Johnson Grass

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I know this is not a gardening newsgroup, but I don't know where else to go for help. Hopefully, someone can assist me.
I have this pesky Johnson Grass (also known as Orchard Grass) invading my lawn. I am very fussy about my grass, and this is a small area that measures 1,250 square feet.
A professional lawn service came out, and said to spray the spots with Roundup and once that grassy areas dies, to rake and apply a good quality of grass seed.
I have been doing this for two weeks, and every morning I find more Orchard Grass. It is overwhelming to me.
I think this problem is coming from my neighbor's yard as Johnson Grass spreads seeds/spores by the wind and birds.
If I get new sod laid, I may still have this problem later on.
I am seriously thinking about applying Roundup over the entire grassy area, then putting a heavy plastic over the top of the grass once it is cut short, and having decorative rock hauled in and put over the top. This way, I don't have to worry about the Johnson Grass coming back, and if it does, I can simply spray it and not have a bad looking area in my front yard as it will be all rock.
Has anyone here had this problem?
Do you see any reason why I can't just leave the old sod down, spray over it, cover with plastic, and apply rock?
I can easily reconfigure my underground sprinkler system.
How long would I need to leave the Roundup on the old grass before covering it with plastic and rocks?
Many, many thanks to anyone who can help me.
It is so much appreciated.
Kate
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Kate wrote:

Why use an herbicide at all? Covering the grass with plastic and rocks is going to kill it anyway.
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dadiOH
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Thanks. I was wondering about this. Much appreciated.
dadiOH wrote:

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Kate wrote:

Keep it mowed. Close. The Johnson grass depends on height to live.
In the alternative, use Roundup on your neighbor's lawn.
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I have been mowing it quite high to keep the moisture in as we are in the high 90 degree weather now. I am more than willing to mow it short though.
Many thanks. HeyBub wrote:

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Dirt, leaves, will settle into the plastic and rocks, back come weeds. Plus you have no drainage it might be a little mosquito swamp in areas.
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On 07/22/08 07:26 am ransley wrote:

Yes, that's the situation we have -- the way the previous owner had done it. We are in the process of redoing it with landscaping fabric instead of the plastic.
Perce
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That is a big job. Other than that, do you like the rock? Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

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I never thought about this. I am leaning more and more about new sod. Great group here. Thanks.
ransley wrote:

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I havn't heard about any product that will kill Johnson grass but not other grasses (you didn't mention what kind of grass nor region). (Are you sure this is Johnson grass--isn't Johnson grass 5-6 feet tall???) If you decide on the RoundUp method, plan your timing such that seeding takes place at the best time of year for your location. Use breathable landscaping fabric, not heavy plastic. Think about what you are doing or you might create a future maintenance nightmare after wasting money. Starting a new lawn will require some heavy (hand) weeding for several months--weed killers are harsh on young grass seedlings and best not used for 6-10 months. I overseed my lawn every fall and have very few weeds in the spring--a thick lawn shades out weeds, requires less water, but it sounds like you want a rock garden rather than a lawn. I found that RoundUp takes 5-14 days to work, carefully apply as directed.
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I am really debating on whether to rock it in, or lay new sod.
I live in Central Washington state. We are in the 90 degree weather right now.
I have Kentucky Blue grass. The reason the Johnson grass has not gotten tall, is that I mow it once a week. It is definitely the pesky Johnson Grass.
Thank you. I really need to give this some thought and it is a big headache as far as I am concerned.
Kate Phisherman wrote:

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On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 00:04:51 -0700, Kate wrote:

The new grass most likely is from seeds. Roundup is effective on green plants only. Instead of Roundup, go for a generic equivalent of glycophosphate. It's cheaper.
I would apply the chemical several times at 3-4 week intervals to make sure you get everything. This might take most of the summer. Remove dead vegetation. In September/October, prep and soil and plant good lawn seed. The cooler months favor turfgrass germination and growth. If you get a good lawn established, other grasses and weed ought to lose out to competition.
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Franz Fripplfrappl
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Another great idea. Many thanks.
franz fripplfrappl wrote:

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Kate,
Have you spoken with the neighbor? It seems to me that correcting your lawn without correcting his will be frustrating since the problem may repeat.
Dave M.
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Yes, they asked me what I was spraying and I told her Johnson Grass. She came over and looked at it, and said she only had one patch in their yard.
I gave her the lawn card man's card (actually he is a noxious weed, etc. guy and he knows his stuff), and stated she had some weird looking stuff in her yard too. I am hoping it works.
Thanks.
David L. Martel wrote:

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The JG will still grow in a new lawn. The herbicide kill and re-plant method works, it just takes time and patience. But I've always done the killback step with something stronger than roundup, (triox), but remember that triox sterilizes the area completely so you have to dig out 2 or 3 inches of the old soil, throw it out, re-top it, then seed. The Roundup is probably not killing the JG all the way in the first place, and thats why it keeps taking over. Roundup is really a pretty weak herbicide for what you are trying to accomplish. Also maybe try re-planting a rye/bluegrass mix before going to all bluegrass on the re-plant.
Of course eliminating the grass by putting in rock beds will eliminate the JG, but also eliminate your grass, which you seem to want to keep.
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I will check into different herbicides. Yes, I would love to keep my grass, but fear I will have this problem again down the road.
Roundup Company states that I can plant grass after one week of applying Roundup.
This is so confusing.
Many thanks. I definitely have my homework cut out for me.

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In forth:

Not knowing what type grass you have, try MSMA, it kills johnson, dallas and lots of other broadleaf weeds without kill surrounding grass. It may brown out the surrounding slightly but won't kill it I've used it for years on my Bermuda lawn and have had great success. I usually mix it a little "hot" and will see results in about 48 hrs. You cannot use it on St Augustine. I usually just spot spray, but you can use it with a hose end sprayer. hth
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I have something that has spread in and looks like Johnstons grass when short, but it is Orange Lillys, so I let some areas grow and have the Orange flowers now comming in, here we call them road lillys since they are abundant. If nobody has let the plant mature you realy cant know what it is.
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I had a patch of poision ivy that neither roundup or poision ivy killer would kill.
no doubt brokew lots of federal laws after suggestion here mixed roundup with poision ivy killer 50% / 50%
poision ivy died within a day:)
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