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Old 06-07-2015, 01:38 PM
 
1,667 posts, read 1,752,199 times
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I bought a has that has a yard in bad shape. I am trying to improve it. I also want to reduce the lawn area as we have a drought here in Northern California.
Current task is transform the side yards and part of the back yard into a mulch-covered (1-inch deep) area with few drought tolerant trees (some plants in large pots). I have spread some weed-killer on the area, but now I have dry dead weed. The ground is not flat and has rocks all over it, so the lawn mover could not remove the weed remains. So I have dead weed, rocks and loose dry soil (0.2...3inch pieces) in the area. I know mulch can be used to suppress weed growth, but I heard it is not 100% effective, so to have anice minimal-maintenance mulch-lawn I decided to use the weed-killer as well.
2 Questions:
- If I spread mulch on it as it is now, will it be ugly (because of dry weed poking through)?
- How to clear the ground of dead weed and rocks, before applying the mulch?



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Old 06-07-2015, 01:44 PM
 
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Flat shovel and garden rake.

Get to work.
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:47 PM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
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Be prepared to get dirt under your fingernails. (not that it's a bad thing by no means)
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:20 PM
 
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I dont think the flat shovel can cut those out. They are like carbon-fiber. Once they are out a rake will be useful. Using a pocket knife would be a very slow process. The weeding hoe in home depot seems to have no edge at all. I dont need to pull their roots, cust cut the top off somehow.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:36 PM
 
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Mulch is cheap. Just put down 3-4" and it'll be a lot easier than digging everything out. If you need to keep the current grade with mulch start digging.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
I dont think the flat shovel can cut those out. They are like carbon-fiber. Once they are out a rake will be useful. Using a pocket knife would be a very slow process. The weeding hoe in home depot seems to have no edge at all. I dont need to pull their roots, cust cut the top off somehow.
My crews dig out small weed infested areas like that all the time with a flat shovel. They might use the pick mattock for stubborn plants but I don't see any like that in your pic.

Yeah it aint easy but that's why they call it work.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:37 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Rake it out first. It may take a couple times.

DO NOT till it or break any more ground than you have to in order to get out those roots. Since I'm lazy I'd just leave them. If you till you'll just bring up new weed seeds to the surface to germinate.

I'd cover it (actually I have done so in a similar area) with garden/landscape cloth,



then mulch.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
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Maybe the pictures don't tell the whole story? But it doesn't look like you have that many rocks in your soil or that the yard is that big. I would suggest starting with just the garden rake and getting rid of any rocks that could damage your mower. You could use the long digging bar for any rocks that are below the surface. If you do not get rid of them they will only eventually push through your mulch. Then, after the rocks are gone, you could use your mower to remove the log weedy, dead, vegetation.

It sounds as if you have your mind set on mulch - but have you considered topsoil? By applying topsoil you could use mulch around areas that you plant with flowers or shrubs and still have a small lawn.

Here is what, to me, is too many rocks. The old farmers, many years before I bought our property; picked these out of our soil. That row is about five feet high:

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Old 06-08-2015, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
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Ditto what North Beach Person said - cover with a layer of landscape fabric and then cover that with 3-4" of good mulch.

We had a huge ivy bed removed last year (1/3 of our yard), then covered the ground with 2-3 layers of landscape fabric and mulch - we will leave it like that until we know the ivy is done and gone and won't grow back (probably another 2 years). At that point we'll pull everything up, till the dirt & sod the area with new grass.
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:18 PM
 
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Probably a few ways to do it,I'd probably rent a small Roto Tiller from Home Depot for a half day to get the soil loose and workable, then rake up all debris and dead vegetation then prep soil for your intended use by adding some fertilizer and watering if you plan on planting stuff or just get it level if its just going to be a base for mulch.
http://athruzrental.com/wordpress/wp.../04/tiller.jpg
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