Ask a Question forum→Would like to kill all vegetation and start lawn again

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Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 4, 2020 3:44 PM CST
Hello,

I thought that I had killed the weeds and grass on my lawn using Compare n Save. It took a while but soon most everything was gone. I was thrilled. About a month or so later, my previously dead lawn and weeds were green again. I was infested with tall weeds beyond my imagination. I could not believe it was happening.

I could not use Compare n Save because it seemed to rain almost everyday. Even today it was supposed to be sunny for the next 4 days and it rained today.

I am now getting rid of the weeds by hand. Exhausting! I want to put some kind of root killer in the soil, wait a year and then plant Zoysia grass seeds next spring. What can I use to ensure that my lawn, which will soon be all de-weeded by hand, never grows back. I will have a heart attack if this happens to me again.
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Sep 4, 2020 4:04 PM CST
It will be difficult to kill all the vegetation, then keep the soil bare till you are ready to plant new seeds. My suggestion is to strip the grass and weeds off the ground when you are ready to plant new seeds. When ground is left bare, it receives wild seeds of numerous kinds in the wind, rain run-off, and even bird poop. Wait and do your grass and weed stripping when you are ready to replant. After stripping the ground, I would till it, then replant.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 4, 2020 4:24 PM CST
I see. Thank you.

So do you think that this would be a good time of year to plant Zoysia seeds now? September? I ask because I have already started striping the lawn and will actually be finished in about 2 days. Sort of too late to stop now. Again, thanks so much for your help.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Sep 4, 2020 4:29 PM CST
Zoysia is better planted in the Spring.
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Name: GERALD
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Hydroponics Greenhouse Region: Texas
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IntheHotofTexas
Sep 4, 2020 4:34 PM CST
You generally have to repeatedly till and kill. Each tilling brings up deeply embedded seed that then can be killed. But that's right. You can't leave it bare, or things will take advantage.

And you've picked a slow growing grass, so you will also have the problem of keeping things under control until it can take hold. And it's a long project. Not all seeds will germinate the first year. And plugs, which are quicker, still take a long time to fill in. But it will go faster if you have good lawn soil. If you'r soil is poor, like clay, you're wasting your time scattering seed. You can till in top soil and top with bagged sod starter soil. And people often use biodegradeable tarp, the green fuzzy stuff you see them use on construction jobs and highway right of way. Helps keep it moist, as that grass seed will not survive if it gets dry.

Any way you look at it, it's a long-term project to grow from seed or plug. Not for nothing do those English estate lawns come after 200 years of seed and roll.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
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NMoasis
Sep 4, 2020 4:41 PM CST
You could cover the entire area with flattened cardboard boxes or plastic sheeting. Not very attractive until Spring, but they will keep the weeks down. If you decide to till, do it 2-3 weeks before seeding, then water well, which will stimulate growth of all those seeds the tilling brings up. Pull them before seeding.

Have you thought about working with nature instead of fighting what seems to be the norm for your area? Plant native grasses and ground covers. They won't need as much water, fertilizer, or weed-killers and possibly very little mowing.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 4, 2020 4:46 PM CST
Thanks so much everyone. I appreciate your help, more than you will know. I guess this is a much bigger project than I thought or hoped.
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
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JBarstool
Sep 4, 2020 6:21 PM CST
punkin444 said:Hello,

What can I use to ensure that my lawn, which will soon be all de-weeded by hand, never grows back. I will have a heart attack if this happens to me again.


Concrete.
I find myself most amusing.
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 6, 2020 2:51 AM CST
Hi again,

