Horrilble weed problem for a newbie

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Hi everyone.
I've joined the forum in the hope that I can become a bit more green fingered. At the moment I tend to shove something in the ground and walk away knowing it's got two chances, but if I can get my head around what should be where and when I might be able to get our garden looking something like decent.
One of the biggest problems I need to overcome right now is weed control. We moved into our house nearly a year ago and inherited a good sized but terribly neglected garden (30 years). The top 1/3 of the garden, approx 50'x35’ is totally covered in Docks and nettles but I'd really rather it be lawned. Last summer I got my hands on some weedkiller and sprayed the lot, within a week they all seemed dead but a few weeks later they were back with a vengeance so I sprayed them again, and the same happened. Obviously they died down over winter but now they’re back in all their glory.
Now, this is becoming a real bug bare and I don’t feel like I can move on until I’ve figure out how to kill them. The area is way too big to dig them out and they must be so deep routed I’m worried that weed killer isn’t going to get rid either. My worry is that they are consuming the lawn, they have moved down by around 4 feet in a year and I need to nip them in the bud asap.
Can anyone offer some useful advice? Any suggestions welcome but I really don’t see digging them up as an option this time.
All the best, Matt
--
keelematt


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On 03/04/09 20:40, keelematt wrote:

What weed killer have you been using? What is the principal active ingredient?
Ed
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If I could put in my .02...The weeds may have learned to love the weedkiller, just like insects learn to love the bug spray one is using.
If you can afford it, have a pro come in and deal with the weeds once for all.
If not, you might want to try the plastic method, often used on empty lots which have become dog toilets (to kill dangerous worms from the doggie doo-doo).
Cover the area with sturdy clear plastic and wait for the sun to kill the weeds. Takes a while, but is not toxic to the soil.
Good luck!
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Truly, dumber than dirt. Do yourself and the world a favor and get rid of your toxic waste. Lay dow cardboard or newspaper over the weeds. Yes, it will look like a gawd awful mess, which is why you then put mulch on it (preferably alfalfa). Wait until mulch breaks down some (maybe 2 - 6 months), and plant what you want. If it is something vain and stupid like a lawn, just toss the seed on the mulch and water them in. Your neighbors will thank you and the soil will thank you.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
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On Fri, 3 Apr 2009 20:40:14 +0100, keelematt

<snip>
<snip> <snip>
How's 'bout trying to become a bit more "green" minded rather than green fingered. The biggest problem you need to overcome is your reliance and belief in the monsatano and dow mantra.
And quit being so damned lazy and looking for a poison solution for your laziness. Dig. Google. Edumcate yerself and quit poisoning my planet or take the next offworld ferry elsewhere!!!
Charlie, celebrating Tartan's Day a bit early
"Illusions mistaken for truth are the pavement under our feet. They are what we call civilization." ---- Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
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On Sat, 4 Apr 2009 16:10:16 +0100, keelematt

Ignernt I ain't, but I shan't quibble over your egotistical arse comment.

Uhhh...I didn't say you were uneducated....I said (paste of what you clipped)... " Edumcate yerself and quit poisoning my planet or take the next offworld ferry elsewhere!!!"...and if you don't understand what I mean....you are the ignorant one.

You pushed the wrong button with this, you arrogant arsewipe. One enjoys and parents or one doesn't. Priorities. I see where your priorities lie.
I often wonder why people spread their legs and/or take their peckers outta their trousers and breed like mindless lemmings, then "try to get round to enjoying time with their kids." You are the ignore-ant arse that brought life into this world then whines because you have to *try* to *get round* to be with them. You don't fscking try to enjoy your kids, you fscking do it, if you care for those young lives.

Then have your partner and your kids help you. Bit of an education for the children....and *you*. Time ain't the issue.

Ohh, the Mister Rogers approach? Been tryin' that one for many decades and look where we are. Sorry, Dad, *my* planet is runnin' on empty and I have neither the time, nor the inclination, for nicey-nice with child-ignorant sod-alls like yourself.
I have a grand life......spending copious amounts of time with my grown children and my grandchildren and often neglecting my "work" for their sake....oh, and fighting with chemical-heads that cause suffering for children and other living creatures.
As far as I am concerned, chemical-heads and advocates of poisons deserve charges of child-abuse and neglect and the resulting consequences.
Charlie, Listening to Floyd...The Wall.
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He he, It only takes one post for people to figure you out Charley!
On Sun, 05 Apr 2009 17:34:18 -0500, Charlie wrote:

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Whaaaat? You the oracle of Delphi, or somethin', with your vacuous remarks? If you have something to say, say it, straight out like a man, there are adults in here. (Sorry for the testosterone banter folks;O) If you think you have something to share, could we get a cite for it? Unless it is just an opinion. You know about opinions, right? They'er like anal sphincters. Everybody has one, but nobody wants to hear it.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being
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wrote:

