Front yard is all weeds no grass..need guidance..

Naturalchick27(6)August 6, 2011

I have a small front yard/lawn with a hedge bush of some sort across the front of it. The lawn is all weeds. Can I just use a tiller to rip them out them rake the dirt to remove them? And can I use large pruners to remove the hedge? Will it grow back? I have a few roses and rhodies I want to plant in this space as well as maybe adding a cement bench for decoration. I do not wish to use any chemicals on the weeds.

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You can use a tiller to till those "weeds" back into the soil. They have been growing there, removing nutrients from that soil, and as long as there are no seeds formed they will be digested by the Soil Food Web and put those nutrients back into the soil without adding more "weed" seeds.
The pruners could be used to cut that hedge down, depending on the thickness of the branches for the roots. The pruners may help you cut the hedge down enough to be able to get a chain saw in if that is necessary. Depending on the type of hedge you may need to remove the roots also, or that hedge may grow back from the roots. What ever that hedge is it can be chipped up to use as mulch, again because that hedge grew there removing nutrients from the soil that you will need to replace from somwhere.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:21AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Knowing what is growing there would be good before you do anything. Many weeds and grasses will not be killed by tilling, they'll be multiplied.

Same thing for knowing what the hedge is. There is a "name that plant forum" for identifying plants. If you know what you're dealing with, you can have a specific plan that is more likely to succeed the first time, not just a vague notion of what you might try.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:19AM
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The only grasses I have found that are not killed by tilling are Quack Grass and Johnston grass, grasses that do not have roots but have rhizomes that will start new grass plants at each node. Tilling, once, can bring up "weed" seeds that can germinate and is why most people are told to till several times a few weeks apart before planting. Maybe, possibly St. Augustine or Bermuda grasses would be difficult to kill off by tilling but someonbe in zone 6 should not have either one.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:46AM
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Can you give us pictures of the lawn/weeds and the hedge? The available answers to your questions all start with "It depends..."- it depends on what your soil is like, if there are large trees nearby, what kind of trees they are, which weeds you have, what shrubs are in your hedge, how old it is...You get the point. Yes, of course you can till your lawn, but it may be backbreaking. Yes, you can cut your hedge to the ground, but if it's privet or Rose of Sharon, it will just regrow. We can only give general help without more information. Pix, please!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:05AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

"...grasses I have found that are not killed by tilling are Quack Grass and Johnston grass..."

Thanks for the examples. I've never really cared what kind of grass I'm trying to kill. After living in OH and now in AL, I stand by my statements above that it would better to know what is growing there first before tilling. It's possible that a yard full of weeds MIGHT have weedy grasses, too. As well as thistle, bindweed, bishops weed, and/or any number of undesirables that would be invigorated by tilling.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 12:57PM
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