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Old 09-04-2012, 06:11 AM   #1
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How to kill everything growing


Hello everyone,

I've done a little landscaping this year, lowering my front lawn as it was about a foot higher than my driveway. In doing so I cut all the grass out and lowered the soil down. I'd like to leave it for the year and sod next year, however I have a lot of weeds growing through it. Is there anything I can use on the soil to prevent weeds from growing short of using weed cloth over the entire area?

Ideally I'm looking for a product that would kill all growth including weeds, plants and grass, so that I can make this area completely bare.

Thanks!

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Old 09-04-2012, 06:30 AM   #2
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i believe that is the intended result of using round up.

works on *most* all plants.

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Old 09-04-2012, 07:22 AM   #3
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i believe that is the intended result of using round up.

works on *most* all plants.
Will give a try. Clearly this shows my lack of knowledge on this topic haha
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:12 PM   #4
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Will give a try. Clearly this shows my lack of knowledge on this topic haha
Read the label for application temps and whether it is a long term or short term killer. Some are systemics that go into the root system and some are topical (kill on contact - depending on weather).

Read a lot of labels at the local nursery (not HD or Lowes). You might find other concentrates that work better and may be less expensive. And usually if you buy in concentrate form, you get more for your money. Pre-mix = $$.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Round up is a non-selective systemic herbicide but as mentioned there may be others you can buy (I don't know what consumers can get anymore and I was licensed for everything when in the business) that are cheaper. As suggested read the labels carefully to make sure you can plant new turf when you want to.

In Northern California when designing landscape and working as a turfgrass manager and consultant we used to have things we could apply to completely and temporarily sterilize the soil of weeds, weed seeds, fungus spores, insect eggs, nematodes etc. Don't trust my memory completely and it has been decades but two I think I remember are Vapam and a large concentration Calcium Cyanimide (a popular ag fertilizer). I think it was Vapam that required a permit but it could be the other is it emmits cyanide gas in the soil. One of them required that the treated area be covered with a tarp and watch so kids did not play on it.

http://www.amvac-chemical.com/produc...c21%20copy.pdf

Both did there thing within a month with very little residual environmental impact which was nice. The calcium cyanimide left calcium in the soil and some nutrients. Once you tilled the soil and made Ph and other biochemical adjustments, added organic amendments and folded in nutrients you had a seed bed that turf seed or sod really liked. Stop by a park or golf course shed. The turf guys will have fresher memories. A real, not box store nursery should know too.

By the way. I am not sure how much area you have but look into hydroseeding your new prepared soil. It costs a fraction of sod and establishes much faster and stronger with less water. You can conform easily to shapes and grade changes and sloes. With hydroseeding seed, fertilizers and a material that forms a crust is mixed into a thick slurry and sprayed on the prepped soil surface all at once. If you have a small area, see if you can tag on to a larger job. You should have plenty of time to line something up for spring.

First photo shows what it looks like being sprayed on. The second one shows what it looks like sprayed and in place. Personally I think the dye is a bit corny and it was not used in the old days but I guess people like it. It does provide a good indicator of coverage I guess. You will not see it for long.



DON'T SKIP NICE SOIL PREP! Whether seed, hydroseed or sod.

Last edited by user1007; 09-04-2012 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Added Photos
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Agent Orange worked pretty good. Sorry I'm from the 60's.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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Agent Orange worked pretty good. Sorry I'm from the 60's.
Actually it was a great herbicide and as you know, when mixed with napalm and ignited it was spectacular to watch as it stuck to and torched human and animal flesh and jungle vegetation. I am late 60's and 70's and drew a draft number of like two! I was offered an opportunity to vacation in Cambodia drawing maps with a non-military branch of US intelligence when we were never there and took it instead. I still cry at what happened when we did not get involved. Selfishly, I was never at risk of Agent Orange exposure though until I was back home in N California.

Anyhow, Dow Chemical had tons of Agent Orange leftover and thoughtful corporate citizen it still is decided to spray it is a forest herbicide in Northern California and Oregon. No flammable components mixed in.

I remember documentaries that were like science fiction. Birth defects that normally appeared 1 in a few million were showing up, overnight, like 1 in 10. No big deal they were just offspring of ag people and not rich Orange County Republicans. Orchard trees really did look like something from a bad b movie. And of course lawsuits from soldiers started. Reagan was California's governor at the time though and the guy was not exactly into any degree of environmental protection first as governor and later as president. Dow continued to spray its stuff leading to a very strong emergence of the first real environmental protection agency with teeth under the first Gov Brown administration.

I remember because I was producing high end print graphics at the time. Dow came out with a touchy feely annual report to show its concern for people. No Vietnamese agent orange mutated young ones were in it and certainly no hispanics. Irony was it was a fave print job of about seven colors to make the richest toned black and whitish looking photos I have ever seen. It accomplished its pr goal of suggesting frugality while committing enormous funds to the environment. BFShip. Dow settled billions of dollars worth of suits but to this day uses the word, "coincidence" which is quite funny. Global warming opponents use it with similar conviction and full knowledge of actual fact.

