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Old 05-11-2015, 06:50 PM
7,966 posts, read 19,482,317 times
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I live in a townhouse community where a lawn service mows and cares for the front yards and exposed side yards for end units. I live in an end unit with a HUGE magnolia in my side yard.there's also a slope that goes to the common area. Its really hard to get anything to grow with all the tree roots here, but after two years I had a nice patch of creeping jenny and assorted sedums growing (among hostas and ferns). The other morning I came out to find my ground covers as dead as the dandelions they sprayed for. It's rather obvious when a killer has been sprayed. I suspect the guy realized what he did, because he obviously stopped after killer the first few areas. Its a patch of dead, dead and nice and healthy.

What I am trying to figure out now is if I have to replace the soil in that area before I plant again.....and there's a good chance it will be washed away - its next to impossible to do, anyway. I am still fuming and its been 4 days. Anyone know how long I need to wait?

Its not the expense, there wasn't that much. But two years of coaxing, gone with a flick of the wrist. They're done with my yard......I put up new edging that's 34 inches high, temporary, and the HOA won't send me letters because its not permanent. (Plus I have had MAJOR problems with people walking their dogs and where the sidewalk ends, they just keep walking into my yard). I'll figure out what to plant to deter people, but uncertain what to do about areas where weed killer has gone down.

TIA for any thoughts.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:46 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Most dandelion sprays made for use on lawns are not going to affect the soil, f they did, it would prevent new weeds from popping up, which they do not.After a week or so I would just remove the dead plants and trash them, then if it makes you feel safer about it, turn over the soil, and wait another week or two before planting.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:24 PM
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
41,625 posts, read 59,987,306 times
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The majority of residential-approved herbicide are required by law to break down in the soil within 14 days, if not sooner.
To know the exact time, you might need to contact your HOA to find out who they contracted, then call them and ask.
Roundup, for example, is only active in plants and is deactivated on contact with the soil. It is then broken down by soil micro organisms so that you can re-use the soil for re-planting.
For the most part, the chemicals found in weed killers are not a problem for the home gardener after they have evaporated. According to many professionals in the field, most of the weed killers used today have a relatively short residual life, as those found to be more potent are typically denied registration by the EPA.

Weed Killer Residue: Length Of Time Chemical Herbicides Linger In Soil
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:43 AM
Location: NC
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They probably used a 2-4,D type herbicide. It will wash down into the soil with time and essentially be gone. These herbicides are moved by water (rain or soil water) so wet the area thoroughly a few times (every other day for a week?) to wash it deep into the soil where it will disappear.

I would be just as p*o'd as you are. Idiots. However, next time you might want to add some demarcation to set off the area visually, maybe a border of river jacks or something, or ask the hoa to post before there will be herbicide spraying so you can flag the area with little landscape flags.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:13 AM
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Thank you all for you comments - my experience with weeds is either a preventative (Preen) or pulling by hand (or hounddog weeder), except for the occasional application of chemical de jour for poison ivy. I am thrilled to hear about Roundup! I am just grateful there wasn't a lot of expense involved. I've since been really enjoying recent garden shows and sales and would rather not perform an unplanned execution.

Again, thanks. Replacing the soil would have been more problematic than trying to plant among those roots.
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