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Cleaning up old landscaping without Poisons

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by JenT on September 13, 2006 10:40 AM
Sorry for the crosspost, but I hope to find a response!

Hi everyone,

I am trying to relandscape a way overlandscaped yard. (Obviously, I am a new gardener). I do not want to take everyone's advice to use and herbicide kill everything in the beds, but I learned a nasty lesson about how seeds spread when I "cleaned up" this spring.

Any suggestions? My garden is very cluttered, prolific, and hardy. I heard that I can use the plants' dormancy periods to my advantage. If true, how do I find out when they are?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks for any tips!

Jen T.
by weezie13 on September 13, 2006 09:42 PM
Do you have any pictures of what you want to get rid of?
And that may help us answer a bit better..

And do you want to pull out everything?
Save anything?
Start all fresh?

How much or big of an area is there???

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by JenT on September 14, 2006 08:23 AM
Thanks, Weezie. There are 2 large beds (well, large to me), about 6x6 on the perimeter and one in the center.

They boast much flora including: coneflower (persistentbuggers), some sort of purple ornamental grass (extra invasive), moss rose, lots of fun vines, iris, a host of volunteers, and much weeds. In short, it's flowers and weeds- not bushes or trees. I want to chuck it all- although I probably won't dig up the iris.

Thanks for your patience!
by aighead on October 17, 2006 02:22 PM
I'm about to run into a similar problem in an area between my driveway and an alley. I'm not terribly opposed to poisoning everything, but I'd probably rather not. My spot is also probably a half inch deep in small rocks, which will likely add to the trouble.

What about covering it with a tarp or drop cloth? I don't know how well that'd work, but if it's sealed relatively well, unable to trasmit any light, and you don't move it for a season or two, I'd think that would do it. I know that works if you put a little kiddy swimming pool in the yard, or a car. [Smile]
by joclyn on October 18, 2006 02:24 AM
if i lived closer, i'd come over and take that purple grass [grin] (i just love anything that's purple)

pull the iris up and replant somewhere else for the time being.

then use a weed-whacker to cut everything down to ground level - make sure to rake up everything and dispose of it...don't want any stray seeds being re-tilled.

then put a tarp down, or a thick layer of least 6 sheets thick - more like 10 thick would probably be better. use a good mulch to hold the paper in place.

after about 6 months everything in the bed should be dead. pull the mulch/paper aside and then pull up all the roots that are left and then till the mulch/newspaper back into the base soil and then plant whatever you'd like there.

the quicker thing to do (and much more hard work) is to dig up everything. if you do that, make sure you get the roots for everything and any bulbs that are there. then replant with whatever you want there.

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