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View Full Version : Desperate and losing the weed wars...


DeanE
09-26-2005, 01:26 AM
We have killed, and killed and killed the weeds in our back yard. They mock us. Each time they come forth stronger than before. So we cancel the garden party, uninvite the neighbors, reallocate the funds due the lawn and its trimmings to something far less important and neglect the 2000 sf that make up our back yard. We fight each time we venture forth the vast wastland that makes our back yard. We are doomed.
What can be done? We wish to seed but sod seems our only avenue of respite but lack the funds.
We can make things grow! If you doubt this our house is between 26th and MLK on Ivy in Denver Colorado, You can't miss it. How do we beat those damn weeds??!?!?!?!??!?
Help before we start parking cars 'cross the back yard. :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help:

Ric
09-26-2005, 01:43 AM
We have killed, and killed and killed the weeds in our back yard. They mock us. Each time they come forth stronger than before. So we cancel the garden party, uninvite the neighbors, reallocate the funds due the lawn and its trimmings to something far less important and neglect the 2000 sf that make up our back yard. We fight each time we venture forth the vast wastland that makes our back yard. We are doomed.
What can be done? We wish to seed but sod seems our only avenue of respite but lack the funds.
We can make things grow! If you doubt this our house is between 26th and MLK on Ivy in Denver Colorado, You can't miss it. How do we beat those damn weeds??!?!?!?!??!?
Help before we start parking cars 'cross the back yard. :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help:

Dean

I understand your frustration. It can be very depressing to fight a losing battle. But all you have told us is about your frustration. We Know nothing of what kind of weeds you have even the turf grass species that you are dealing with. Whether you have Irrigation becomes a factor as well as the history of what you have applied to the yard in the way of Fertilization and Herbicides.

My suggestion is to hire a professional Lawn spray company and let them Manage your yard down to the height you mow at, to the timing of your irrigation. This not the best time of the year to expect results as the nights are cooler and the days are shorter, old man winter is fast approaching. However there are some things that should be done now that are important to spring Green up and good root development. You are dealing with a living thing and it takes time even for a professional to get your yard right.

Good Luck

sheshovel
09-26-2005, 02:30 AM
I suggest a lawn alternative.A native weed garden!They can look cool if done right,and interplanted with native shrubs and ornamental grasses.

LwnmwrMan22
09-26-2005, 11:02 AM
I suggest a lawn alternative.A native weed garden!They can look cool if done right,and interplanted with native shrubs and ornamental grasses.


Biggest thing I see around here with native planting areas, is people do that, they let it go to native plants.

It's just like another planting area, it has to be maintained, however since people think it's native stuff, they just let everything grow.

Garth
09-26-2005, 11:49 AM
Into the breach, dear friend. Seal the holes with the English dead! Quote I heard somewhere.
First off, what kind of lawn is it? Fescue? Bermuda? St. Augustine?
Secondly, does it have to be perfect?
Thirdly, what are you calling weeds? Dandelions of course, are weeds but things like dichondra, corsican mint, isotoma can add texture and wonderful fragrances to the lawn. I have a customer that has clover and oxalis in her lawn and won't let us kill it because she loves the flowers. My grandmother has alyssum ALL OVER her lawn and she too, loves the flowers. I even got her the gold and purple varieties to add a bit more colour. I understand that we all want our lawns to look great, but sometimes conditions won't allow it. If there is a vacant field near you then everytime the wind blows you will have weeds. If your neighbor doesn't kill his weeds then you, too, shall have weeds. Keep them under control but don't let them ruin your day. Weeds happen!!

ThreeWide
09-26-2005, 11:59 AM
Pre-emergent herbicides are needed at various time of year to help prevent weeds. Spraying existing weeds only temporarily solves the problem, you need to be on a good overall program.

What little I know about Colorado, you should be considering either Kentucky Bluegrass or Buffalograss for your lawn.

Hire a pro to spray the existing lawn with Roundup and sod the area. My guess is that you are too late in the season to plant seed. However everything you need to know can be found at CSU Turf (http://csuturf.colostate.edu/Pages/TURFspecies.htm)

Garth
09-26-2005, 12:03 PM
Seeding the lawn is one twentieth the cost of sod and the preparation is the same. To get rid of ALL the weeds (for a while) you must kill the seeds in the top layer of the soil. Solarization is very effective but takes time. This is covering the whole area with black plastic during the summer months to sterilize the soil. The other method is to spray Roundup over everything, let it die, then water it until the seeds sprout and spray them. If you do this four times, you can eliminate up to 85% of all the seeds in the lawn. Do it AFTER you've graded though or you might bring more dormant seeds to the surface. Most of all, HAVE FUN. Gardening is something to be enjoyed.

