERYWHERE on our property. As a result of the home sitting in foreclosure for several years before we bought it and then just barely maintained while we spent a year in Puerto Rico, we have a problem. Our kids could no longer romp through the woods without brushing up against the stuff, so we needed a plan quick.
|This is just one "before" with tons of poison ivy hiding in and around the desired foundation plants|
The solution? Sheep and Axes.
I pictured these tools as being full on axes that could chop through small branches, but they didn't really work for that task as I imagined. Instead of an up and down "chopping" motion, I learned a swift side to side WHACK is where they really shined. The machete axe was particularly good at giving plants a little "haircut" to tidy them up. I love this sharp bladed tool as an option when I don't want to break out power tools.
Each of these tools has that curve and it is the one feature I found most helpful in battling the ivy. Instead of trying to rip down ivy from old, established trees, I used the little hook to slip behind ivy roots and cut them low on the tree trunk to kill the poison ivy. It will take months for it to shrivel and die, but the other option is yanking down miles of poison ivy and that is no option at all.
That little hook is also really helpful for making very quick work of thicker palm stems, spent Iris blooms, small woody weeds, etc. You can hold the plant with one hand, snip with one motion and then toss the weeds into a waiting wheelbarrow.
|Meet Lady Mae - AKA June (We have a hard time picking just one name...)|
June is a girl and Theon is a wether (castrated male - sorry Theon). Without castration, Theon would have become a ram and a ram is too aggressive for our little backyard needs. He is still a little skittish (understandably), while June has started to come towards us now simply out of curiosity.
|Theon -- He doesn't like me yet!|
|Oregon Grape drying from the rafters in the kitchen -- I hope to dry many herbs this summer and fall!|
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