Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Best 30th Birthday Ever, Part 2: The Speed Bump

I wasn't kidding when I wrote that I was going to redo part of my backyard in preparation for my 30th birthday. In fact, that very day I pulled on some yoga pants and started trimming back the trees along the back fence. Branches came down and canopies opened up. I even ventured into a little corner of the yard I'd never tackled before. It's where the utility box sits, overgrown with vines and a small tree. I viciously hacked those vines back, showing no mercy. I was pretty pleased with the job I did.

Just one problem: turns out those vines were poison ivy. Also turns out that I'm pretty allergic to poison ivy.

My arms, my legs, my chest, my face - all red and itchy. I literally scratched until I bled. The last two weeks have been an itchy, scratchy, painful derailment in my landscaping plans. Lucky for all of us that I'm a vengeful gardener, and when my yard strikes at me, I strike back three times as hard. Normally, I try to use the least toxic means necessary. Sometimes I'm even "green." But when it comes to poison ivy, I go straight to no-holds-barred chemical warfare. If they sold Agent Orange at The Home Depot, I'd have stocked up on that. My goal was to terminate that plant with extreme prejudice. Enter my new best friend:



I dumped the entire 1.33 gallon container of this stuff on that plant. Once it dies, I will strap on a haz mat suit and tear it out by the roots. I'm not messing around.

In the meantime, I did try to kill the weeds and grass in the party section of my backyard. Unfortunately, whatever I sprayed it with didn't work. In fact, the weeds are as lush as ever. So it's time to bring out the bigger guns. I'm still determined to get my yard into shape, and I have just under 6 weeks to do it. Totally do-able. This has just been an itchy, scratchy, red bump in the road.

8 comments:

mgold said...

Good luck! I'm sure it'll be a great 30th birthday party!!

Pepper said...

Pardon my nitpicking but I don't think there's any reason to use pesticides especially for something like this, there are other non-toxic options available that won't poison the ecosystem. -Phil

Erin said...

@Pepper: Despite my angry anti-poison ivy rhetoric, I actually did do a fair amount of research into the various options available to get rid of the poison ivy in my yard. Of course, hand pulling it is always the best option, but given my strong allergic reaction, tackling it by hand really wasn't a viable option for me. The product I went with is actually considered to be one of the less toxic herbicides available on the market according to my city's "Grow Green" program. You can check out their guide here: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/growgreen/downloads/poisonivy.pdf. They have lots of other gardening-related PDFs available as well - all helpful when trying to avoid being accused by strangers of poisoning our environment.

Pepper said...

PS. Erin, I signed my name to my post. I may be strange but I'm not a stranger. We had a similar discussion on ways to get rid of ants. Sorry to get on a soap box but the unnecessary use of pesticides is one of my pet peeves & 1 of the reasons I choose to work for the organization you do. Roundup may be "less" toxic than some but it's still "toxic" and has a very high level of environmental persistence. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Cristina said...

I think Phil should do the right thing, then, and come pull out your damn poison ivy. Especially since he is so passionately adamant about it. Problem solved.

Pepper said...

I'll do it for Erin, Mother Earth, & to keep the Indian from crying.

Cristina said...

I hope you don't mean the "Indian" from the public service commercial. You do know he was actually Italian, right? Besides, it is insensitive to refer to our Native Americans as "Indians" anyway.

Pepper said...

I'm obviously an insensitive guy.

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