Hey! It's spring. Think weeds. Think cardboard and mulch. Don't you remember this guy from last year? He'll take a few more shots, wave his knowledge about, tell us he doesn't check in here much or have time for this, and then, like a good monsatano/dow/sygenta/novartis/whoever Chemical Rep, he'll move on to the next sale.
His education was a success, in that he was well socialized (for their purposes) and cannot bite the foul hand which tosses him crumbs. Pity isn't, it?
Charlie
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Rick? That you, young feller? The guy who sees molecular structure in 3-D in his mind and who is a proponent of the GM and the monsatano way of life?
Nice hearing from you again.
Charlie
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On Fri, 3 Apr 2009 20:40:14 +0100, keelematt

As a newbie, you may be better off hiring a lawn service for a year and observe and learn what they do. Spot spraying is better than covering the entire lawn, it can be harsh on grass if used too much/too often. You may get by with hand pulling weeds--you are lucky in this manner to have a small lawn. When weeds are under control consider overseeding at the time which is best in your climate. Shop for the best quality seed you can find. Good luck.
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wrote:

I'm not at all sure why rudeness in responding to your question seems to be called for. But it takes all kinds, some quite a bit less helpful and less knowledgeable than others :-)
There's a couple of ways you can approach this. Smothering the area is effective but will take some time. Layer on newspaper (completely biodegradable) rather thickly and wet it down. Top off with an organic mulch - wood chips, ground bark, compost, composted manure, etc. This will weight down the paper and add to the soil texture as it decomposes and eventually gets turned into the soil. If you start this now, the area should be free of weeds and ready to till and plant by early fall.
You can also go with the herbicide approach if you wish. It is fast and efficient but may take several applications. Plants generally need to be in active growth for most herbicides to be effective. Horticultural vinegar is a 'natural' choice but has its own drawbacks. Glyphosate (RoundUp) is commonly used for this purpose and works as well but with less of a long term environmental impact. It breaks down in the soil quite rapidly and is far less of a pollutant than most commercial fertilizers are. Both are broad spectrum herbicides, meaning they can damage anything they are sprayed on. Follow label directions explicitly and avoid using if any kind of breeze.
Another, perhaps less efficient method, is to till the area. You will still likely get some weeds generating but they should be easier to remove. If you want to grass this area, I'd go with of the other methods first.
btw, covering the area with clear plastic will work, but I'd not recommend it. This is called solarization and while it will kill off the weeds (and anything else growing under it) it also kills off beneficial soil organisms, leaving the soil essentially sterile. This is highly undesirable and takes a lot of work to bring the soil back into a healthy condition.
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In article

This is what is known as "damning with faint praise".
If you have any consideration for the planet, you will refrain from using chemical fertilizers as they kill microorganisms in the soil and reduce top soil, thus making the user more dependent on them, in ever increasing quantities to maintain the same level of crop production, until the system crashes from lack of topsoil.

http://www.ehponline.org/members/2005/7728/7728.html
Our studies show that glyphosate acts as a disruptor of mammalian cytochrome P450 aromatase activity from concentrations 100 times lower than the recommended use in agriculture; this is noticeable on human placental cells after only 18 hr, and it can also affect aromatase gene expression. It also partially disrupts the ubiquitous reductase activity but at higher concentrations. Its effects are allowed and amplified by at least 0.02% of the adjuvants present in Roundup, known to facilitate cell penetration, and this should be carefully taken into account in pesticide evaluation. The dilution of glyphosate in Roundup formulation may multiply its endocrine effect. Roundup may be thus considered as a potential endocrine disruptor. Moreover, at higher doses still below the classical agricultural dilutions, its toxicity on placental cells could induce some reproduction problems.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
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On Sun, 5 Apr 2009 02:09:28 +0100, keelematt

You are nowhere near Billy's level.....you need to aim higher...not lower.
That time would have been better spent .... "trying to get round to enjoying time with our kids."
--
Charlie

Cats in the Cradle
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On Fri, 3 Apr 2009 20:40:14 +0100, keelematt
Hi, I've read all the previous replies.
<snip>

What was the name of the weed killer you used?
Roundup etc. will probably eventually kill the docks and nettles but it isn't going to happen overnight.
Sorry about the Ozzie link but I often used: <http://www.yates.com.au/products/weed-control/gardens-paths-and-driveways-non-selective-control/zero-once-a-year-path-weeder/ You don't use a bucket or watering can, just a careful spray over the plant.

Weed killer *WILL* eventually allow you to win.
You are able to kill the adult plants with weed killer but seeds already in the ground will again germinate. So when they germinate spray them with weed killer.
After your weeds are all dead I will go back to saving the planet. ;-)
--

John

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I agree with John, your best choice will be a relatively behgn pesticide like glyphosate (Roundup is one brand). Note- do not open messages from Billy and Charlie. They won't have anything constructive to say, and are rather overbearing in their misunderstanding of science in general, and pesticide use in particular. Crossbow would probably work better, but it is considerably more toxic and you nentioned children. Glyphosate has the advantage of being rapidly inactivated in soil
The non-pesticide option is to grub up the roots repeatedly and keep the area mowed to prevent flowering and seeding. Both Dock and nettles have long and split tap roots, so repeated treatment will be required. This is possible for a smallish garden, but will take several years.
Another possible alternative is a high concentration of acetic acid (vinegar). NOTE: concentrations of vinegar sold as pesticides (5-7%) do not work. The stuff you eat on your salad is 5%. It may burn the geen down, but the plants will resprout. You may find a higher concentration (eg 20%). There is a brand called Bradford horticultural vinegar that is sold and is 20%. It is not branded as a pesticide and is not EPA aproved for that purpose. This will cause burns to your skin and will seriously damage your eyes should you get it in them. It might kill dock roots, but also maybe not. Keep everyone and everything out of sprayed area for at least 48 hrs. Glyphosate is much safer.
On Sun, 05 Apr 2009 17:36:53 +1000, John Morrison

