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edta1 06-07-2011 01:59 PM

We are trying to completely redo our yard. At the moment it's got weeds and plants in certain places in the yard. All this foliage seems to be attracking bugs, mosquitos, and other pests. What's the quickest way to remove all vegetation from these areas? We are trying to avoid using chemicals, BTW.

user1007 06-07-2011 10:40 PM

I admire you for not wanting to use chemicals but you know, some of the time they work out to be the best choice if applied carefully.

I had an applicators license for most environmentally challenging things years ago and two products I used for complete restarts were:

1. Vapam
2. Calcium Cyanimide

Vapam gets sprayed on and then everything gets covered with tarps and people are paid to watch it all for a couple of days. Lift the tarps off and nice, clean, soil to start over with.

Calcium Cyanimide was applied as a granulated powder as I remember. When it hit the soil, it created cyanide and killed everything within the soil. Weeds, bugs, fungus, etc. The cyanide evaporated leaving calcium behind in a week or so as I remember. You had to keep people, pets, kids and so forth of the application but you did not have to tarp it.

California was aggressive about EPA type controls early on so it was a challenge to use these sorts of things. For all I know, you may not be able to anymore.

Harsh as they sound? It sure beats running around with gallons of roundup with residuals that never convert or leave the environment?

bob22 06-08-2011 07:34 AM

"All this foliage seems to be attracking bugs, mosquitos, and other pests."
I'm curious about what your expectations are for an outdoor lawn? No insects?

Piedmont 06-10-2011 01:42 PM

A rototiller.

Rototill the area, then cover it with black plastic for a couple weeks adn remove the plastic. You should have fresh clean area for planting with most of the weeds killed.

The reason for the plastic & time, is dirt contains weed seed that can sprout even being dormant for 100 years all it needs is to be brought up to the surface and get sunlight so when you rototill you're bringing up weed seed. By covering it with plastic, it will sprout, smother/burn the weeds, leaving minimal weeds at the surface anymore. Also it gives the plant material that was rototilled in time to decay. Decaying material(s) suck nutrients out of the soil temporarily, so planting immediately after rototilling will make your new plants struggle for nutrients against the decaying matter. However, once those plants decay after a couple weeks they release the nutrients back into the soil which, if that's when you plant will help your new plants so you'll have no chemicals used, minimal weeds, and the rototilled in plants will help be the fertilizer for the new plants.

rollinastang 06-11-2011 09:34 AM

my grandmother swears by going outside every morning and pulling any new weeds and get the root....she has a beautiful lawn and has had one for as long as i remember...she used no chemicals just good old fashion hard work...she doesent even have dandolions if one does pop up she pulls for the mosquitos and bugs...good luck with that dont think weeds are gonna stop them.

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