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Old 05-22-2019, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
5,236 posts, read 2,924,329 times
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You do NOT want to just bulldoze and leave it dirt. This is Washington... things grow. Buy a mower or hire someone to mow/brush hog it once or twice a summer. Spot spray the particular invasives like scotch broom that you want to kill with more prejudice. The sticks and stalks will break down over time. Don't worry about them unless and until you are putting in a putting green and need perfection.
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Washington state
5,340 posts, read 2,701,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
Let the weeds grow. The purpose of weeds in nature is to keep thin top soil down. Sound like your soil is a problem, so let nature solve with weeds. If you remove the weeds on a half acre, then there is nothing to soak up rain, you could produce water problems on the land.



Are you starting a garden by where you will build? Heavy construction machines compact soil. "A compacted soil has a reduced rate of both water infiltration and drainage. This happens because large pores more effectively move water downward through the soil than smaller pores. In addition, the exchange of gases slows down in compacted soils, causing an increase in the likelihood of aeration-related problems."

If you are planning a garden, it has to be away from your building site. I would leave the rest of the land alone.
Ah, we're not talking about just weeds. We're talking weeds that got to be 6 ft high and couldn't even be walked through. The guy mowing it had to do two passes just to get through it and it cost me $800 to get it mowed. Not doing that again. And I had more than one quote for that mowing - $800 was the cheapest quote.

I won't be building on the site at all. At most, I'll have a cement pad put down and eventually put an old mobile home on the lot to live in. That's all I'll ever be able to afford.

The garden for now will be on what will eventually become the drain field after the septic is in. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep the drain field as a garden once a septic tank is put in.

And there really won't be any water problems. The entire lot is gently sloped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
What do you have against spraying?
Nothing, actually, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spray around what will eventually be the garden area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCyou View Post
drag your lawn mower out there and mow it. get some exercise. burn the stalks (burn barrel if necessary).
only 'cheap' way to maintain acreage is Hard Work.
buy a used riding-mower if you are lazy (be sure to get a twin-cylinder, whatever brand you get).
The only weed coming up right now are blackberry vines that are only growing horizontally along the ground, so a mower isn't going to do anything about that. If the Scotch broom comes up and I don't catch it in its baby stage, no regular mower on earth is going to be able to down that. Those would need commercial grade mowers and some gasoline at the base. Also, as I said, there are 3" thick Scotch broom trunks laying along the ground with their roots still in the ground (hopefully they're dead). I can only imagine what would happen to the mower if it went over one of those.

But when I move out to the lot and have a shed to keep things in, I was planning on getting a mower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
You do NOT want to just bulldoze and leave it dirt. This is Washington... things grow. Buy a mower or hire someone to mow/brush hog it once or twice a summer. Spot spray the particular invasives like scotch broom that you want to kill with more prejudice. The sticks and stalks will break down over time. Don't worry about them unless and until you are putting in a putting green and need perfection.
Well, as JONOV said, I would bulldoze and then throw out some seed. I was thinking along the lines of orchard grass, clover, and wildflowers.

But I'm still toying with the idea of bringing out a ton of hay and just spreading it over the entire half acre. Next year, when it composes down, I thought I might then bring out some dirt to spread over the decomposed hay and plant grass seed over that.

The soil I have right now is so thin that the one person who came out to look at the lot said he was afraid if he bulldozed, he'd be pushing all the soil off and just leaving rock. I could actually live with that and then just bring in soil for the places I want to plant things. But that's one of the reasons I wanted to start with hay or straw, to improve what's there.

If I could do that, then all I'd want a bulldozer to do would be to level off a few areas.
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Somewhere, out there in Zone7B
4,847 posts, read 6,273,485 times
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Heavy black plastic to polarize the weeds???
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Washington state
5,340 posts, read 2,701,576 times
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I thought about that, too. Thing is, I could get the hay for about $300 a ton. Buying a large sheet of plastic would cost me close to $300 and I'd need at least 6 or 8 of the things.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,108 posts, read 6,016,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentraiser View Post
I thought about that, too. Thing is, I could get the hay for about $300 a ton. Buying a large sheet of plastic would cost me close to $300 and I'd need at least 6 or 8 of the things.
Spray, then disk it under, then replant with grass. You'll be able to have a garden no problem.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:31 AM
 
2,108 posts, read 1,031,597 times
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Honestly, I'd leave it alone until it's time to actually do something with the property. If you're going to bulldoze at that time, it will make no big difference if the weeds are 3 feet tall or 6 feet tall.

You're just making more work/expense for yourself otherwise.
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:31 PM
 
Location: KY
438 posts, read 92,473 times
Reputation: 977
I would not BD. Let nature take over with her ugly and beautiful growth. Then just mow it and keep it around 4 to t6 inches tall to help impede erosion. Grow and mow, repeat as needed until the build begins.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:49 AM
 
5,278 posts, read 2,721,404 times
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Whatever else you choose, it’d be wise to regularly pull up new Scotch broom that grows. When they get more than tiny, they are VERY hard to pull up, and the zillions of seeds already in the soil can germinate after more than ten years of waiting.

A weed wrench can remove the ones that are a little too hard to pull with bare hands. But when they get big...

If the blackberry is the invasive Armenian kind, mistakenly called “Himalayan”, dig up the root nodes. It takes a spade and lots of human effort. I had to do this on part of a small lot. It IS possible to do, and well worth the effort to stop the thing from spreading. The biggest nodes were a couple feet wide, and heavy.

The gigantic nodes might be so old they are UNDER a tree root. If that is the case, trace/dig up the BB lateral as far as you can to the tree root, CUT it there (being careful not to damage the tree roots), and then locate the lateral on the opposite side of the tree root. CUT that there also, and dig up the continuing lateral and all its offshoots. With both cut ends around the tree root, pull them up so they stick up a few inches above the soil and then tear apart the fibers so they get dried out in the open air. If the node is cut off from its lines of “food” it can’t do much. The cut ends will be damaged by drying in the air. Keep an eye on it. With mine, all the nodes thus cut off died. The only new blackberry shoots appearing after that were from seeds in the soil, which were easy to pull out, not connected to any other shoots.

My husband pushed heavily for using poison on various weeds. Early on, he sprayed some plants. It had no longterm effect, so I put a stop to that nonsense. Of course, then 95% of the weeding was done by me. But it did work! Just as others in the area had told me, weeding diligently the first year meant roughly half as much work the second year, and half as much of that the third year etc. This oversimplifies the scenario, since I concentrated on the innermost ring th first year and then STARTED work on the outer ring the second year. But the general decrease in weeding per area matched what they predicted.

If you do not want to use poison or pay big bucks, your best bet is sweat equity.

Last edited by pikabike; 05-27-2019 at 10:13 AM..
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