English Ivy, training to grow on Smooth Vinyl Fence

Training English ivy should be possible, even on a smooth vinyl fence, since it clings to nearly any surface. To tell the truth, I don't want the trouble of placing a trellis or anything else next to the fence--it would be one more thing to contend with, the ivy will end up all over the fence anyway, and my main object is to cover the fence, which looks starkly plastic in the winter. My question is, how can I best attach the ivy to the fence until such time as it begins to attach itself? Can anyone recommend a type of tape designed for this and a place in the United States from which to buy it? All I can find Googling "gardening tape" and "plant tape" seem to be places in Asia, and Home Depot and Gardeners' Supply seem never to have heard of such a product. They sell Velcro plant tape, but I don't see how I'd attach that to the fence. I need something adhesive which is removable, biodegradable, or both. I'd rather there be no damage to the fence except the necessary damage caused by the ivy roots. Thanks for any assistance.
Cori
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Why not heavy coarse (hemp) string (vertically for climbing and horizontally for tying)?
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Billy

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One, attaching string to the ground might be easy enough, but I can't think of any way to attach string along or across the top without damaging the fence or nearby bushes and trees...I don't want to attach foreign objects directly to the fence, let alone tie anything between trees. Maybe with something removable, like REALLY STRONG suction cups if those exist, but nothing like screws, hooks, or (shudder) duct tape. Two, string would look ratty before the vines got high enough to cover it, then it would rot and fall apart. "Word to the wise," of course, is to plant ivy in a planter, not in the ground, to keep it from spreading all over including under the fence, but I'd actually rather hassle with removing stray creepers from the ground and attaching them to the fence from time to time than to hassle with planters, trellises, or any additional objects.
Cori

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For that matter, rather than trying to attach something to the fence and attach string to that, perhaps I could attach small suction cups directly to the fence and tie the ends of the creepers to the suction cups. The suction cups are clear and wouldn't be unsightly like string, or leave the kind of mess of sticking tape directly to the fence--I wouldn't have to keep worrying how long can the tape stay on and how will I remove any residue from leaving it too long. After one creeper attaches, the suction cup could be removed and used to train another creeper until they are all growing well enough. If anyone knows anything about the tape, though, please post anyway in case the suction cup idea doesn't work. Thanks.
Cori

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replying to Cori, bette wrote:

I'm just starting to deal with the vinyl fence problem Did the ivy ever fasten itself to your fence?
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OK. I hadn't quite grasped the concept that your fence was composed of solid, rectilinear, plastic panels which you don't want to make look tacky. Once I got my head around this concept, the leap to your desire to effortlessly encourage ivy to cover this solid, rectilinear, plastic panel barrier was much easier to come to terms with.
I suppose just moving to southern California, where you would find like minded home owners, is out of the question?
I'm back to my string theory. Part of the beauty of it is that the string will ultimately rot and compost itself (no clean up on your part). I would integrate the vertical string into a series of pot hangers that can be hung (10',15', 20' apart) on the top of your solid, rectilinear, plastic panel fence. Where ever a pot and string were placed, it would encourage the ivy to mount the wall (if I can say that). Visually, the desired result would be a series of crests and troughs reminiscent of ocean waves.
Bonne chance.
Flower Pot Hangers
http://www.hooksandlattice.com/flowerpot.html
http://lawn-and-garden.hardwarestore.com/80-517-flower-pot-holders.aspx
http://www.backyardstyle.com/shop/hookshangers.php
http://www.hangapot.com/howitworks.php
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what are ya tryin to say Billy? :D
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Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly:-)
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Billy

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hey those panels came from the Phyllis Stein collection....
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Kitsch is back? http://members.aol.com/lwitchel/phyllis.htm
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Billy

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Yes, Billy, you have described the fence in question with uncanny clarity and near-perfect exactitude. And, yes, your idea is probably best. As long as I could rig up something subtle yet insidiously ingenious to hook over the edge or run along near the top of the fence without permanent attachment (forming a mark) my subtle yet insidiously ingenious plan may work. I hear from an "expert" that ivy probably won't root on a surface as smooth as vinyl, yet the internet is rife with stories of ivy wreaking havoc on vinyl siding, so I don't see why not. Once the strings give it something with which to start, it will doubtless run riot and have no trouble forming a covering. (And, if I lived near "like-minded" people, that damn nuisance of a fence wouldn't be there.)
Cori

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My pre-sence here iz no long-ger required. Ze problaim iz solved. Kato, to the "Silver Hornet" and away.
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3M command adhesive comes in small hooks that could be used to support the twine. Much more reliable than suction cups and probably even cheaper. The hooks are reusable with a new adhesive pad, so they could be moved up the fence as the ivy takes over, to prevent the twine being so visible. Yet, I think that ivy over the vinyl fence is not going to work well for you, it is worth a try. The vinyl fences I have seen are very smooth and slick. I just don't know if ivy will cling to it well enough to stay. But, I do agree that the vinyl fences are stark looking without something over them.
You might look into Manhattan euonymus. It is evergreen in most climates and "climbs" up the fence or wall by leaning into it rather that attaching with suckers.
Good Luck.

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Exactly. But I imagine a little bit of sandblast (or even just sandpaper) to roughen the surface...

A bit of roughen is insignificant compared to ivy.
sdb
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replying to Cori, Janet wrote: I am using plastic self adhesive hooks, though this is in my porch so they won't get wet. I think tape might damage the stems. I have heard of fishing line to loop around the stems and tie to eg a post to hold in place,
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