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Tips of the Trade...... Cleaning Leaves From Ivy Beds

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Parched1, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Parched1

    Parched1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I have this customer who recently moved into a new home. The lot is hilly and runs down to a creek. He now has very little to mow but the entire hilly area has Ivy as ground cover. My questions to you all are:
    1) What tricks do you use to clean/clear out fallen leaves from ivy beds?
    2) How do you all trim ivy beds?
    3) What fertilizer do you use on Ivy Beds 12:12:12?

    Has anyone here ever tried a 21" hover (the ones that operate on a cushion of air) mower on ground cover like IVY.

    Please let me know.
  2. Dstosh

    Dstosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 716

    I ususally use a back pack blower to get all of the leaves out. If they are really stubborn, have one person rake while the other uses the blower on the same area.
  3. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Two blowers work pretty good. One guy blows at the ground, the other stands a few feet back and pushes the leaves when they pop up. Pushing them up a hill might be a pain, though, especially if the wind conspires against you.

    You can trim the edges neat with your gas hedge pruners. I always just level it (if thats what the customer wants) with a string trimmer.

    Never used a hovercraft mower.

    Always fertilized it with whatever blend we were using for the turf.

    Good luck!
  4. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    We have a lot of customers with ivy beds and there is really no problem to getting the leaves out of the beds. 2 have extensive ivy beds that end in creeks. What we do is use good commerecial blowers, we use redmax blowers and keep making sweeping passes at the ivy with the nozzle pointed at the ground and it gets all the leaves and debris out of them. It will take a bit longer than normal blowing though.
  5. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,281

    I usually have used two good backpack blowers to get the leaves out, but when those leaves are thick and wet, we have also used the big push blower too. Kind of a cumbersome thing to be rolling through ivy, but it gets the job done quick!!!! As for fertilizer, it usually gets hit with whatever we are fertilizing the turf with. And when I trim the ivy, I trim it flat on top with my weedwacker, and give it a nice edge to it also with the weedwacker
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    The best way we have found is to use a hand blower and rake combination at the same time. I do not have a back-pack blower, but I'm sure it would work well, undoubtedly better. The rake we use is a steel-tined one, with ramshorn spring. The raking is more of a lifting and pulling, unlike raking on turf. The blower is effective in getting leaves out from underneath, and moving. I regard the rake as the tool to get the leaves loose, and the blower to move them along. It is hard work, as I tend to rake hard and vigorously. The combination of the two tools is more effective than either one by itself.
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    You are out of your mind Roger! Buy a backpack blower man. You craaaazy! I don't intend offense and you will call yourself crazy once you get one.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    backpack blower and you literally have to BEAT that stuff out by shaking the hose. Work back and forth at different angles, like 45 to 45 heading out toward your escape route. Plan ahead, and ALWAYS start at the very back of the direction you're heading. Also, as someone else had kind of touched on, sometimes you get an accumulation on top out in from of you. Take a few seconds and quickly express blow them off. And as always two people always help.
  9. RandyS

    RandyS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    We use Holly Tone fertilizer on ivy here.
  10. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Early spring, run a 21" mulching mower over it as close to the ground as possible. Trust me you won't be able to get close enough to damage it. Sounds drastic but it is the best thing for a bed of well ESTABLISHED bed of ivy, jasmine or monkey grass. Explain to the customer leaf mold is the best fert in the world, it will cost a whole lot less and it is going to look really bad for awhile but once all that the new growth appears he will love you. Once a year mainteance like this in early spring is one of the best ways to keep most ground covers happy and growing aggressively. If you feel a need to fertilize some good old 21-0-0 will pop it back out real quick.

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