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My garden plans - Peter Hentges

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June 27th, 2007

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10:44 am - My garden plans
So I've decided to kill my lawn. I was going to do this early this summer but I've been reading up on some alternatives to replace the lawn and it looks like late August to late September are the best times to plant them.

So now my plan is to Round-Up a big chunk of a my front lawn and replace it with these slow-growing fescues and perhaps mix in some regular prairie grasses and wildflowers for variety.

My plan for expanding my existing prairie plantings by smothering along the border with newspaper and adding new plants seems to be working well. The plants I picked up at the Friend's School sale are doing well. I'm going to look into propagating some of my existing plants to further that process.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:June 27th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
Fescues and ornamental grasses work really well as lawn replacements. You might consider planting some creeping thyme, too.
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Date:June 27th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Greatest icon ever.

I hurt because I cut, I cut because I hurt.
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Date:June 28th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
Be careful with the RoundUp-you could poison your soil for _many_ things. Better, really, to simply rototill it all under, though you will get some grass back.

Did you know they used to sell clover as a lawn covering? I've been on and off again looking for it (the small kind that sprouts the 5 inch flowers). If you happen to come across anyone selling it as seed, let me know.

Scott's, offhand, made the decision to market their weedkiller's rather than their clover seed, so they had to classify clover as a weed in order to get people to buy in. Clover is totally easier to take care of than grass, and feels just as good underfoot.

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Date:June 28th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
My plan with the RoundUp is to mix it at about half the recommended strength. I would use another method of killing the lawn but this really looks like my best option.

1) Roto-tilling is a no-go because I'm infested with quackgrass. Till that stuff and you just get more of it back.

2) I'd sheet-mulch by preference but I'm not in a financial position to get a few hundred square feet of newsprint that I can lay down in a layer about an inch thick and then top that with a few inches of mulch. This works great for my slower expansions, but for a big project isn't going to cut it.

3) Other smothering techniques are hampered by my ability to come up with adequate materials.

4) I've considered smother cropping with an annual rye but the city won't take kindly to letting that get above 8" as it works to crowd out the weeds.

5) cutting the sod off is another option but would leave me with some pretty low spots and probably wouldn't eliminate the quackgrass and other perennial weeds.

At least the RoundUp isn't persistant, like some other herbicides, so if I spray in August, I should be ready to plant in late September, just right to get the prairie plants the stratification they need.

Good info re: clover and Scott's. You might give the folks at Prairie Nursery a call for help finding a source of seed clover. Or your local county extension office. I'd bet someone sells it as a pasture crop.
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Date:June 28th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
What we use here (aside from discarded carpet and cardboard) are tarps. Even the thinnest ones are quite effective at killing off the ground cover. We've used it on Creeping Charlie and it kills it well, but it can still come back from other areas. Tarps are generally quite cheap even in large sizes, but probably not as cheap as RoundUp (though more useful, I think).

We don't want pasture clover, which grows much taller, but I'll check them anyway-thanks for the tip!
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Date:July 10th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
iraunink has been mumbling the last week or so about putting something ornamental grass-like in the back yard between the sidewalk and the north neighbor (about 30-36" by, oh, 30-40'?). She was thinking about something knee to waist high, I'm going to show her the Prairie Nursery write-up and see what she thinks. Let us know before you actually order seed - we might be willing to go in with you?

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