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Homeowner concerned neighbor's overgrown lawn will unleash invasive species on their property: 'I am afraid it will only spread more'

"Who wants to pay for a new fence? No one."

"Who wants to pay for a new fence? No one."

Photo Credit: Reddit

If you've ever had English ivy creeping into your green space, you'll know just how difficult it is to deal with. 

The invasive species can spread quickly and abundantly, and if you don't get on top of the situation early, you could soon be overrun. Not only can it choke the life out of trees and other plant species, but if it gets on to brick houses, it could even damage the property's structure.

That's why one person was keen to prevent it from reaching their new house from the neighbor's side, and they took to Reddit to ask for advice. 

"Some vines have begin to peek through and under my fence, and while I have removed them by cutting and pulling out roots, I am afraid it will only spread more with time," they said on the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit. "What can I do to prevent the ivy from spreading over to my property? Is there a long-term solution or is this just something I need to closely monitor?"

"I would try to speak with them and explain why English ivy is detrimental first," one Redditor suggested. "If they have it climbing up their trees you can explain how the ivy will most likely shorten the trees lifespan and increase the risks of it falling."

"If it's climbing on the fence, it'll eventually destroy it and need to be replaced, so that's another angle that might work — who wants to pay for a new fence? No one," noted another. 

Time is of the essence, but so is an effective way of treating the problem. Ideally, this should be without herbicides, as they could affect the growth of other plant life and leach chemicals into the soil. Some have even been linked to health concerns in humans

Our Wild Yard recommends doing the hard work in February or any late-winter period, mainly because the ivy's evergreen nature means it will stand out from the rest of your plant life that will be going through changes during the season.

It's also recommended to take action after a period of rain, which will make it easier to rip the roots from the ground — ideally as if you were ripping up carpet.

Hand shears and a shovel will help you with the work, but a lot of it will need to be done by hand. That's why gardening gloves are important, especially since some may be allergic to the pesky plant.

Otherwise, diligence and determination will be needed to get the job done. It may take a while, so taking a patch at a time will help to work through the problem methodically.

The scourge of English ivy is one of the many reasons to ensure that anything you plant in your garden is a native plant species. These will be suited to the environment and soil and will likely not grow out of control or spread. They will also require little water compared to other plants — saving you money on bills and time — and they will help to bring pollinators to your space, which are essential to support the human food supply chain. 

Regarding the Redditor's situation, one commenter had a clever solution.

"We added metal edging to the property line where the ivy was frequently sneaking in," they said. "It's called COL-MET metal edging and I found it at Home Depot. We installed it mid-summer last year. So far it's working."

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