New forum member in need of weed control assistance

Hi, I'm new to the forum and am perhaps being a little lazy really by not searching for previous posts to help with my problem.
I thought that by asking afresh as it were it might kick start my experience.
I have moved into a house in the midlands and the back garden hasn't been touched in 25 years apart from being strimmed.
Upon clearing the rubbish, I found a 4" carpet of squitch/horse hair I think it is and upon closer inspection, the roots run through out the top soil.
I have usually dug strands out before but the expanse of root system has to be seen to be believed. The garden is overrun. I could get the top soil removed but this in itself and the replacement would be expensive. A systemic weed killer perhaps?? But I hesitate as I wanted to grow on the soil this year. Help anyone?
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tigersprout


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tigersprout wrote:

You need to find out what plant's root system you are looking at before you kill it. It may be something you want.
The garden is overrun. I could get the

I cannot offer any specific advice as you give no information about what the undesirable plants might be, where you are, what the climate is or what you want to grow. Before you kill anything you need a plan of what is going to happen in that area. Leaving bare earth will just encourage more and different weeds. You need to work section by section and convert it into garden beds, ground cover, mulch under trees, lawn or whatever. Without such a plan even if you did replace the topsoil you could be back to where you are in a few years.
David
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No idea what plant you're trying to get rid of but an inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach would be to solarize. <http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No 37&storyType=gard en> <http://www.gardenguides.com/834-soil-solarization-weed-control-garden-pe st-tip.html> <http://www.thisland.illinois.edu/57ways/57ways_15.html
or if it isn't terribly aggressive, lasagna gardening can accomplish the same thing, only cheaper.
<http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf582744.tip.html <http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnaga rden.htm> <http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gard ening.aspx>
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Not a very good description.
What's a squitch? The urban dictionary has 3 entries but they don't seem to apply.
The only root system I've ever seen that looked like horse hair was Weeping Willow. That will form huge mats if the soil is waterlogged.
Regular weeds you can kill with Round Up and plant right after the plants die.
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net;880415 Wrote: > tigersprout snipped-for-privacy@gardenbanter.co.uk writes:

> has

> expensive.

Hi to those kind enough to respond to my query, it seams I was a little unclear in the description of the weed in question. Please see the link:
http://tinyurl.com/ye8s7hw It seems another name for the offending article is "Couch Grass". My intention is to cultivate the area. I had intended raised beds and a glass house.
Thanks Dave
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tigersprout


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tigersprout;880508 Wrote: > Hi to those kind enough to respond to my query, it seams I was a little > unclear in the description of the weed in question. Please see the > link:

> intention is to cultivate the area. I had intended raised beds and a > glass house.

The best way i've found to deal with couch grass is a two pronged approch, firstly spraying with a glyphosate based weedkiller, see back of pack for active ingredient, but buying it marketed as glyphosate rather than roundup/weedeol and the like would be much cheaper. Glyphosate breaks down on contact with soil, so wont harm the soil. After about three weeks, all the top growth will be well and truly dead, and the roots should also have been largely killed off, i then turn the soil and remove and roots I can see. After fertilising and planting, its just general spot weeding. If you intend to grow in raised beds, depending on the depth of the beds, you'd get away with laying a woven landscape fabric eg: phormisol over the couch grass after applying glyphosate then building raised beds on top, this would deter any regrowth.
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Hortivation


