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Old 05-21-2017, 10:05 PM
 
184 posts, read 120,010 times
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Here is my story: I have a couple acres of grass land and I don't really feel like maintaining grass anymore. I want to create more of a biodiversity in my land in terms of plant life. Someone suggested that I could get a weed killer, spray it all over my yard and it will effectively kill the grass but I also heard that this method has a lot of unwanted effects since some strong chemicals are involved in the process.

I heard of the vinegar solution and even tried it in a small patch of grass to kill it. It worked great; however, someone told me that if I use vinegar to kill all my grass, it might also make it impossible to grow anything on my land afterwards since the effects of vinegar stay on for a long time (is this even true? I wasn't able to confirm this).

I also heard that you can cover grass with 3-4 inches of soil and prevent it from getting any sunlight, which would effectively kill it. Would this have any unwanted effects on my future plants?

What method you'd suggest for my goals? Basically goal is to get rid of all grass, plant trees, vegetables and flowers instead so the method needs to kill all grass but can't make the land infertile permanently.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:37 PM
 
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Is what you have ornamental turf grass or wild native grass? Check with the city/ county zoning rules about eliminating grass. Some have rules against it. Grass is not always bad as it makes a great framing of landscape beds and pathways. Try eliminating some sections, a little at a time.

Vinegar does not last in soil and washes away quickly. Round up or one of its clones does not last very long either, but certainly longer than vinegar. Some plants roots are sensitive to round up, but most are not. It is mostly taken up by green tissue (leaves and stems) but some trees have green bark so be careful.

Piling soil on grass does not work here, I don't know about there.

You can cover grass with news paper and then mulch thickly, that gets rid of grass.

You can contact local tree pruners and get truckloads of their chippings.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:43 PM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,189 posts, read 1,906,934 times
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Eola Hills, here.
A pint of glyphosate EC in water is enough and will easily kill all your grass, with the right amount of adjuvant and sprayer apparatus. At this time of year, you would need to have the grass fairly high 3 inches, and green.

In October when the grass regreens and approaches dormancy, 8 oz of glyphosate may be enough. I get my farmer friend do it. We have 10 acres in field grass and wild blackberries. I am working on the gophers and blackberries.

Get a goat or sheep. Which I am thinking of doing.

Our wet weather promotes acidic soils. Vinegar promotes leaching of the elements which will eventually sterilize the soil.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,690 posts, read 18,880,003 times
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Around here folks cover the grasses they don't want with a tarp, old sheets of tin roofing or just about anything else until the grass dies off.

If you don't want to maintain the grass can you fence and add a sheep or three? Although, then you'll be maintaining sheep.

Will flowers, trees and vegetables be less maintenance than grass? Although in some areas some folks try to maintain 'perfect' lawns like a golf course or something. A wild meadow type of landscaping may be less maintenance?
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:12 AM
 
Location: NC
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OP, grass is extremely easy to maintain compared to what you are contemplating. Just get a riding mower and mow down anything in its way. Set the height to 3 inches, mow only when it is growing, about once a week. See all those farm houses you drive by in the country? Do you think they baby their lawns? No, they just keep them neatly mowed. If you want a little better than that, hire a landscaper to do weed control with a safe herbicide 2 or 3 times a year.

On the areas where you want to go from lawn to other plants, Round-up is a safe herbicide, despite what the haters say. Dilute as required and spray onto the grass on a windless day. Wait 1-2 weeks for full effect and if any grass is still alive, repeat. Remove all the dead lawn and plant whatever you like. Be aware that tilling/digging in the soil will bring up fresh weed and grass seed so now the real battle begins. A better idea for shrubs areas is to leave the dead grass where it lay and only dig holes big enough for the new shrubs or trees. The dead grass will act as a mulch until it disintegrates.

Last edited by luv4horses; 05-22-2017 at 05:20 AM..
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:10 AM
 
4,984 posts, read 5,066,970 times
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All you need is to do nothing for your goal, nature will take over your grass fairly fast. With so many invasives out there successions from grass may not always be aestetically appealing or particularly wild life friendly. So it makes sense to help nature little bit to establish species that were meant for your area, natives and introduced species. The easiest way is to buy perenial seeds like clovers, alfalfa, flowers and just spread them in the late fall on the tall grass followed by mowing that grass. Freeze-melt cycles will work those seeds in the soil. Plants which were meant for your area need nothing else, they will establish themselves in the grass. Yet mowing twice a year (early spring and late fall) helps to keep meadows attractive and brush free.

