Serious Weed help!!

pawnpriceDecember 5, 2013

This is my first post and I am a first time home buyer. My wife and I just moved into our house and are facing a backyard completely filled with these very strongly rooted weeds. So many of them that you can't even walk across the yard without tripping over them.

Last weekend we raked and removed layers of dead weeds, branches, leaves etc. We are left with a field of these strong roots sticking up out of the ground. I have no idea what kind of weed this is. I spent a few hours trying to manually pull them out with a weed hog but there are just too many and they are too strong, it would take a lifetime.

I am considering renting a tiller or 2 and borrowing some friends time this weekend to turn the whole yard, rip out the roots and manually pick up and throw away as many of them as I can. I just want to get it in a better place before the ground freezes and hopefully get somewhat of a foundation for the spring time so we can do grass and start some planter boxes.

Does this sound the way to go about this? Any input or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

There is a photo of what Im dealing with, these things are more like bushes than weeds!

Thank you!

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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Those look like some kind of shrub seedlings, not annual or perennial weeds. If so, a rototiller probably wouldn't work to dislodge them. Also, depending on what type of shrub it is, rototilling could actually help the plants get thicker with suckers arising from chopped up roots.
I'd use my friend's time to manually dig as many as possible, getting as much of the root systems as possible.
If it is some type of annual or perennial weed it becomes a matter of season long control next year, not allowing anything to go to seed and constantly destroying anything that pops up.
Welcome to home ownership! Like your cat (panther?).

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Was this property vacant for a while?

Please call "call before you dig" before you dig anywhere a first time. Ask to have the whole property marked, all utilities, then take pics so you don't forget, they won't come out every 5 minutes. Take notes which color is which utility. If you do and something is damaged that is not marked, it's not your responsibility. If you don't call first, any damage is your responsibility.

Check the cable TV line again yourself. I've discovered them just laying in flower beds. Also, things are often NOT buried as deeply as they say they are.

I don't think tilling can remove stumps like that - but I've only watched that action.

Uncovering the bare earth all winter is not the greatest idea. You could have a lot of erosion when it rains and since that's a wet time, you'll have worse compaction. If you are able to put a layer of straw or leaves if you do any excavating, that would help a lot, as well as begin to restore the soil to its' natural balance and add some organic material to aid with the texture of the soil, and the fertility to a minor extent.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:53PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

May be "shrubs" growing from roots of a removed tree.

As was suggested, you can dig out.

You can also use herbicide, but you'll have to wait until new growth occurs in the spring.
- Wait until the spouts grow and leaf out fully,
- cut them all to the ground, leaving only short stubs which you immediately paint with triclopyr on the cut surface.
-Repeat as needed. (Likely this will require several years.)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:56PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

Any chance you are able to get a vehicle positioned to pull them out? Wrap a tow strap firmly around the crown and attach the other end to the back of a truck or 4-wheeler and then slow-and-steady just pull them out. (This is way funner than trying to dig them out!!!) Some roots will break off, and if it's a suckering type of shrub, they will send up shoots down the road. Those shoots will be young and weak though, and if you spray them with roundup as they emerge you should probably be able to get rid of them completely within a few seasons.

You'll know if this is a suckering plant if you pull up a clump, and it's connected to another clump.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

He went into the corn...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:09AM
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I removed a large English Yew once.
I used a shovel to dig around the roots as low as I could go. I then cut as many roots and branches as possible with loppers.
For the last "step" I had to channel my inner cavewoman. I took a 6' long steel pipe and bashed the heck out of the remaining roots until they broke. Then I threaded the branches into the pipe and used it as a lever to tear the thing out of the ground. It was a very barbaric way to do it but it worked. It probably took 2 or 3 hours and a lot of muscle. But it was free and a better workout than crossfit.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:29PM
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