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Hey, Charlie, who left the door open? The barbarians are back inside. Why be they always so ugly?
Well, my little barbarians, let me put it this way. Since you obviously don't give a rats ass about others, why not think about yourself.
All species of Rumex (docks) are edible and most are medicinal. http://www.pfaf.org/database/search_name.php?ALLNAMES=rumex
If you have the good luck to have rumex acetosa (sorrel), it makes a wonderful soup.
Throw money down a hole and poison yourself, or have soup. What do you want to do?
------ Yellow dock has a long history of use as an alterative. Alterative herbs have nonspecific effects on the gastrointestinal tract and the liver. As a result, they are thought to treat skin conditions that are attributed to toxic metabolites from mal-digestion and poor liver function.
Remedies For:  Alterative, laxative, hepatic, cholagogue, tonic, depurative, astringent, antiscorbutic, detergent.
Used for: Poor Digestion Skin Conditions
Yellow Dock is used extensively in the treatment of chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis. The anthraquinones present have a markedly cathartic action on the bowel, but in this herb they act in a mild way. Thus it is useful for constipation, working as it does in a much wider way than simply stimulating the gut muscles. It promotes the flow of bile and has that somewhat obscure action of being a blood cleanser The action on the gall-bladder gives it a role in the treatment of jaundice when this is due to congestion.
Traditional herbalists recommend this herb for: bad blood with chronic skin disease; bubonic swellings; low deposits in glands and cellular tissues, and tendency to indolent ulcers; feeble recuperative power; irritative, dry laryngo- tracheal cough; stubborn, dry, summer cough; chronic sore throat, with glandular enlargements and hypersecretion; nervous dyspepsia, with epigastric fullness and pain extending through left half of chest; cough, with dyspnoea and sense of praecordial fullness. ------
And Nettles, I should be so lucky. Again, most have some food and/or medicinal value. http://www.pfaf.org/database/search_name.php?ALLNAMES=nettle
Almost be like throwing money down a hole to kill them off. But if you want to kill them, cut them down and then eat them as they poke back up. They are chock full of vitamins and minerals.

Shame he's probably already poisoned. He'd have made a good stew.

"more toxic" <<Hello?>>

"stuff you eat on your salad" (YES! You can eat dock and nettle on your salads. Save $$$)

Safer than vinegar? Let's see you sprinkle some glyphosate on your salad then. Personally, I'd go with balsamic. It's a little pricey but well worth the cost.
Oh well, Kids these days. They just never listen. This used to be a nice planet. Now, it's just goin' to hell in a hand basket. What's an organic, peace, and civil rights Nazi to do? Kids! (sigh)
--

- Billy
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wrote:

Our friend Rick is an annual spring repeat, kinda like a weed, ya' know. Remember him from last year? Proponent of GM and all things chemical....one of them there real smart fellers what likes to put folks down with his show of edgycation, dick, er, degree waving and all that there high minded stuff. Seems it's hokey dokey fer his kind to put down our kind, but the vicey versey is a no no.
(I think he's one of them TLA guys sent here fer disinformation distribution...know whut I mean, Verne?)
Charlie
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TLA? You mean like DM-F or SOB? Anyways, if'in you wants to keep him, you're gone have to wash and worm him first. I'm too tuckered after that set-to with that MG teacher to be bothered with him. MG teacher? Wot you suppose that means? Miniature golf, maybe? You think she could teach me miniature golf, Charlie? I think I'd like that. MG? GM?? Nawww. MG female - GM male? I got a bad feeling about this Charlie. Charlie, what chew know bout mirror images an' reflection symmetry?
--

- Billy
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wrote:

Yes, these work too.

Nahhhh......he's kinda like a hedgehog, cute, but kinda prickly. My kids had one years ago. Like many other critters, they shouldn't be kept as pets. He might work as high-nutrient input for terra pretta though. There is usefulness in most things one finds lying about.

Indeed. That was a fine battle and well fit, I might say. Your offer of the olive branch was met with a rather ungracious and grudging acceptance. Oh well.

I dunno Billy, miniature golf? Doesn't that require copious amounts of Miller Lite or similar hosspiss? Butt on de udder hand, the views can be most titillating and scintillating!

gardengal/gardenrick? MG/GM? yin/yang? What's been loosed in the garden?
Oh lawdy, Billy. We goin' all physics or metaphysical here? Or bi-polar? or........? Sheet mon, this ain't one of dem Mr. Natural moments, now is it?
--
Charlie

"Mr. Natural sez, Use the right tool for the job"
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