Ask a Question forum: Pile of soil & weeds ?

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Massachusetts
Arigardens
May 30, 2020 4:48 PM CST
I have this patch on my backyard that was here when we bought the house . It's like a small hill/ pile of soil that now has a ton of weeds. I don't know where to begin 😩 can anyone Enlighten me on this ?

I've started to manually remove some of the weeds. Id say I've gotten 1/16 done 🤣

Please help a total newbie.
Thumb of 2020-05-30/Arigardens/84edac

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 30, 2020 8:10 PM CST
Hi,
Can you run a lawn mower over it? What do you want to do there?
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Calif_Sue
May 30, 2020 9:46 PM CST

Plants Admin

Yes, start with a mow if you can. When I started my garden, I put down flattened boxes over the weeds, and after a few weeks, lifted them and easily removed the dried weeds and was able to plant. I still use boxes when certain bare areas got too weedy and I wasn't able to get to them in time.
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
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kittriana
May 30, 2020 10:13 PM CST
At my brothers home, when he couldn't bag leaves, he made a pile in a corner of his yard for those leaves, or where the dirt that had accumulated over 40 years in his areas under trees were, so that he had a pile in one corner, too. He left it alone because his dog would only do his duty in that corner. Weeds in dirt are where nature is preparing the dirt for better plants to grow. They enrich the soil til the weeds cannot grow ( years long thing here) then other plants can find good soil to grow. If there are trees overhead, the bare earth may also be because the tree is throwing a 'poison' that prevents other plants from growing. Black walnut, oak, and even elms are known for this.
Pulling weeds is the best recourse for eradication, but then there are the seeds that will grow when they sense their chances of getting to take root. So with the information you have given us, best we can guess at your labor, and send our regards for your efforts. Hope it becomes what you have your heart set on.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Massachusetts
Arigardens
Jun 1, 2020 8:01 AM CST
Thank you all so much!

I will try to mow and see what happens.

I loved the idea of putting boxes on top and see if it helps get rid of some of them.

Thank you kittriana for the awesome tips!

I didnt share what I wanted to do, Im planning on leveling this part of the yard and maybe doing some path work with some plants surrounding it. There are about 4-6 sugar maple tree where this pile is. So im thinking of planning something around them.

Thank you so very much!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jun 1, 2020 11:53 AM CST
Like Kat said, It is probably an old compost pile.
I think it's a dirty shame that you didn't take pictures that allowed us to identify the plants there... Could be that you already have desirable plants that are already happily growing on site... only needing a small amount of triage.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Jun 1, 2020 12:04 PM CST
Just walk through the pile to ensure there is nothing there, large rocks, metal objects that could damage the lawnmower or you
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Massachusetts
Arigardens
Jun 1, 2020 12:10 PM CST
I will take some picture up close. I did find a huge rock :/
I think this was a mounted flower bed it looks like. There are some path blocks there too. Confused

I will post some pictures.

Thank you everyone!
<3
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Jun 1, 2020 2:03 PM CST
I can not enlarge your picture enough without it getting blurry...I think you might have a lot of daylilies in there. That would be a good thing. Thumbs up

Maybe some better pictures of the tall grass like plants...a picture of their base would help determine if they are daylily fans.

Many blessings for happiness is your home and garden!
One to take to heart....1 John 4
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 1, 2020 3:27 PM CST
With weeds that large simply pulling them out, using a shovel to help get the hard ones out will work best.

In my South garden , years past, some times I did not get in to weed it until weeds, including grass was over 1 foot tall.
It took time but I simply took a handfull, literally at a time and pulled them out.
When I was done, the area was better than 90 percent weed free.
If this is just an old pile never walked on , they should come out fairly easily.
Massachusetts
Arigardens
Jun 4, 2020 8:32 PM CST
Hello all

I'm attaching a few more pictures of the site .

Hope it's good resolution .

:)


Thumb of 2020-06-05/Arigardens/612925
Thumb of 2020-06-05/Arigardens/35d966


Thumb of 2020-06-05/Arigardens/d3a8c6

Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
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Altheabyanothername
Jun 4, 2020 9:05 PM CST
Hi Arigardens!

I am pretty sure you have/had quite a few daylilies in there. The last two pictures...looking at the upper third of the right edge of the picture I see daylily leaves and an actual fan bottom. Daylilies come in lots of colors they would have to bloom to know what they look like.
Here is an example...of leaves with a couple of blooms.
Thumb of 2020-06-05/Altheabyanothername/35b7b1
An example of daylilies planted in a garden bed.
Thumb of 2020-06-05/Altheabyanothername/90ffcf

Many blessings for your home and garden!

