Pretty much along the same lines, I would say pull out any woody growth
first. Mow it once at the highest setting, and then mow it a second time
at the lowest setting, making sure you don't stall-out the engine.
(After that, it may be good time to get the blade sharpened or
replaced.) Then smother it with some good compost -- at least 2" thick.
Then cover it.
Your tarp will probably work fine if there is enough compost underneath
it. You could also cover the compost with newspaper, and put the tarp
over that to keep the newspaper from blowing away.
When the leaves fall, pull up the tarp, and put some shredded leaves on
top of the newspaper (or bare compost if you didn't use the newspaper.
Pull anything that is daring to grow at this time. When spring comes,
till it. After tilling it, leave it sit for a few weeks for the leaves
and newspaper to decompose more. Pull-up any weeds that dare to grow
When you do plant the area, use plenty of mulch to keep the weeds down.
You might also consider putting newspaper over any large bare areas, or
areas that may be difficult to reach before you cover it with mulch.
I was just about to reply when I saw Warren's response -- it was almost
exactly what I was going to suggest as well. :) I just recently did the
same with a large section of our front yard and intend to do it with the
rest of the front yard in the next month or two (need to find a lot more
mulch or take a second job -- it will require around 150 bags!). Got a
couple of dandelions that managed to poke through the newspaper and mulch --
must have pulled some of it up when I fluffed the mulch. <Sigh>
One thing to comment on --> If you pull woody growth, mow it twice (2nd
time at lowest setting), till it in, then cover it, there will be no need to
use RoundUp or any other chemical -- the tarp will handle the job of killing
anything else in the soil quite nicely (along with some help from the sun of
course). You'll want to pull the tarp up before the end of Autumn though to
give the soil time to start living again -- at that point you need to mulch
it heavily, I'd recommend 4" or so, and putting newspaper down over top
(before mulching) is an added bonus. Remember that the newspaper should be
the print section only -- no glossies or ads -- and if your newspaper is not
a major paper, it wouldn't hurt to call the company and make sure they're
using soy based inks (nearly all are but it never hurts to be safe). A good
tilling in the spring, maybe after a little soil amending with compost, and
you'll be in business.
If you are planning on using a weed killer, please spray it and let it kill
the weeds before you cover everything with the carpet or tarp. Especially
if you are going to use roundup, it needs to be taken all the way down to
the roots to completely kill the plant. THere is also, 2-4-d commonly
called Weedar, and atrozine, but they don't kill down to the roots... the
plant will grow back.
Try the roundup. If yoiu want to kills something that is more of a soil
sterilizer for a longer kill time, you can try pramitol liquid or pellets,
or h-var xl, but these will keep everything from growing back for possibly
JIm in jacksonville
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