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<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundup#Health.2C_ecological_concerns_and_c ontroversy>
Health, ecological concerns and controversy Roundup commercial formulations were never submitted to test by the United States Environmental Protection Agency? (EPA), its main active ingredient, glyphosate, received EPA Toxicity Class of III for oral and inhalation exposure.[3] Beyond the glyphosate salts content, commercial formulations of Roundup contain surfactants, which vary in nature and concentration. As a result, human poisoning with this herbicide is not with the main active ingredient alone but with complex and variable mixtures. [4]
[edit] Human and mammalian toxicity About Roundup formulations, a 2000 review of the available literature published in a Monsanto sponsored journal,[5] conducted by Ian C. Munro a member of the Cantox scientific and regulatory consulting firm, which role is defined as "protect client interests while helping our clients achieve milestones and bring products to market"[6] concluded that "under present and expected conditions of new use, there is no potential for Roundup herbicide to pose a health risk to humans".[7] This review is extensively cited by Monsanto. On the other hand, a same year review of the toxicological data on Roundup shows that there are at least 58 studies of the effects of Roundup itself on a range of organisms.[8] This review concluded that "for terrestrial uses of Roundup minimal acute and chronic risk was predicted for potentially exposed nontarget organisms". It also concluded that there were some risks to aquatic organisms exposed to Roundup in shallow water. In later mammalian research, Roundup has been found to interfere with an enzyme involved testosterone production in mouse cell culture[9] and to interfere with an estrogen biosynthesis enzyme in cultures of Human Placental cells.[10] A 2008 scientific study has shown that Roundup formulations and metabolic products cause the death of human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells in vitro even at low concentrations. The effects were not proportional to the main active ingredient concentrations (glyphosate) but dependent on the nature of the adjuvants used in the Roundup formulation.[11] Opponents of Roundup claim that it has been found to cause genetic damage, citing Peluso et al.[12] The authors concluded that the damage was "not related to the active ingredient, but to another component of the herbicide mixture". There is a reasonable correlation between the amount of Roundup ingested and the likelihood of serious systemic sequelae or death. Ingestion of