I am sure there are leaking barrels of the horrid stuff stored out West somewhere. If you know the right people and have night goggles you can probably get your hands on enough to clear lawn weeds.

Last edited by user1007; 09-04-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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[quote=sdsester;1003408]Actually it was a great herbicide and as you know, when mixed with napalm and ignited it was spectacular to watch

Remember this was done by professionals, do not try this at home. I would try your local garden center. Leftover Agent Orange was probably used to make the paint for H. D. signs
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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Two thoughts come to mind, but I am an expert at nothing, so maybe sdsester or someone else with more knowledge than I can say ya or nay. Anyway...

1. Personally, I think that now, or at least very soon, would be an ideal time to proceed with seeding, whether traditional or hyrdroseeding, and although I have minimal experience with it, I assume that the same could be said for sod. I understand budgeting, cash flow, etc., but you are going to add a relatively significant cost to your project be adding the expense of effective weed control.

2. If I were going to wait until spring, rather than killing the weeds with chemicals, I believe that I would till the soil, essentially burying the weeds, and forcing them to have to try to start all over again, then level it out where you want it, and cover it with straw, which should significantly slow the development of weeds, minimize erosion, and enhance the soil as it decays over the winter.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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Two thoughts come to mind, but I am an expert at nothing, so maybe sdsester or someone else with more knowledge than I can say ya or nay. Anyway...

1. Personally, I think that now, or at least very soon, would be an ideal time to proceed with seeding, whether traditional or hyrdroseeding, and although I have minimal experience with it, I assume that the same could be said for sod. I understand budgeting, cash flow, etc., but you are going to add a relatively significant cost to your project be adding the expense of effective weed control.

2. If I were going to wait until spring, rather than killing the weeds with chemicals, I believe that I would till the soil, essentially burying the weeds, and forcing them to have to try to start all over again, then level it out where you want it, and cover it with straw, which should significantly slow the development of weeds, minimize erosion, and enhance the soil as it decays over the winter.
Sensible.

Fall is an excellent time to plant turfgrass of most any type. Air temps are not stressing young plants with heat and forcing their resources into replacing moisture to the above surface blades. Most turfgrasses naturally cycle to root development so you may not have to worry about mowing for the rest of the season. Even as air temps drop dramatically soon, soil temps will stay fairly warm but in deep freeze winter zones.

Believe it or not, frost is more dangerous to young grass plants than a layer of early snow. You can rinse soft frosts off with the sprinklers in the morning as the air temps rise above freezing but hard frosts are another matter.

So, as I have offered before, given that we are in September, you really have to make weather decisions and respect the germination times of seeds under ideal conditions. They will still sprout as it gets cooler but not freezing but as a guide perennial rye hybrids take 7-10 days to germinate and bluegrasses and fescues take 14-21 days or longer. If you are in a region that experiences hard frosts by the end of this month you should wait until spring.

As for tilling the soil for a new planting? You certainly will not hurt anything turning it over now even if you do not plant. The problem is it will heave and settle just sitting there and you will have to turn it again in the Spring before planting. It will be easier though.

Whatever you do, bite the bullet and rent a nice heavy rototiller or find a tilling and tractor service. The lightweight ones will tear you apart and just bounce around on the soil.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:13 PM   #12
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This is all great information. I really appreciate it.

I'm located in Northern Ontario and there's no telling what the weather will do in the next few weeks. That's the main reason I'm not putting grass in now. I may till the yard though as that seems like a good idea.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:15 AM   #13
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AI am sure there are leaking barrels of the horrid stuff stored out West somewhere. If you know the right people and have night goggles you can probably get your hands on enough to clear lawn weeds.
When a friend of mine inherited a farm he found a couple of cans of something labelled herbicide, some numbers and US Army printed on it. He called a friend over at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and rattled off the numbers. They said 'get away from it and we'll have someone over there later than afternoon.' Two guys showed up with e-suits to remove it, along with a 8' circle of dirt two feet deep from the dirt barn floor around the shelving (and the shelves too). Never did offer an explanation of what it was, nor a bill for removing it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #14
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When a friend of mine inherited a farm he found a couple of cans of something labelled herbicide, some numbers and US Army printed on it. He called a friend over at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and rattled off the numbers. They said 'get away from it and we'll have someone over there later than afternoon.' Two guys showed up with e-suits to remove it, along with a 8' circle of dirt two feet deep from the dirt barn floor around the shelving (and the shelves too). Never did offer an explanation of what it was, nor a bill for removing it.

I used to work for university that did lots of toxicology research and much of it for the military. Some of the experiments required but a pint or quart or so of material but the military would generously send 55 gallon drums and tell the research facility put a stop to it. They often expected the institute to get rid of the excess and it cost a fortune (often much more than was derived in revenue from the research) to use a service that would not disclose its very existence and who would plunk the horrid stuff somewhere. I often wonder how much of such stuff is out there---somewhere.

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