Looking for advice on soil preparation

emill(z7 MD)March 24, 2005

I have about 1/3 (+ or -) acre of lawn that I would like to plant with wildflowers. Last September I sprayed round-up to kill the existing grass. My original plan was to till the area this spring then keep going over it every couple of weeks through the summer to germinate and eliminate as many weeds as possible. I would like to sow the flower seed this fall.

The problem is that the area I have selected is moderately sloping and I am concerned about soil erosion. Would I be better off laying down plastic over the summer (that's allot of plastic)? Would that be an effective method to eliminate any dormant weeds in the soil? If so, is clear or black plastic better and what is the minimum thickness that I should use? Also, how do I prepare the seed bed in the fall? We get a fair amount of rain through the winter so soil erosion would still be a concern. Could I till the area, spread the seed then cover with straw for the winter? I'd appreciate any advice.

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froggy(z4/5 WI)

i wouldnt till it.
tilling opens up a whole other can of worms. (get it ?:)

not knowing the exact site, i would recommend this...

keep the dead sod inplace to help protect from erosion. dont over spray thru the summer, let the stuff grow before u kill it (not letting them flower ofc.). dont spray just to kill out annuals, spray to kill the longer lived stuff. mow/ weedwack the annuals and general growth back. put in hay bails where u think u have water flow issues. and in the fall, throw the seed out and drag the soil with a drag (some ppl just drag around an old bedspring, i happen to like to get a bit more mixage. i have an actual drag. a hard rake will do the same cept it sux to hardrake a 1/3 an acre of soddy soil :)


    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 8:46PM
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I agree with froggy. You are on track to seed this fall/winter. Don't till. Mow occasionally to keep annual weeds from setting seed this summer. Spray with glyphosate again at the end of the season to kill any perennial growth in the plot, then prepare the surface to expose a little bare soil in the fall before seeding.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 9:29AM
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emill(z7 MD)

Thanks froggy and john MO for the advice. This might be less work then I thought but I guess I'll have to wait and see how many weeds start popping up before I make any predictions.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 12:32AM
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