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How to remove large amounts of grass?

Posted by ms_minnamouse 7a (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 29, 11 at 21:49

I have like 3 or more acres that I want to convert to a meadow. There's no way that I'm going to do this from plugs, I need to do it from seed, so I need to remove the grass that's there.

What's the best and hopefully cheapest method to remove grass so I can put down native meadow seed?

And is it best to remove the grass right before I seed in the fall?

I'll most likely be doing this by myself and not hiring people.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to remove large amounts of grass?

Some of the prairie seed companies have instructions in their catalogs and/or web sites. If memory serves, the basic options are: (1) herbicide; (2) strip the sod with a sod cutting machine; (3) smother (but three acres would be tough); (4) repeated tillage; and (5) sometimes a well-timed burn (depending on many factors and legality).

There is more detail required for all of these methods.
More experienced folks can give you better advice.

RE: How to remove large amounts of grass?

A nice controlled burn.

Check for permits and call the fire department. Offer to let them burn it for you and practice fighting grass fires at the same time. They often will do it!

Herbicide would be my 2nd choice.

RE: How to remove large amounts of grass?

I bought my mix from Michigan Wildflower Farm and their instructions were to kill each season's weeds. So that means hitting everthing that comes up with Round-up (or less priced equilavent at TSC) for a year. It's a huge pain and I hate using herbicides but it's so hard for the natives to compete with all our non-native weeds. There are tons of weed seeds waiting to spring forth once they're exposed to light.You gotta hit 'em hard.Once your natives have gotten some size they can hold their own. Then mow the crap out of your new planting starting early 'cause non-native grass gets growing way earlier than your natives and you want to keep your native seeds exposed to light. It's hard work but worth it.Start with small areas,otherwise it can be overwhelming. Good luck and don't give up.

RE: How to remove large amounts of grass?

You might consider goat rental, at least for the first pass to get rid of the tall stuff, unless you want to keep the biomass.

RE: How to remove large amounts of grass?

Use a grass-specific herbicide. The active ingredient is sethoxydim. It's sold under the name Poast or Arrest.
Just make sure some of the "good" plants aren't in the grass family.

Round-Up is great for the initial treatment, but you will have a continuous cycle of grasses as the seeds laying on the ground sprout and grow.

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