How to Kill Grapevines

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Grapevines may be nice to look at, and they provide shade on a trellis, or cover lots of ground, providing cheap and relatively lush landscaping materials. But they creep and intertwine themselves into nearby trees and shrubs, robbing them of vital nutrients. Grapevines grow fast and far, leaving many gardeners scratching their heads when trying to get rid of them once and for all. Several methods for killing grapevines are available, depending on the amount of time and effort you want to spend getting rid of them.

Prune grapevine tendrils back to the root and dig entire root stump out. However, any tendrils that remain in the ground are notorious for continuing their run underground and popping up wherever they want. Some people use nonchemical methods to kill roots and grapevines. The most common is to use printed black and white newspapers and yard clippings such as grass or leaves to smother the root. Deprive any plant of oxygen and it will die. Dig down into the ground around the grapevine root. Wrap wet newspaper around the root and then cover with yard debris.

Pour salt onto the grapevine stump after pruning and cutting back the the root. You also can pour muriatic (pool) acid onto the root to kill it, and then dig it out, making sure to get all suckers and runners when doing so. Another method of killing grapevines is to use commercial chemicals such as Round-Up.

Shade or prevent sunlight from reaching the grapevine root. Plants need sun to complete osmosis. Place a bucket over the root stump to prevent any light from reaching it, or wrap and cover the root ball with black tarp or other covering, secure tightly and give the root several weeks to die. Remove dead roots immediately and discard.

Add two cups of vinegar to about one gallon of boiling water and pour onto the exposed grapevine root. Let sit for a few days, and repeat process if necessary. This has proved to be an effective method for killing wild grapevines for decades.

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