August 2018
The Herb Farm

Not Changing Political Nor Football Team Colors!


Bunches of evil! Poison ivy, trumpet vine, English ivy, etc. – all invasive – all will die; by my hand and the pump sprayer!

OK, folks. It’s hot outside! And the lack of rainfall has not affected the advancement of my botanical nemeses – trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), aka cow itch, hell vine or Devil’s shoestring, and Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis).*

Both of these plants have waged war against me and my desire to have clean and clear walk paths, as well as plantings of desired flowers and shrubbery.

Until now, I have passively attempted to eliminate these problems by cutting, chopping, pulling and burning their vines in the spring when the growth is fresh. This method has been fruitless for me and most fruitful for them!

Having forgotten the rules of nature for years when it comes to these two invasives, every time I whack and pull at them, they come back with a vengeance! When you attack a plant, its nature is to fight for survival.

In the past, I have written about the negative impact of using synthetic insecticides and herbicides. I have not changed my opinion. However, there may come a time when a little pill may resolve your problems. Just remember that disclaimer! "For occasional use only. Use only as directed."

No, my dear readers, I am not talking about Viagra. I am referring to glyphosate. Yep! The evil Roundup that has become the scourge of the organic culture is what I am getting ready to use.

Over the last few years, as I have been attempting to eradicate the unwanted plants, I have not used much of anything stronger than 5 percent vinegar. And, although it is an effective weed killer, there just ain’t enough vinegar in the world to completely kill the undesirable plants here.

By the way, what kind of garden do you have where you can run around and spritz all your weeds? Sounds like you have a lot of time on your hands.

Let’s face it. I’m getting too old and tired to chop, pull and dig up those vines that seem to be stronger than sinew!

Wisteria is pretty for a minute. Then it becomes a farmer’s and homeowner’s nightmare.


Last year, I spoke with my friend, Davy, with Alabama Grown. He has acres and acres of hunting land. I asked him if he ever had to try to eliminate wisteria and he said he was battling some at the time. He uses glyphosate, but he’s not aggressive with his applications. He said you have to attack it slowly and regularly, pointing out that if you go at it with aggression it’ll come back even stronger the next year.

Well, that’s all good if you have the time to treat it regularly. I found something on the University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants website. Under chemical controls, it recommends, for stump treatment, cutting stems as close to the ground as possible and immediately applying a 25-percent solution of glyphosate to the stem.

This stump treatment will help prevent accidental contamination of desired plants such as my red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana).

For foliar treatment of tough vines, the recommended mix ratio is 2.5 ounces of glyphosate 41% concentrate to one gallon of water. Additionally, I like to use a surfactant in the mix. My personal choice is 1 tablespoon of original Dawn per gallon of mixture.

"Well, that’s the way it is …" as the beloved Walter Cronkite used to say. (Sure miss him.)


When you buy glyphosate, look for this percentage. Mix it strictly according to instructions.

I am not changing the way I think or stopping preaching about synthetic solutions to problems. But, when the issues are increasing exponentially and one’s capabilities are becoming diminished by natural or otherwise unexpected causes, one has to do what one has to do. Kill before it multiplies!

Not much gets me going like watching wisteria and trumpet vine turn yellow and begin to die off within a week or so after applying the evil chemical!

Hmm. I’m in a mood now. I wonder how this stuff will work on creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)? Summer poinsettia (Euphorbia cyathophora)? Nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus)?

I feel something diabolical coming on! Oh, the simple pleasures in life. …

I’m going to make a taco now. I’ll give you a couple of recipes in September.

Until next time, remember to watch your salt and sugar, drink plenty of pure water, and breathe in and out!

Thanks for reading!

For more information, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’ll answer your questions and I enjoy the emails!

Be sure to find me on Facebook at Herb Farmer-The Herb Farm.


* According to Dr. Nancy Loewenstein, Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Extension specialist, Auburn University, “It can be difficult to identify the actual species of the invasive types. … Many infestations that grow rapidly are actually a hybrid of Japanese and Chinese types.” Extension Daily, “What You Need To Know About Wisteria,” April 28, 2017.