One to take to heart....1 John 4
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Butterflies Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
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sallyg
Jun 5, 2020 5:23 AM CST
I can see oriental bittersweet (vine like yet woody) and sumac (not poison, just beginnings of a small tree) along with some kind of daylily. Which could be species fulva, the common 'ditch lily/outhouse lily'.. should bloom soon.
Maybe it was a patch of daylilies , just invaded.
So do you have a digging fork? four thick tines, its can be easier to stick in the ground and loosen to soil.

Again, what do you want in the area once the weeds are dealt with?
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jun 5, 2020 5:54 AM CST
Arigardens said:
Thumb of 2020-06-05/Arigardens/d3a8c6



The main plant featured in this picture seems to be walnut trees... Keeper!

I'm also seeing invasive wisteria and privet.

And a couple of clumps of daffodil...

Thanks for the better pictures... I also agree that I see some daylilies in first pic.

Really not a hill of weeds, just a bed needing minor triage.





central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
Jun 6, 2020 8:11 AM CST
Look up gardening with juglone before you decide if the walnut tree is a keeper Hilarious!

Also consider whether you want a giant tree that close to your house

(I have no vote as to whether it's a walnut or a sumac. I am bad at identifying trees)
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 6, 2020 10:06 PM CST
Walnut Trees can become giant invasive weeds.
I have been fighting my neighbor's Walnut infestion, from squirrels bringing them over for years.
Beautiful tree but he finally cut it down.
If it fell on his house, house would be kaput, not damaged, kaput.
The damn things are still popping up but not as many.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jun 7, 2020 6:14 AM CST
I feel like walnut trees are getting an unfair rap.

So what if there's juglone.... more plants grow among walnuts than not...
https://www.mortonarb.org/tree...

and... there are a lot of plants that are allelopathic... like rhododendron and turf... and nobody is declaring war on those....

walnuts turn into extremely valuable plantings, and if nothing else... the wood is rot resistant... perfect for all those in ground applications...
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
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kittriana
Jun 7, 2020 10:21 AM CST
That tree is NOT a walnut, but I would defer to @ViburnumValley if he corrected me everytime, yes it was a flower bed, I do agree
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Massachusetts
Arigardens
Jun 7, 2020 11:36 AM CST
I think we will probably get rid of almost of them 😕😕 we were trying to decide whether or not to keep the walnut tree but we do already have huge trees all around our house and the neighbors are not that far away so I feel like it could become an issue .

We want to keep some of the plant like the flowering ones and we we will do sort of a patio around them to expose the sugar maple trees that are all near the fence and have a level place for my kids pool (and not damage hubby's pride grass lol)

Thank you all so much for all the wonderful input and ideas! I will definitely post back here once we've got that area ready ! 💝
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
Jun 7, 2020 2:38 PM CST
I see kittriana shouted at me. I was having a nice slumber, listening to the breeze among the birds chirping...

I think the Juglans nigra - Black Walnut - diagnosis is correct. Arigardens could snap off a leaf or two, crush them, and sniff to get the whiff of what Walnut unmistakeably smells like.

I would absolutely agree that the Walnut should go from such a proposed/existing flower garden. The other plants Walnut generally successfully associates with are the native species it evolved with, rather than all the introduced ornamental plants that many/most people grow in their gardens.

I also see Wisteria, Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), all those Daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.), the Daffodil clumps (Narcissus sp.), and maybe some Violets.

I'd start by eliminating the most vigorous invasive species - and seeing what may be obscured beneath them. That would be the vines, Wisteria and Bittersweet. If you want to pull/dig, so be it. I would cut them at ground level and paint the stumps/cut ends with Roundup/glyphosate, but you may not wish to use herbicide. If pulling plants in a site like this, it is often much easier to do so after good soaking rains, or after a good soaking sprinkler irrigation. Two for one, the plants you are leaving get a good drink, too - and you will break up less of their roots while removing the ones you don't want. Use a board or flat rocks to perch on when working on wet soils, to reduce compaction.

Have extra pots handy for the inevitable "what is this?" that you dig out/pull out accidentally, or for things that you want to relocate anyway. They will move easier, too, if they've been irrigated beforehand.

You might also want to have mulch or compost or wood chips handy to cover bare ground that you've freshly cleaned up, to reduce new weeds germinating there. The cardboard idea works there, too - with mulch on top if you have it.

Wow, ready for Nap Round Two now...
John

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