I was looking into getting a large plastic cover for the yard/dirt area, as suggested. Then I started thinking since the area will be cleared in 2 days, what if I just spray any green growth, as soon as they shoot up, with Roundup until spring when I will then plant the Zoysia seeds? I am guessing as it gets colder, the weeds and other growth will go dormant for several months.
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 6, 2020 2:55 AM CST
I just saw the concrete message and if I could think of a way to make that look good, I would not be opposed to it. Don't encourage me!! I may start looking for concrete manufacturers right now (smile).
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Sep 6, 2020 7:49 AM CST
How big an area are we talking about? What kind of weeds? Makes a difference. Let's see if we can find you a solution that doesn't involve repeated applications of herbicides.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 6, 2020 10:45 AM CST
1600 square feet is the size of the yard. I am not sure what kind of weeds. I am getting ready to go to work, so I will take pictures of the weeds and post them tomorrow. I would say that there are about 4 main types of weeds. Thank you so much. Will post tomorrow.
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Sep 6, 2020 3:58 PM CST
When you do plant the new grass, consider also planting a temporary grass, maybe fescue, on the same space. It will come up and grow fast protecting the ground from erosion and providing a good temporary ground cover. When the summer gets hot, it will die and let your permanent lawn take over.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 7, 2020 11:38 AM CST
Thanks. Are you saying plant fescue and Zoysia at the exact same time, mixing the seeds in one distribution? Or plant the fescue first, then wait and plant Zoysia after the fescue takes hold?
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 7, 2020 11:43 AM CST
Here are the images of weeds that I have. I mostly have image 1, 3, 4, and 5. Thank you, so grateful. Thank You!

Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/70208b
Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/880b92
Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/a17d21
Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/af949e
Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/c091cb
Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/e45883

Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
NMoasis
Sep 7, 2020 12:01 PM CST
Punkin444, so sorry, your photos open to the size of a postage stamp on my screen. Can't enlarge them. Perhaps someone else can ID? From what I can make out, you've got the start of a wildflower meadow! Smiling
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
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kittriana
Sep 7, 2020 12:43 PM CST
@JBar Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Weeds are forever. Forever and ever Amen. Those seeds could be able to come to life for 40 plus years even if they weren't Mother Nature gifted. Glysophates are NOT a great idea even if it is a city yard- tends to grab the watersheds, hurt small animals in constant contact with it...let me see. Zoysia is supposedly a WARM season grass preferring warm conditions in optimal zones. Cold zones are not its best condition and could possibly be a poor performance grass. Seems to do well along Md coast and south, but Md is probably as far north as it could tolerate, so would be chancy if you guys get a winter. Best Spring planted, Zones 8 through 12...I see you are hoping for easy care, but you REALLY need to not pay attention to the advertising and dig deeper. I hear gripes about zoysia even as far south as Atlanta, Ga. You could use annual ryegrass (it dies in summer and does not return if you keep seeds from dropping, good zones 5 thru 10, and it is great in cold conditions.

WHOA! Tiny stamp pix. Tall, willowy, feathery prob dog fennel, eupatorium capillifolium, nasty stuff. That many weeds usually means a depletion of grass nutrients, chuckl, fertilizing heavily would probably be a better option than roundup for killing them.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
[Last edited by kittriana - Sep 7, 2020 12:48 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2344120 (17)
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 7, 2020 1:27 PM CST
Hopefully these are larger images. If you click on them they seem to get larger. 1, 3, 5, 6 are the primary ones.


Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/37857d


Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/5190be


Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/eedc4f


Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/1303bb


Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/0c2a4b


Thumb of 2020-09-07/punkin444/edc370

Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
Vegetable Grower Bookworm
Image
kittriana
Sep 7, 2020 1:36 PM CST
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic... chickweed is prob in there in your yard too...crabgrass...a mallow? dunno if that is a broomstraw grass or reed (rush?)
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Hyattsville, MD
punkin444
Sep 7, 2020 1:49 PM CST
Regarding the wildflower meadow comment, nmoasis, yes, I am in trouble. This is my second clearing of the weeds which are quite lush. It has been raining here almost every other day. I had an all dirt yard (1600 square feet) after clearing, and then all of a sudden, within two months I think, possibly less, the weeds took over again. It was embarrassing because it looked like I was living in an abandoned house when you drove past. I am so happy to have made substantial progress, but I can't go through this "by-hand" removal again. I have used muscles I did not know that I had and I am really quite tired.

As an aside, I just saw a big praying mantis today! I have small frogs, toads, and I heard there are salamanders out here too. I'm a city girl, so this is quite new to me.

kittriana, I will read up on ryegrass and check into fertilizing.

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