throat and epigastric pain and dysphagia are common. Renal and hepatic impairment are also frequent and usually reflect reduced organ perfusion. Respiratory distress, impaired consciousness, pulmonary oedema, infiltration on chest x-ray, shock, arrythmias, renal failure requiring haemodialysis, metabolic acidosis and hyperkalaemia may supervene in severe cases. Bradycardia and ventricular arrhythmias are often present pre-terminally. Dermal exposure to ready-to-use glyphosate formulations can cause irritation and photo-contact dermatitis has been reported occasionally; these effects are probably due to the preservative Proxel (benzisothiazolin-3-one). Severe skin burns are very rare. Inhalation is a minor route of exposure but spray mist may cause oral or nasal discomfort, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, tingling and throat irritation. Eye exposure may lead to mild conjunctivitis, and superficial corneal injury is possible if irrigation is delayed or inadequate. [4]
[edit] False advertising In 1996 Monsanto was accused of false and misleading advertising of glyphosate products, prompting a law suit by the New York State attorney general.[13] On Fri Jan 20, 2007, Monsanto was convicted of false advertising of Roundup for presenting Roundup as biodegradable and claiming that it left the soil clean after use. Environmental and consumer rights campaigners brought the case in 2001 on the basis that glyphosate, Roundup's main ingredient, is classed as "dangerous for the environment" and "toxic for aquatic organisms" by the European Union. Monsanto France planned to appeal the verdict at the time. [14]
[edit] Scientific fraud On two occasions the United States Environmental Protection Agency has caught scientists deliberately falsifying test results at research laboratories hired by Monsanto to study glyphosate.[15][16][17] In the first incident involving Industrial Biotest Laboratories, an EPA reviewer stated after finding "routine falsification of data" that it was "hard to believe the scientific integrity of the studies when they said they took specimens of the uterus from male rabbits".[18][19][20] In the second incident of falsifying test results in 1991, the owner of the lab (Craven Labs), and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts, the owner was sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined 50,000 dollars, the lab was fined 15.5 million dollars and ordered to pay 3.7 million in restitution.[21][22][23] Craven laboratories performed studies for 262 pesticide companies including Monsanto. Monsanto has stated that the studies have been repeated and that Roundup's EPA certification does not now use any studies from Craven Labs or IBT. Monsanto also claims that the Craven Labs investigation was started by the EPA after a pesticide industry task force discovered irregularities.[24]
[edit] Aquatic effects Fish and aquatic invertebrates are more sensitive to Roundup than terrestrial organisms.[8] Glyphosate is generally less persistent in water than in soil, with 12 to 60 day persistence observed in Canadian pond water, yet persistence of over a year have been observed in the sediments of ponds in Michigan and Oregon.[3] The EU classifies Roundup as R51/53 Toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.[25] Although Roundup is not registered for aquatic uses[26] and studies of its effects on amphibians indicate it is toxic to them,[27] scientists have found that it may wind up in small wetlands where tadpoles live due to inadvertent spraying during its application. A recent study found that even at concentrations one-third of the maximum concentrations expected in nature, Roundup still killed up to 71 percent of tadpoles raised in outdoor tanks.[28]
[edit] Environmental degradation and effects When glyphosate comes into contact with the soil it can be rapidly bound to soil particles and be inactivated.[3] Unbound glyphosate can be degraded by bacteria.[29] Glyphosphate has been shown to increase the infection rate of wheat by fusarium head blight in fields that have been treated with glyphosphate. [30] In soils, half lives vary from as little as 3 days at a site in Texas, 141 days at a site in Iowa, to between 13 years in Swedish forest soils.[23] It appears that higher latitude sites have the longest soil persistences such as in Canada and Scandinavia. A recent study concluded that certain amphibians may be at risk from glyphosate use.[31] One study has shown an effect on growth and survival of earthworms.[32] The results of this study are in conflict with other data and have been criticized on methodological grounds.[8] In other studies nitrogen fixing bacteria have been impaired, and also crop plant susceptibility to disease has been increased.[30][33][34][35][36][37] [38]
[edit] Endocrine disruptor debate An in-vitro study[39] has suggested glyphosate may have an effect on progesterone production in mammalian cells and affect mortality of placental cells in-vitro.[10] Whether these studies classify glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor is a matter of debate. Some believe that in-vitro studies are insufficient, and are waiting to see if animal studies show a change in endocrine activity, since a change in a single cell line may not occur in an entire organism.[citation needed] Additionally, current in-vitro studies expose cell lines to concentrations orders of magnitude greater than would be found in real conditions, and through pathways that would not be experienced in real organism.[citation needed] Others believe that in-vitro studies, particularly ones identifying not only an effect, but a chemical pathway, are sufficient evidence to classify Roundup as an endocrine disruptor, on the basis that even small changes in endocrine activity can have lasting effects on an entire organism that may be difficult to detect through whole organism studies alone.[citation needed]
[edit] Glyphosate resistance in weeds and microorganisms The first documented cases of weed resistance to glyphosate were found in Australia, involving rigid ryegrass near Orange, New South Wales.[40] Some farmers in the United States have expressed concern that weeds are now developing with glyphosate resistance, with 13 states now reporting resistance, and this poses a problem to many farmers, including cotton farmers, that are now heavily dependent on glyphosate to control weeds.[41][42] Farmers associations are now reporting 103 biotypes of weeds within 63 weed species with herbicide resistance[41][42]. This problem is likely to be exacerbated by the use of roundup-ready crops [43]. Some microorganisms have a version of 5-enolpyruvoyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthetase (EPSPS) that is resistant to glyphosate inhibition. The version used in genetically modified crops was isolated from Agrobacterium strain CP4 (CP4 EPSPS) that was resistant to glyphosate.[44][45] The CP4 EPSPS gene was cloned and inserted into soybeans. The CP4 EPSPS gene was engineered for plant expression by fusing the 5' end of the gene to a chloroplast transit peptide derived from the petunia EPSPS. This transit peptide was used because it had shown previously an ability to deliver bacterial EPSPS to the chloroplasts of other plants. The plasmid used to move the gene into soybeans was PV-GMGTO4. It contained three bacterial genes, two PC4 EPSPS genes, and a gene encoding beta-glucuronidase (GUS) from Escherichia coli as a marker. The DNA was injected into the soybeans using the particle acceleration method. Soybean cultivar A54O3 was used for the transformation. The expression of the GUS gene was used as the initial evidence of transformation. GUS expression was detected by a staining method in which the GUS enzyme converts a substrate into a blue precipitate. Those plants that showed GUS expression were then taken and sprayed with glyphosate and their tolerance was tested over many generations.
Superweeds Roundup overuse resulted in the development of "Superweeds" which are resistant to the herbicide.[69][70] -----
Then there is the inexpensive, eco-friendly approach, that I have already posted.

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