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Backyard weeds

Posted by btcs41 PA (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 31, 10 at 9:54

Hello all. I've got a large neglected area of my backyard that has been over taken by weeds--some look like mini trees! I'm thinking there are multiple species and not sure of the best method to rid of them.

Is tilling an option or just plain old hand pulling? I would eventually like to plant some grass and mulch the very back as sunlight is less towards the back. Please let me know if you need any further info.

I appreciate any advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Backyard weeds

It looks to me like you have a normal woodland garden. You probably would find tht few grasses would grow well in that shade and the cover the growth there now provides to various types of wildlife is needed, especially in an urban setting.


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RE: Backyard weeds

Hi, I'm a noobie in gardening. I have been reading on removing weeds/grass and learned that it's best not to till the land. Tilling will bring up dormant weed seeds and you'll end up with more weeds. You can mow the spot 1st. Spray with ivy/weed killing agents then amend the soil with organic materials. If the specimen has large stem, you'll be better digging/pulling it up. Good luck.


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RE: Backyard weeds

An FYI huntergpt although you are correct about tilling most amending of the soils include turning the amendments into the soil, in effect tilling done by hand or machine will bring up seeds.

I would try to pull the tree seedlings on a wet day then do the cutting and killing but that is a wonderful spot for a woodland garden. In fact next spring you may find all kinds of plants coming up that you want to keep after removing the seedlings. Good luck getting rid of tree seedlings is a pain.


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RE: Backyard weeds

Thanks all for the insight. As far as a woodland garden--I'd rather not. I am looking to gain a few extra feet of grass for the kids to play in. If I can't get grass too far back, I'd prefer some time of ground cover--i.e. pachysandra.

Any other suggestions? I've read some info about using black tarp to omit sunlight from the area. Has anyone tried this? It would be a large are for me--roughly 90ftx30ft


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RE: Backyard weeds

Try removing some of the saplings first in part of the area. That large of tarp would cost more than hiring a day crew to come in and remove the saplings. Since school will be starting shortly you could have your children's friends and their parents over for a play area expansion get together. In doing this you can learn more about your children's parents and perhaps later trade help.

Depending your children and their friends an area next to the fences planted could keep them from running into the fence during play. Having been slammed into similar fencing when younger can cause scars.


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RE: Backyard weeds

btcs41 -

I have a lot of woody invasive shrubs and small trees to remove. It would be prohibitively expensive to have somebody come with equipment and take them out, and also to have people come with hand tools and dig them out. Being 50-something, I ain't doin' the work, plus it's way too hot at the time of year when I've got enough light, outside of working hours.

After some research on the web, discovered that privet and small tallow trees can be killed by painting 12-18 inches of the trunk with a mixture of diesel and triclopyr (brushkiller), so that you've got 25% triclopyr. To do this, I had to buy a gallon of 60% tri. at the feed store, and it wasn't cheap - around $90. Maybe there are smaller sizes available.

Works like a charm. I believe this method can be used on any woody plant with smooth bark. It's a lot easier to remove dead shrubs and saplings than live ones.


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RE: Backyard weeds

Even if some kind of "weed" killer is applied there will still be the plant stems, some quite thick, to remove. So instead of spraying, or otherwise applying, poisons often at great expense why not just grub out those "weeds". Mulch mowing the area, if possible, can also help as long as some of the thicker stems are hand cut first.


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