As for small garden/flower spots, there is nothing easier than covering the area with black plastic sheeting/tarp. Big box home improvement sell 6 mil thick black plastic sheeting https://m.lowes.com/pd/20-ft-x-100-f...eting/50414226. Jeez they say there is no inflation but 5 years ago I bought it for $50 a roll, it is $98/roll now for 20x100ft square. It will last for about 2 years. With prices like that it makes sense to repurpose any non transparent material as sheeting, which means more work and less aesthetic appeal. But weighing down cardboard (still can get for free) with anything (tree branches etc.) is just as effective. Used flatbed vinyl tarps are more durable and easy to handle, but generally it is more expensive. If good appearance is a must, you can use concrete sand to way down film or cardboard. Using soil on top of paper invite weeds, a thin layer of coarse sand is much more inhospital environment for weeds as well as good soil ammendment. Around here a 15 tonnes truckload of coarse sand can be purchased for $250, 30 miles delivery included. It makes sense to cover your future garden spot with as much of organic matter as you can find (grass, leaves, small brances, kitchen scraps etc.) and sprinkle all of that with mineral ammendments (lime/gypsum) and then cover it all with film and weighing down material. Leave it be for 3-6 months, and you'll get a spot ready for planting (flowers and non root vegetables, things like carrots would need tilling).

Last edited by RememberMee; 05-22-2017 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:26 AM
 
4,984 posts, read 5,066,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
OP, grass is extremely easy to maintain compared to what you are contemplating. Just get a riding mower and mow down anything in its way. Set the height to 3 inches, mow only when it is growing, about once a week. See all those farm houses you drive by in the country? Do you think they baby their lawns? No, they just keep them neatly mowed. If you want a little better than that, hire a landscaper to do weed control with a safe herbicide 2 or 3 times a year.

On the areas where you want to go from lawn to other plants, Round-up is a safe herbicide, despite what the haters say. Dilute as required and spray onto the grass on a windless day. Wait 1-2 weeks for full effect and if any grass is still alive, repeat. Remove all the dead lawn and plant whatever you like. Be aware that tilling/digging in the soil will bring up fresh weed and grass seed so now the real battle begins. A better idea for shrubs areas is to leave the dead grass where it lay and only dig holes big enough for the new shrubs or trees. The dead grass will act as a mulch until it disintegrates.
farmers poison crap out of everything outside of their fields for no particular practical purpose other than emulating upper class as seen on TV landscaping and following local legalities. It would save them a ton of time to just leave those grass strips alone. Established perennial patches do not breed weeds that could threaten farmers fields. Some people, albeit a tiny minority, find sterile lifeless lanscapes like that less than appealing, it looks like death and dystopia in combo with sterile poisoned fields and CAFOs popping up like mushrooms here and there. TS wants something else. Sure there is labor, social pressure and idiotic legalities in the way, but no way no how mowing twice a year is more work than mowing and poisoning every week or two.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:21 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,709 posts, read 28,757,635 times
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Cover the grass with black plastic. That will kill it.

If you are tired of maintaining a lawn, you might want to think very carefully about maintaining flowers, vegetables, and trees. You can't just put them in the ground and walk away.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:24 AM
 
Location: NC
6,569 posts, read 7,991,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
farmers poison crap out of everything outside of their fields for no particular practical purpose other than emulating upper class as seen on TV landscaping and following local legalities. It would save them a ton of time to just leave those grass strips alone. Established perennial patches do not breed weeds that could threaten farmers fields. Some people, albeit a tiny minority, find sterile lifeless lanscapes like that less than appealing, it looks like death and dystopia in combo with sterile poisoned fields and CAFOs popping up like mushrooms here and there. TS wants something else. Sure there is labor, social pressure and idiotic legalities in the way, but no way no how mowing twice a year is more work than mowing and poisoning every week or two.
What are your credentials and where is the research that supports these claims? An opinion is only important when it is based on fact. Having worked with farmers as part of my past, your conclusions do not support what I have seen in any way.
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:37 PM
 
4,984 posts, read 5,066,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
What are your credentials and where is the research that supports these claims? An opinion is only important when it is based on fact. Having worked with farmers as part of my past, your conclusions do not support what I have seen in any way.
I am the most traveled person in this thread in all likelyhood, I have hard to count number of data points behind my assertions and all it takes for you to leave your bunker to see sterilized rural landscapes. Please dont grab at the mean and standard deviation crutch, just open your eyes. Btw you are big time wrong about farmers not paying much attentions to their lawns. In my data stream, ostensibly prosperous (I.e. new buildings and machines) farms run by individuals have, as a rule, meticulously maintained, poisoned and fertilized lawns, it feels like nearly perfect sterility, I doubt money could buy landcaping services like that, it takes cultural indoctrination running really deep and long in the families.
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