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wanted: no herbicide/pesticide lawncare help

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wanted: no herbicide/pesticide lawncare help

Postby dllfb » Mar 24, 2008 5:24 pm

Guelph, in Southern Ontario, is passing a law soon, of no herbicides or pesticides for lawn care. Can anyone give me any tips as to a weedless lawn (other than get the knife out!) Is there anything that can replace the hose spray container of Killex or Weed b Gone...to spray a large lawn area? I tried the lemon juice and vinegar mixture, but it didn't work. I'd like to know what kind of "NATURAL" solutions people are using..that work! We have a lot of dandilions in this neighbourhood along with chickweed, clovers and moss. Thanks in advance for your help!
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Postby Scrapinthehat » Mar 24, 2008 5:39 pm

My gut reaction was for you to dig it all up and plant flowers & shrubs in its place. We still have plenty of grass too though, so I shouldn't be so quick to give out that advice. I do plan on taking it out in stages...just don't tell my hubby 8) .

I am trying to be pesticide and herbicide free as well so I will be watching this thread. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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Postby everchnginggrden » Mar 24, 2008 5:46 pm

It just happens that I am going to an organic lawn care seminar on Wednesday and have a pile of questions including weed management. There really is no organic weed killer that selectively ignores the grass that I have been able to find but I understand corn gluten meal works as a preemergent. The company that is putting on the seminar has products for this. It's another one of my many questions I'm going with since I plan on trying a completely organic lawn care approach this year. I'll provide an update if I think it was worth while after I get back.

Overall the best approach to have a healthy thick lawn, cut it longish (2-3 inches) and this will choke out the weeds although I'm sure you have heard that already. :roll:

I have also used a tool I got at home hardware that pulls weeds great. I'll see if I can take a picture later and upload.

Sharon
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Postby everchnginggrden » Mar 24, 2008 7:19 pm

Hi -- if you go to home hardware website and put weeder in the search box you will see a speed weeder aerator ($21.99). Although I wish is were all metal instead of some plastic parts it works great, no bending down at all.

Sharon

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Re: wanted: no herbicide/pesticide lawncare help

Postby A Closet Canuck » Mar 24, 2008 8:19 pm

dllfb wrote:Guelph, in Southern Ontario, is passing a law soon, of no herbicides or pesticides for lawn care. Can anyone give me any tips as to a weedless lawn (other than get the knife out!) ......


Our front yard slopes steeply to the street. When the house was built the top soil was removed during construction and sod was applied on that terrible subsoil. My husband, The Yard Guy, dealt with the weeds with herbicides and the grass with bags of fertilizer. We still had weeds and the grass looked terrible by August from the loss of moisture in the heat, even though he kept the grass long.

A local celebrity put compost from the city compost facility on his lawn. Since nothing much happens here this was big news and got lots of play from the media! LOL

After a lot of arm twisting, my husband finally agreed to apply some compost. One day, he comes in the house and said it took him almost two hours to apply compost to the lawn but he got the job done. I said, "Why does it take two hours to apply a bag of compost?" Well, the answer was, he took my entire stock of compost (perhaps ten bags) and applied it all to the lawn. I couldn't decide whether to be mad or entertained. You can understand why I don't let him in the kitchen. LOL

It turns out what he did was just what the lawn needed. The grass grew thick and green, it held up better to the heat and there was a rare weed AND it completely solved the problem of crabgrass. I couldn't believe how well it turned out. We have switched completely away from fertilizers and herbicides.

Experts here say to apply compost 1/4 inch thick every OTHER year to the lawn. The second year, we also applied compost but within guidelines (heaven only knows how thick the first application was). Same good results.

Hope this helps!
Trish in Iowa -- -- ..zone 5b or 6a
.
------When your feet hit the floor each morning,
---------be the kind of woman about whom

---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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Postby Katherine » Mar 24, 2008 8:28 pm

Trish remind me to always read your posts, will you? You have such a great sense of humour. Re compost, I have to say this really works. Topdressing with compost is the best you can do. But if you have a LOT of weeds you may have to do some prep first.

I would dig out as many of the weeds as you can with a knife as you say, (my fave garden tool is a steak knife), top dress, press down and seed if there are a lot of bare patches from the weeding. And water it. It sounds like you have a compacted soil, dry, poorly aerated, not very nutritious.

Lawns are real piggies, actually. They will munch up all your best compost, water and they are a lot of work, and what for? I am slowly compressing and encroaching on my lawn with perennial beds.

Kat
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Postby Durgan » Mar 24, 2008 9:17 pm

My solution would be to remove the sod, put it through a chipper/ shredder and blow back onto the area, and apply a load of triple mix about 9-14 yards, rake and roll then re-seed. From experience I have found that a seeded lawn is better than a sod lawn, but everybody has a mindset that they must use sod.

Here is the substance of the method, use a little extrapolation of the pictures and the idea becomes clear.

http://meuho.notlong.com/ 26 October 2007 Sod Busting

For weed control on my 0.4 acre lot, I simply walk around in the early morning with a long weed removal tool, and flick out the weeds as required. I have been doing this for four years and the weeds get less and less. No poisions for me, and even birds come and eat grubs. Simple and it is almost fun, sort of like pressing out a blackhead as a teenager.
Zone 5 Brantford,ON
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thanks for advice

Postby dllfb » Mar 24, 2008 10:20 pm

Well thanks for the tips...when you state to use compost....can you share what kind you use please.....is it like the manure you buy in bags?
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Re: thanks for advice

Postby A Closet Canuck » Mar 25, 2008 9:54 am

dllfb wrote:Well thanks for the tips...when you state to use compost....can you share what kind you use please.....is it like the manure you buy in bags?


Our city collects bagged leaves and yard waste and processes it along with biosolids from the sewage system. This is bagged as compost and marketed as "Earthcycle Compost." I suppose you could use composted cow or sheep manure. However, full-strength this stuff might be a bit much. Many suppliers mix cow/sheep/horse manure with composted clippings (about 2% manure by weight) and market this as compost.

If you have access to municipal compost you might be better off than buying bagged compost from the local big box store. This is because municipal facilities that compost are held to high standards for testing and product composition (at least in the U.S.).

The suggestion above of using triple mix would also be successful.
Trish in Iowa -- -- ..zone 5b or 6a
.
------When your feet hit the floor each morning,
---------be the kind of woman about whom

---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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Postby A Closet Canuck » Mar 25, 2008 9:56 am

Katherine wrote:Trish remind me to always read your posts, will you? You have such a great sense of humour.........
Kat


It helps to have a husband who is a bit off the mark; he provides me with some of my funniest stuff. LOL LOL
Trish in Iowa -- -- ..zone 5b or 6a
.
------When your feet hit the floor each morning,
---------be the kind of woman about whom

---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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