garden question

please excuse me but I am totally new to gardening, I have just bought a house so starting fro scratch, but would like to help I can get.
the problems I have with the garden are as follows:
1. the lawn last summer was covered in ants, making it very annoying when we sat in our garden, how can I stop the ants this year? maybe put poison down?
2. I have some 4 old tree stumps in the garden which have been cut about 5 inch tall, how can I get shut of them, I know you can buy tree stump killer, is it any good?
3. All the lawn is very hilly and patchy, how is the best way of levelling it, someone told me to put top soil down, another dig it all up and seed it, I don't have much spare money, the lawn is 42 ft x 120 ft
any help will be very appreciated.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 18:15:36 -0000, "Keith Hampson"

Yes, put it near where you eat so no ants will bother you.

No, hire someone to grind the stump. It's not expensive.

Remove sod and cultivate the area and plant shrubs or perennials in spots which are high. Cheaper and less mowing.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend? http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depending on how dry the stumps are, charcoal can be an inexpensive way to get rid of them. Drier and with big splits helps. Takes work to do -- blowing ash off, adding fresh charcoal as the old burns out every few hours, and takes a couple of weekends. That's a ton less work than taking an ax to them, tho.
Hiring a tree company with a grinder would be fast and effortless but much more expensive. I've tried to rent just the machine myself and can't find them for rent around here. But even if you did, you need a truck or trailer to move them...not just the trunk of your car.
John Houston
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've had stumps ground out for as little as 50 dollars. It is far more effective than a slow burn because it doesn't contaminate the soil with charcoal, and they can get the entire root flare in one fell swoop.
V
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend? http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alright, I'll bite:
Charcoal soil contamination?
I spread my charcoal ashes from the fireplace and the pit over my yard all the time. Other than the pH which St Augustine doesn't seem to care THAT much about...what contamination?
It puts off fumes into the air, but so do the stump grinders. What's the quote going around? One hour of lawn mowing is equivalent to a full tank of gas emissions in a modern car. (I looked into a push mower, but since it doesn't even pretend to mulch, you either have to rake or mow twice a week down here from Feb thru Dec !:>)
John Houston
opined:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tex John wrote:

Most people think of charcoal briquettes when they say charcoal. The briquettes are wood by-products with a petroleum-based binder, and other filler. The ash from the briquettes is quite a bit different than that from fireplace ash -- unless you're burning wood painted with oil-based paint.
Want to have some real fun? Burn some wood painted with leaded oil based paint. Turn your yard into a Superfund-eligible site. Don't forget to inhale! ;)
--
Warren H.

==========
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Soil/charcoal.htm http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bot00/bot00420.htm
These are two slim nips why it shouldn't be used, but my main reason for saying what I did was not simply based on charcoal, but the chemicals it contains in order to burn evenly and chemicals used in lighting it. Also use in charcoal is borax binders, nitrates for ignition and many types also use additional lime so you can see when it's time to get the meat out and on.
I know people who use charcoal ash, but it's not a good idea across the board. I didn't do an exhaustive search to prove it's polluting component, but I wouldn't recommend using charcoal as a measure to burn out a stump.

Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend? http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

An alternative to "getting shut" of them, worth considering at least, is to use the stumps for plants that like to live on rotting stumps. Grind or chip out the stumps' centers to create natural "pots" & plant in them deciduous or evergreen huckleberry shrubs or other sorts of vacciniums that thrive for as many years as it takes a stump to have rotted away to nothing. Other plants that would love such a natural rotting-wood stump-pot include peperomia, bunchberries, ferns, salal, hardy orchids, violets, crane's-bills, rubus cultivars for fruit... Rotting stumps increase the amount of benificial fungus in surrounding soil, so that all garden plants benifit by the presence of stumps or deadfall. Just about any epiphyte suitable to your temperatures might also adapt to a stump-pot. But a deciduous red huckleberry, a stunningly beautiful shrub with the tastiest possible fruits, really won't thrive in any other garden setting except in a stump, so having the stumps is potentially a rare opportunity instead of something to be shut of.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What an incredibly good idea! I have some stumps in my yard and have put dealing with them low on the list of things to do, but I never thought of that solution. It will work great for me.
billo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The previous owner of my place seems to have half-heartedly tried to burn out a couple of the stumps in what is now my back yard. They are part unburned wood, part charred. Can they be used for this?
billo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oliver) wrote:

I don't think the percentage of charred wood would change a thing for huckleberries, so long as there is enough left of the stump to be decaying. Its the super-high amount of beneficial fungus in the slowly decaying stump that huckleberries need & which they don't get without a stump or deadfall or some rotting tree-roots to grow on, near, or amidst. I half-buried fireplace rounds for my huckleberries, but softwood fireplace rounds last only about four years; a real stump should keep the huckleberries happy for a decade. When the stump is completely decayed the huckleberries will decline unless a rotting bit of log can be shoved in among the shrubs, or a lot of fat limbs pounded in the ground near their roots, but nothing works quite as well as a real stump.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
http://www.paghat.com/giftshop.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If your stumps are 2' or 3' tall, you may consider making a bird bath out of them. I did that with an old apricot tree stump in my yard and it came out real nice.
All it takes is a bowl of some kind to fix on top of the stump. You can also buy a bird bath and remove the bowl to put on your stump. There are different ways to attach the bowl on the stump, but I'll leave that to your imagination, or the advice of your friends and neighbors.
-------------------------- Talk about weeds: http://ergonica.com/grooming.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.