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Grass n' weeds

 
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TimNeo



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 629
Location: Ashingdon, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 10:05 am    Post subject: Grass n' weeds Reply with quote    

got a grassy/weedy area approximately 15ft by 50ft I'm looking to kill off with minimum effort - I'm thinking a generic brand of glyphosate?

Then for the overkill factor I'm covering with heavy duty, 3m wide 100gsm geotextile weed supressant membrane.

Wooden boxes over the top filled with compost, walkways covered in either bark/stone chippings/gravel etc

The rest of the garden is grassed and the orchard area is going to be a wildflower area, so I don't expect to be weed free in my allotmenty area I'm building, I just don't want to deal with couch grass all over the place all the time.

Thoughts/feelings before I start tomorrow?

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7505
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glyphosate is more effective when weeds are growing actively. So I'd be tempted to use glyphosate now but be willing to repeat the process next spring, although hopefully you'd be able to just spot weed then

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7505
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

PS not sure I'd bother with the membrane if you're going to use glyphosate (unless of course you just happen to have it lying around anyway)

TimNeo



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 629
Location: Ashingdon, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

bought and delivered I'm afraid! I tried doing without the membrane using cardboard and chicken poop. Within the first year, couch grass had hammered through and subsequently grown throughout.

Ground gets very sodden during the winter btw, hence 'going up' rather than digging in.

growit



Joined: 18 Sep 2011
Posts: 31
Location: Hampshire
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You could try using synthetic carpet if you ever need to suppress weeds again, works a treat. Bit anti glyphosate as it kills worms.

TimNeo



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 629
Location: Ashingdon, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm a little concerned about using chemicals - I'm not a fan of them at all and have always done things organically. As I'm not using the soil at all, it does seem a little pointless to worry though.

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7505
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Isn't glyphosate acceptable in organic production? (which doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own problems but I've no idea what they might be)

TimNeo



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 629
Location: Ashingdon, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm fairly sure it's not organic, once used you can't take it back and I've heard rumours it stays in the soil for years, but to be honest if you're not growing in it it's not so much to worry about. Worms etc won't make it into my beds because the base will not be touching soil, but plastic.

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7505
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

TimNeo wrote:
I'm fairly sure it's not organic, once used you can't take it back and I've heard rumours it stays in the soil for years, but to be honest if you're not growing in it it's not so much to worry about. Worms etc won't make it into my beds because the base will not be touching soil, but plastic.


Fairly sure that "it stays in the soil for years" is wrong. Glyphosate is supposed to only be active in roots and breaks down on contact with soil. Not sure what it would break down into but it wouldn't still be glyphosate.

TimNeo



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 629
Location: Ashingdon, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

hence the rumours... and I'm sure you're right!

I've just had a call from the guy delivering the wood so it looks likely it'll all be happening tomorrow.

Just need to go pick up the coach screws from screwfix!

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 6396
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 11 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

growit wrote:
You could try using synthetic carpet if you ever need to suppress weeds again, works a treat. Bit anti glyphosate as it kills worms.

Ditto.
JB wrote:
Isn't glyphosate acceptable in organic production? (which doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own problems but I've no idea what they might be)

Definitely not recognised by any of the organic certification boards I've looked at.
Damaging to soil fauna & micro organisms & residually long lasting.
Most of the positive stuff you read has come directly or indirectly from monsanto.
There is even evidence that it's carcinogenic as well.

TimNeo



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 629
Location: Ashingdon, UK
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 11 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've pretty much sorted out the beds - you can see the timelapse video and pictures from the last three days (lots of posts!) on my blog link below!

Marches



Joined: 13 Dec 2011
Posts: 171
Location: Nr Peak District, England
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 11 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Step 1: Cut the grass

Step 2: Get a spade and dig it all up - never mind "minimal effort".


Step 3: Rake it flat

Step 4: Buy a few boxes or a bag of grass seed, broadcast the seen and very lightly rake a bit of soil over so the birds don't see it.
Also scatter some wildflower seed if you want wildflowers in it.

Step 5: Roll if you have a roller.

Step 6: Wait for a nice new lawn to appear in around 2 to 3 weeks. Weed by hand and scatter more grass seed over any gaps.

Step 7: Once grass is lush, thick and established, mow it and there you have a new lawn.


This is how I started a lawn from scratch after overgrazing by chickens had torn it up, wind and rain had leached away the minerals and nutrients and led to soil erosion. It was generally a mess, now it is perfect and has a few areas of white clover which self-seeded which are pumping in nitrogen (along with the rabbit muck I occasionally put on it).


Alternatively you could just get a groundsheet - a black or dark coloured material of some sort, cover the grass for a few weeks and wait for it to die - cut the grass first, then cover, then turf over the dead stuff.
I wouldn't do any of this above in winter though.

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