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Thread: Killing Lawn & Native Garden

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    Member boeman's Avatar
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    Killing Lawn & Native Garden

    Hi PSB peanut gallery.

    I have a fairly large 300m2-ish area of backyard that is hardly lawn. I can subdivide but sitting on it for a while. Big, flat square patch the dogs have to do whatever with 2 trees on one side providing them natural shade. Mix of buffalo and who knows that I keep mowed short and watered as little as possible since who cares.

    Of late, it means a lot of dirt, sand, dead lawn and everything in between gets dragged inside and we vacuum every night. Also doesn't look overly appealing, and our entire rear of the house faces it.

    So, cheapest most logical thought thus far, is to poison the shit out of it and replace with woodchips and then eventually plant natives. Outside of the poison (unless someone has a better idea) it seems like an environmentally sound solution. Native plants, less water waste, keeps the ground cover still, dogs can still shit and piss wherever, looks better. Probably throw down some slabs/pavers as a stepping stone path to the hills hoist.

    So have at me, since in my head it all seems too easy. I know they will require topping up, but I can live with that.

    Something like this, but.... bigger.


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    Member Sauer's Avatar
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    Are poisons compatible with dogs??

    If you're going to cover it with a thick layer of mulch (5cm plus) and plant natives, a layer of thick plastic might work quicker than chemicals. Just lay the plastic over the lawn, top soil for the natives, then the mulch/chips. Lawn will die from lack of sun/water.

    Would likely increase your insect ecology - slaters, cockroaches, termites etc. And predators of those (trap/wolf/huntsmen spiders like nesting/hiding in wood chips).

    Personally I wouldn't want to keep 300m2 of mulch topped up. I had a couple garden beds topped with wood mulch (maybe 10m2) that needed topping every quarter (food growing). You also might find quantities of wood chips brought into the house as they break down, depending the amount of wind around or people/dogs going in and out...

    If you had the time/patience/interest you could make a few square metre gardens in to grow your own food (or flowers/shrubs in), food's not real nice on the eye and takes lots of time, energy and resources to establish, but you might save some $'s on veggies and you'll know what's going into them if you grow them yourself.

    My 2c. Might not even be worth that
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    Glyphosate will kill almost any growing plant but won't stop seeds from becoming weeds, becoming headaches. You could dig it out/turn it over first which will help but I've found Couch grass runners 2m underground so if you've got Couch you're buggered no matter what. If you want to do what you're describing then spray it two or 3 times with a heavy mix of glyphosate 7-10 days apart and wait a while to see what pops up next, and do it again. After this, put on at least 150mm of heavy wood chips (Marri Bark is my favorite for weed suppression). DO NOT go thinner than that. Even at 150mm you'll have to run around with a sprayer of glyphosate every month or so for a year to stop weeds coming though. Weed mat does nothing, don't bother.

    That's a lot of work for not a lot of payoff IMHO. I'd give it a spray in the winter, put in retic, put in 100mm of lawn mix and turf it. Healthy thick lawn is the best weed suppressor and you won't get sand tracked in the house. I spend a huge amount of time enjoying my lawn and gardens with the wife and dogs but it is a lot of work to keep it looking good. Anything you plant right now will need huge amounts of water to keep alive so plant in late winter to early spring.

    The easiest and cheapest overall fix though will be to bring back your lawn. That depends a lot on the current state of it though. A bit of grass seed, fertiliser, $500 worth of retic parts and a weekend labouring will cost less than even the wood chips to do 300m2 @ 150mm.
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    Member boeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticEnd View Post
    Glyphosate will kill almost any growing plant but won't stop seeds from becoming weeds, becoming headaches. You could dig it out/turn it over first which will help but I've found Couch grass runners 2m underground so if you've got Couch you're buggered no matter what. If you want to do what you're describing then spray it two or 3 times with a heavy mix of glyphosate 7-10 days apart and wait a while to see what pops up next, and do it again. After this, put on at least 150mm of heavy wood chips (Marri Bark is my favorite for weed suppression). DO NOT go thinner than that. Even at 150mm you'll have to run around with a sprayer of glyphosate every month or so for a year to stop weeds coming though. Weed mat does nothing, don't bother.

    That's a lot of work for not a lot of payoff IMHO. I'd give it a spray in the winter, put in retic, put in 100mm of lawn mix and turf it. Healthy thick lawn is the best weed suppressor and you won't get sand tracked in the house. I spend a huge amount of time enjoying my lawn and gardens with the wife and dogs but it is a lot of work to keep it looking good. Anything you plant right now will need huge amounts of water to keep alive so plant in late winter to early spring.

    The easiest and cheapest overall fix though will be to bring back your lawn. That depends a lot on the current state of it though. A bit of grass seed, fertiliser, $500 worth of retic parts and a weekend labouring will cost less than even the wood chips to do 300m2 @ 150mm.
    Good point, I have 150m2 of nice reticulated lawn and garden out the front. Never have weeds. Get the odd one in the lawn, but after mowing they die off as the lawn overtakes it.

    I guess I am trying to avoid spending too much time and money since I will likely carve the block in half, but lawn probably isnt as bad as I thought.

