I'll be moving to the Seattle area in a few weeks and am starting my garden planning. The house we're buying has a small, shaded front yard with a large tree in it surrounded by about a ground cover of a few hundred square feet of English ivy.
Living in the Northeast, I've always hated the invasive pest that is English ivy. I'd like to replace it, probably with another shade-tolerant ground cover--I'm thinking of trying lingonberries, but I'd even prefer pachysandra to the ivy--at least the pachysandra won't climb my walls and poke through my basement windows.
The first step, though, is removing the ivy.
Short of (1) digging through the whole patch pulling up every piece of root and throwing it in the trash, or (2) soaking the whole yard in glyphosate every day for a month, is there any way to get rid of the stuff?
It sounds like ivy doesn't like alkaline soil--would digging it out and liming the soil stop it from coming back? And if so, how quickly could I then dig in some sulfur to get back to a low, lingonberry-friendly pH?
If possible, I'd prefer solutions that would let me dig up one patch at a time, so I'm not left with completely bare soil (and an invitation to weeds) until I get the whole front planted with something else. But with how fast ivy spreads, I know that might not be realistic.
So who's done it? Who's killed off their ivy, and how did you do it?