GreenUtah
09-26-2005, 12:24 PM
It is certainly not too late to plant seed in the Mile High City. The problem is as the above posts say, not enough info about the types of weeds you are dealing with, whether or not you have been using irrigation, the type of grass, shade, compaction, mowing height, etc. etc. Everything has to have a balance in order to succeed Dean, if anything is out, you will be fighting forever. Turf, when given the right conditions, can easily out compete ALL weeds, but only time and diligence can get you to that point. It's not about throwing money at it or becoming a slave to it, in fact, most fine commercial properties have no eyes on them more than once a week, utilizing systems and strong management practices to achieve desired results with a minimum of labor. This is an attainable goal for the homeowner as well, once you get a grip on the rules and stay to them. You may call a local company or you may continue to search for more info. This site is loaded with many answers and knowledgeable individuals that can walk you through, if you so choose.

Mscotrid
09-26-2005, 04:55 PM
Start by getting a soil test completed. Many weeds favor acidic soil. By reviewing the test results you should be able to implement a program to get your yard up to the standards you desire.

DeanE
09-27-2005, 10:41 AM
I believe the main culprit is Parslane (sp?). It had migrated to the front yard and we spent the summer pulling it as it grew. Now it seems to be under control. The other is a large stalk, up-wards of three feet if its let grow. It has purple stripes up the main trunk.
We seeded part of the front with a special mix our local gardening store, Ekters, put together. It is lush and only needs watering once a week or so. I do use Miracle grow on it once every couple of weeks. Yes, ours is the best lawn on the block thank-you-very-much. Our front yard as a whole is the best in the neighborhood.
We hope to save money so we have backed off calling a pro in. I did landscaping for a couple of summers (who hasn't) and have some knowledge but these weeds... It is truly depressing.
I guess I'm looking for a magic bullet, something that will get rid of the weeds so we may till in some amendments and seed. We would prefer seeding.
Thanks for all your help,
Dean

PS Sorry for that crappy first post. What a blowhard.

Garth
09-27-2005, 11:52 AM
Purple stripes down the stem sounds like something from the family Chenopodiaceae, probably nettleleaf goosefoot.
By the way, I enjoyed your first post. It was entertaining to see someone complain with so much eloquence. :D

sheshovel
09-27-2005, 01:09 PM
Garth,a quick correction.To solarize you would use clear plastic not black plastic.Just so's you know :D

How bout a nice deck or hardscape to correct your problem?Then you could always install plastic turf for the look of green you want......just kidding :p

Garth
09-27-2005, 01:39 PM
I've used black with better results. Absorbs more sunlight and heat. We also put a second layer on with aluminium cans in spots separating the layers. It allows more heat to remain in the soil longer by creating a buffer zone that traps the heat between the sheets. The military base we take care of buys the rolls of black pond liner and that stuff is the nuclear bomb of solarization. Must be nice to afford anything you want.

Mscotrid
09-27-2005, 01:46 PM
We also put a second layer on with aluminium cans in spots separating the layers.

Garth,

Do you find 12 oz or 16 oz cans work best. Mine are all empty does that make a difference... :cool2:

Ric
09-27-2005, 01:47 PM
I've used black with better results. Absorbs more sunlight and heat. We also put a second layer on with aluminium cans in spots separating the layers. It allows more heat to remain in the soil longer by creating a buffer zone that traps the heat between the sheets. The military base we take care of buys the rolls of black pond liner and that stuff is the nuclear bomb of solarization. Must be nice to afford anything you want.


Garth

I second your Black Plastic theory. I also learned something about Cans and second layers. As far as the pond liners goes I can also believe it would work better because on the thickness. I believe it would also lay to the ground better.

Yep I believe Black is a "Bester":D material to use.

PS not to say Clear wouldn't have some value also.

Ric
09-27-2005, 01:57 PM
SheShovel

On second thoughts I am thinking a top layer of clear and a ground layer of Black may be the best way to capture the heat. I have done very little solarizing so I am not speaking from experience so much as from Text books in this case. However I alway have used Black in my own vegetable gardens as a weed barrier.

Garth
09-27-2005, 02:32 PM
12 oz beer cans on end filled with water. Absorbs the heat and carries it into the dark. You know, the top layer being clear may work better. I've always used two layers of black with excellent results in a short time but the clear on top is something I think I'll try next year.

mikesturf
09-29-2005, 12:09 AM
I went to Las Vegas, lots of people don't even have lawns, just gravel.

GreenUtah
09-29-2005, 11:38 AM
??? a little off subject there Mike, but hey...if you had tried rolling out to Green Valley or Henderson(the burbs), you would see plenty of turf. Rockscapes and xeriscapes are finding a foothold though in many parts of the West, not just Vegas, and can look nice if done properly. The problem really becomes one of urban heat islanding though when there is no counterbalance to the roofs and roads soaking heat all day, but that's fodder for another thread on another day!