killing off lawn organically in order to regrow

I have a yard that is infested with creeping charlie, clover, etc. the soil is poor with high clay content. I want to kill off the entire lawn without using chemical and reseed in the fall in the hopes that I have a decent lawn to work with in the spring. I live in zone 4-5. any recommendation? thanks.
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Yup... plow it under. Mix in some peat or other organic material to help break up the clay a bit (I've heard that gypsum can be used - never tried myself). Turn it over/mix it up every week or so to prevent anything left from taking hold.
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hmm. I didn't think of that. so far, I've though of covering it in opaque plastic for a month or just dugging up the sod. thanks for your reply.
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snipped-for-privacy@xtc.com wrote:

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On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 01:36:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@xtc.com wrote:

10 dogs running around daily would do it..Take about a month
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If you have an aversion to lawn chemicals and you're not going to use a weedkiller on the new lawn you are just wasting your time with this project. The weeds will take over when the new lawn tries to establish itself. You might as well keep your existing lawn.
Peter H
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I had the same problem on a small lawn in zone 5 about 12 years ago. I did it in steps to make it less work but I suppose there must be a way to do it larger scale (i.e. complete lawn).
The process begins in late summer for a fall planting of the new lawn.
I shallowly tilled the area in order to loosen the bulk of the more shallow roots. Rake this layer off and compost it. Make sure the compost gets REALLY hot if you are going to do this because you don't want to transport the weed problem. If you compost at a high enough temperature most of the weeds will not survive. I had the space also to solarize the top layer after composting several times befor re-using it in the garden.
Now that the top layer is gone, plug the remaining bare soil and water quite well this will introduce moisture more deeply in the soil and this moisture is important for the next step.
Lay clear plastic (not black) on top of the remaining bare soil, anchor the sides in a soil filled trench to hold in all of the heat from the sun that you can. Obviously this will not work under trees and such but you asked for a non-chemical way. Leave the plastic in place during the hottest part of the season as you want the sun to solarize the soil as deep as you can. I have heard of others who will remove the plastic, lightly till and replace the plastic to get the heat to go deeper but I did not do it that way. I left the plastic in place for three weeks then used a clean organic mulch NOT grass clippings from a weedy lawn to tide me over until the temperatures cooled enough at night to plant the new grass. I then top dressed the mulch with 1/2 inch of soil and planted the seed.
Rake the seed lightly to cover it with soil then roll over it with an EMPTY roller to assure good contact with the soil. I don't like the looks of wheat straw so I had some pine straw brought up by a friend in the south. Maybe you could find pine straw (actually baled pine needles) up there where you live but I could not at that time. It is perfectly fine to use wheat straw but I found that the pine straw stayed in place better during high wind periods.
Care for the new grass as you would any other new lawn. It worked quite well for me. I did a quarter of my yaard a year for four years the results were very good that way but I overlapped so that I left no ground unsolarized.
Mr Bill
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