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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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It's working! Toplef10It's working! 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

It's working! I22gcj10It's working! 14dhcg10

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Post  Kabaju42 5/30/2010, 9:41 pm

Our front lawn was always ugly with obvious patches of different kinds of grass. So we killed it a while ago and about a week ago we undertook our most ambitious gardening project yet. We tilled up the front lawn and then we planted new grass seeds. Ever since then we've been wondering if it would really work. Today I was getting the soil wet and I started seeing green!

It's working! Dscn4610

I guess the birds didn't eat all the seeds after all! It's amazing!
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Post  Wyldflower 5/30/2010, 9:47 pm

Kabaju - how did you kill off the old lawn? My "lawn" is a little bit of buffalo grass, dandelions and three kinds of persistent (long rooted) weeds. I want to get rid of it, but don't want to use nasty herbicides. I may not get to doing this until next year, but any advice would be appreciated.
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Post  Kabaju42 5/30/2010, 9:56 pm

Sorry, but I just used the nasty herbicides. The way I was told to do it is to first water the old lawn so that it gets nice and green, and then spray with regular roundup. (You have to water first to get the plants in a mode that they'll take the roundup.) Then you wait about a month for everything to die but keep watering the dead lawn. That way any leftover seeds and roots will sprout up and then you spray it with roundup again. After it's killed the second time then you can till and prepare the soil.

Even with those instructions I just sprayed with roundup once because we were afraid if we waited any longer there would be no chance of it working in even hotter temperatures. So now there's still a few weeds coming up that I'll have to deal with later.
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Post  Wyldflower 5/30/2010, 10:06 pm

Thanks... I may decide to use this method for the front yard... the only edibles I have there are tomatoes in big flowerpots so I could move them. The back yard (which is where my boxes are) will be more problematic. I'll do some research and think on this for a bit longer.
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Post  Kabaju42 5/30/2010, 10:09 pm

Another option that I saw once for killing grass is to apply vinegar. I don't remember the details (like if you need to dilute it) so you'll have to look it up, but the basic idea is that the vinegar burns the leaves. The only downside is that it doesn't kill the roots, so you have to apply it three times as often to kill the whole plant.
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Post  lakemom 5/31/2010, 6:35 am

Wyldflower wrote:Kabaju - how did you kill off the old lawn? My "lawn" is a little bit of buffalo grass, dandelions and three kinds of persistent (long rooted) weeds. I want to get rid of it, but don't want to use nasty herbicides. I may not get to doing this until next year, but any advice would be appreciated.

Boiling water will kill weeds/grass in driveway, patio, sidewalk cracks. Maybe try that one small section at a time to see if it will kill off what you want to get rid of.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown 5/31/2010, 10:09 am

Hi,
I have been doing some reading on how to kill large sections of weeds without the use of chemicals. The area that needs to be cleaned out is a school garden. What I found was to water the area and place clear plastic over the weeds/grass, wait 6-8 weeks. Everything should have died off by then and the weed seeds should be sterilized from solar energy. Folks seemed to feel the 2 layers of thinner clear plastic worked better than one layer of thick plastic. I think it was because the second layer helped to raise the temperature. People also "sealed the edges with dirt and rock. I still need to try this, but it should work. Good luck.

Patty from Yorktown
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Post  Kabaju42 6/2/2010, 12:45 am

lakemom wrote:Boiling water will kill weeds/grass in driveway, patio, sidewalk cracks. Maybe try that one small section at a time to see if it will kill off what you want to get rid of.

I'm trying to imagine how to get boiling water over the plants. Wouldn't it cool down to fast between the stove and the ground to be helpful unless you do something to keep it hot?

The clear plastic sounds like a good idea.
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Post  Chopper 6/2/2010, 1:29 am

Boiling water works but it is extremely tedious to do. Ok for a few weeds, but not practical for a whole big area. I would love to see an invention like a clothes steamer for vegetation, although I believe they exist on a commercial scale.
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Post  Kabaju42 6/2/2010, 1:36 am

That's an interesting thought. I have an older version of this product

http://www.sharkclean.com/cgi-bin/livew/site.w?location=b2c/product.w&product=SC630W&frames=no&target=main&sponsor=000001&nocache=5401

I use it for cleaning, it will shoot a steam through a small port and it's great for getting in the hard to reach places. I wonder how well it would work for trying to kill plants. It's still going to be for small areas though.

If anyone tries one of these ideas let me know.
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Post  Wyldflower 6/2/2010, 10:59 am

I've used the boiling water method for weeds between the cracks in the patio blocks, and it works, to a point. I've also used vinegar in this area. That works better (it takes longer for the weeds to come back - but they always do!)

I've heard about the plastic cover method - but I don't think I want to cover large sections of my yard --- the 'lawn' is about 75% weeds. I manually weeded one section alongside the house, about 10' x 20', and it seems to be doing well, but the rest of the yard is just a bit too much to do this way. I need to do both the front yard and the back yard - so maybe I'll do plastic in the back, and give in to using chemicals in front. (I'll have to move my containers of tomatoes off the front porch while I do that.)
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Post  jtwenting 6/3/2010, 1:26 am

Most drastic method would be to plow it all up, cart away the soil complete with roots and greens, and put in new soil.

But then I'm used to building my garden from scratch where there used to be a patio, which means removing large areas of tiling and putting in topsoil instead.
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Post  nursekat424 6/4/2010, 6:20 pm

one thing i've done is put a layer of cardboard boxes (broken down) on the area you want to kill off. leave it there for a few weeks and every thing is pretty dead. also i found a recipe on here for weed (poison ivy) spray. i have been trying it on the thistles and it works great. here is the thread i got it from.

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/outside-the-box-f40/anyone-know-what-this-is-t2125.htm
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Post  Wyldflower 6/4/2010, 6:36 pm

JTWenting - I'm seriously thinking about having my whole front yard torn out
and starting over. I can't afford to do it now, so this year, I'll just
keep mowing my weeds. I am hoping that next year's tax refund will cover
the cost of tearing out the front yard, and buying some xeriscape
plants and materials (no, I don't want a yard full of rocks like some
near me do!) I'm thinking drought-resistant plantings and cedar mulch.

I'm also going to see about having the Russian Olive tree taken down. It keeps sending up new shoots through the whole front yard, and will be the devil to try to get out... I keep mowing the shoots, but they are the greenest thing in where I should have lawn! Maybe when i have the yard pulled up, the landscaper/tree guys can
pull the roots too.

I've put down plastic in one section of my back yard, holding it in place with cement blocks. I'm hoping that it kills off what's under it quickly (a couple of weeks, maybe?) and then I'll move on to another section of the back yard. Got my fingers crossed that this will work.
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Post  Kabaju42 6/4/2010, 7:46 pm

I'd love to see how you xeriscape your lawn. We want to xeriscape ourse, but it is taking a while. I put our plans on my blog a while ago that might give you some ideas.

http://kabaju.blogspot.com/2009/07/yard-plans.html

There have been a few things that have changed since we made that plan though:
-The box gardens have become a mix of SFGs
-At one point we were going to do blue gramma grass, because it's really drought tolerant and looks nice longer than buffalo grass. Then we found out that it doesn't handle any traffic at all while it's dormant (winter). So we just wound up with a mix of fescue, rye and a little blue grass.
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