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Shpigford 09-22-2010 09:43 PM

Yard completely overgrown with weeds, how can I remove that and get grass growing?
We just purchased a foreclosure here in Birmingham, AL that has a decent sized backyard...unfortunately it's almost completely covered in weeds or just has huge spots with no growth (just dirt).

So, I'm trying to figure out the best way to get rid of the weeds and grow a healthy lawn in its place.

Attached below are some pictures of my "situation." :)

My goal here is to have as much usable lawn space as possible, but I understand I may need to get creative with some flower beds at the base of some of the trees (suggestions welcomed there as well).

So, any suggestions on what I should do to start addressing this?

oh'mike 09-23-2010 06:32 AM

I'm not the best one to answer this--However---I know that weed--nasty to get rid of---

I think that you will end up having to kill every thing with Clean up or Round up---then till the entire yard and plant your new lawn and garden----Mike----

downunder 09-23-2010 12:43 PM


I know that weed--nasty to get rid of---
How so?

You do realize that growing grass in that much shade is going to be a challenge? That said, glyphosate would be the safest product to use around those trees. Check with your local seed supplier- Southern States, Tractor Supply, etc and see what is available locally. What kind of lawn do you want: something for kids, dogs; just for landscaping? I'm thinking you'll want something in the shade tolerant turf type tall fescues.

Do the strawberries have yellow or white blooms?

Shpigford 09-23-2010 12:54 PM


Originally Posted by downunder (Post 506073)
What kind of lawn do you want: something for kids, dogs; just for landscaping?

Something for the kiddos to run around in, if possible.

downunder 09-23-2010 01:13 PM

I like the turf type fescues because they are a finer blade and very soft to walk on barefoot, which in my opinion is the ultimate test of a home lawn. The Rebel varieties have been reincarnated several times. I would go with a Rebel shade mix. Probablyl will run around $2-2.50 lb.

Shpigford 09-23-2010 05:37 PM

Will using Round Up (or something similar) long does it stick around?

For instance, if I douse the whole yard in the stuff to kill all the weeds and the till the entire yard and lay sod/seed plus plant I have to worry about the Round Up kill that too?

downunder 09-23-2010 06:54 PM


do I have to worry about the Round Up kill that too?
No. Roundup (glyphosate) is deactivated in the soil very readily. It will burn anything you get it directly on, but will not be absorbed by the roots of nearby desirable plants nor stay in the soil. With some herbicides, you have to be careful not to use them in the root zone of nearby plants but not with glyphosate.

Mr Chips 09-24-2010 09:34 AM

You may considering doing a little research on any chemical product before you decide to go with one. There is always some debate on safety, and it never hurts to look into something you will pour into the soil.

Sometimes it pays to get the rake out and go old school....

Here's an article that is pretty rational, contains sound safety advice and isn't full of doom and gloom retoric

downunder 09-24-2010 11:53 AM


Here's an article that is pretty rational, contains sound safety advice and isn't full of doom and gloom retoric
Actually, it is just a bunch of rhetoric without much practical information at all, IMO. The author has no stated credentials, just that she is the editor of a special interest publication. That said, the article confirms that there is a place for herbicides and that glyphosate is relatively safe compared to, "Many things that we use every day are dangerous, or even life-threatening in some circumstances: fire, boiling water, concentrated salt solutions."


It is possible to use glyphosate “safely.”
Yes. With what we know of the mode of action of glyphosate and its behavior in the environment this chemical may be of use to us with certain methods of application to individual plants:


Most of our antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline etc.,) exploit the differences among the “illness-producing” and the beneficial biota. For instance, tetracycline interrupts the action of transfer RNA of the target disease organism and not of the rest of the cell wherein it resides. Through this action the illness-producing organism is stopped. A similar strategy may be necessary for the control of unwanted, disruptive plants – exploit the special characteristic of the organism we wish to eliminate. Whether it be garlic mustard or any other of a panoply of exotic invasives that have arrived on our shores.
So yes, I did waste my time reading the article, and I don't really think this is what the OP was asking.

And just to state the given, glyphosate is not poured into the soil. To do so would be a gross misuse of the product.

Mr Chips 09-24-2010 12:09 PM

I knew i could count on an arguement from you!!

There is no shortage of articles on the web and in publications that discuss the potential dangers of most chemical products, Round-up is no exception. This article offers several safe handling techniques, so is very relevant if the OP decides to go that route ( his response indicated that he wasn't too familiar with the product). I could list countless articles on the topic, but most of us know how to use search engines, even if we can't always comprehend all the science in most of them.

I am simply saying that herbicides in general are potentially hazardous, and that often the facts don't present themselves for generations. The OP was asking how to get rid of the weeds, and I am simply offering an alternative, which is to manually remove them. This method is tried and true, and poses no threat to anyone, except possibly the risk of heart attack by tackling an area that large by hand. Chemicals are ALWAYS marketed as being effective and perfectly safe, but for some reason cancer rates continue to rise. It's never a waste of time to consider other points of view....

Shpigford 09-24-2010 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by downunder (Post 506073)
Do the strawberries have yellow or white blooms?

Just noticed this. They have yellow blooms. Does that change anything?

Mr Chips 09-24-2010 12:41 PM

Strawberries have differnet colored flowers, depending on variety, but most have 6 petals

EDIT: Looks kinda like yours

oh'mike 09-24-2010 04:41 PM

I believe that the plant you pictured is not a strawberry-----I think that is a ground cover known as a "false strawberry"

I have been battling that weed for years----I think I right---Kill it all---Mike---

Google Image Result for

Jim F 09-24-2010 07:48 PM

I can't tell the difference. I wonder what kind of fruit it will produce. If they do turn out to be wild strawberries that would not be a bad ground cover. My house has them growing on the shady side and they help with moisture control. The berries taste good when the ants don't get them first.:laughing:

downunder 09-25-2010 07:34 PM

So we should not take nsaids for a headache, arthritis, back ache; cancer treatments, cholesterol medications, operate machinery, use electricity, fertilizers, or use indoor plumbing which pollutes our waterways, etc?

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