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    I fkn hate gardens. I found the most effective way of ensuring lawn, weeds, trees etc will not grow for around 5 years was to do a coolant change on an old 4.1 falcon crossflow straight into the soil. That premix radiator coolant is amazing, way more effective than any weed killer i have ever seen. Top off with half a dozen wheelbarrows full of a watery cement mix and no more gardening ftw! Looks pretty shit though, so factor in more concrete and a big fuck-off shed to make use of the now bland backyard. Or a pool if so inclined. Maybe a skatepark. Mini bike track. Roller derby facility. Options are endless!
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    There is a way of achieving what you want.
    Couch is a formidable adversary but beatable if you declare war.
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    Look up "No Dig Gardening"

    Build up a huge supply of old newspapers and or cardboard.

    Give the lawn a healthy dose of Blood and Bone/dynamic lifter and garden Lime, water it in lots to attract the worms.

    Cover the lawn with a thick layer of newspaper (4-5 sheets) or wet cardboard. Overlap the pieces.

    Cover with mulch.

    If you want to plant just stab a hole through the newspaper and plant in organic composted lawn.

    Any weeds that appear will be in the layer of mulch and are easily pulled out due to shallow roots.

    Biggest pain these days is sourcing the newspaper. The local rags at the local shops and the like will assist.
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    Big active dogs are not reallycompatible with gardens. Just running on them trashes them. They'll probably dig and eat woodchip mulch and spread it around for more fun.

    My solution was brickpave from the back door to about 1/2 his 60m2 run (a separate compound within the yard) with some 900 looptop partly separating the pavers from the sand that is the rest of the run. The loop top steers him onto the sand via the back dunny path reducing the sand tracked back and forward across the pavers. Sand gets on the pavers near the back but doesn't make it to the back door. It's easy enough to use a blower or broom occasionally to clear the pavers if appearance is a thing. You'll get a bit of an idea from the pic.

    Garden is outside the run. It's a bit spartan inside but 120L glazed pots with shrubs/trees would be dog proof in there and make it more homely.

    For shit patrol, there is a wheeless sulo bin with the centre of the base cut out. The bin is slid about 800 into a deep hole a further 500 or more below the bin. When it is filled to the base of the bin, the bin is pulled up to get a bit more in. It composts down and takes 6-8 months before another hole is dug right beside the old one.



    Last edited by AZAZL; 07-01-2019 at 06:11 PM. Reason: add another pic
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    Quote Originally Posted by chew View Post
    Look up "No Dig Gardening"

    Build up a huge supply of old newspapers and or cardboard.

    Give the lawn a healthy dose of Blood and Bone/dynamic lifter and garden Lime, water it in lots to attract the worms.

    Cover the lawn with a thick layer of newspaper (4-5 sheets) or wet cardboard. Overlap the pieces.

    Cover with mulch.

    If you want to plant just stab a hole through the newspaper and plant in organic composted lawn.

    Any weeds that appear will be in the layer of mulch and are easily pulled out due to shallow roots.

    Biggest pain these days is sourcing the newspaper. The local rags at the local shops and the like will assist.
    Thereís no advantage adding garden lime unless your soil is super acidic (which is unlikely in Perth) or calcium deficient (again, not likely in Perth). Itís just one of those pseudo science gardening tips touted as effective online when it really does nothing
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    Member chew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryanoceros View Post
    Thereís no advantage adding garden lime unless your soil is super acidic (which is unlikely in Perth) or calcium deficient (again, not likely in Perth). Itís just one of those pseudo science gardening tips touted as effective online when it really does nothing
    It is about killing and decomposing the lawn and roots not a soil conditioner in this case.
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    Member keys's Avatar
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    Water it then put some clear plastic on top for a week or so ,that will cook and kill any living
    thing and the weed seeds ........
    Last edited by keys; 07-01-2019 at 10:08 PM.
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    Yep, cover it in plastic for the rest of the summer, its called solarisation. There's no need to surround yourself with poison.
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    Roundup is the shit.
    -
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    Quote Originally Posted by agrid View Post
    Roundup is the shit.
    Wahoo

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    Quote Originally Posted by keys View Post
    Water it then put some clear plastic on top for a week or so ,that will cook and kill any living
    thing and the weed seeds ........
    Make that black plastic and leave it longer than a week, a lot longer. It becomes a matter of choosing your strategy or combination of strategies. Some seeds have an incredible ability to remain dormant for a long time (years) so it's a battle of attrition to deplete the seed bank.
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    I agree that lawn is your cheapest, most logical option as you woodchip will be dragged inside in no time. It would be worth spreading a couple of trailer loads of lawn sand around if the ground is heavy clay. You can usually hire a trailer from most soil shops. Most lawnseed you buy now is majority ryegrass so select carefully if you want lawn as hardy interlocking lawn rather than single grass plants.
    And just a winding path of rock dust (bluemetal) to your clothesline is probably the cheapest path (dust not stone as you end up carrying the stones inside). Mark out the path and dig it in a little so you don't spray your bluemetal dust everywhere when you mow it. Be sure it is deep enough so that the lawn does not grow through it. Two loader buckets should be enough for the average path.
    Then buy a hose, a timer and a sprinkler and get into the habit of watering it. Decent mowers are comparatively cheap now too.

    Quote Originally Posted by agrid View Post
    Roundup is the shit.
    Quote Originally Posted by keys View Post
    My issue is not with Roundup Keys, it is with Monsanto, the most unethical company in the world. Keep in mind that the success of the multi million dollar legal action against Monsanto was because Monsanto suppressed information that contradicted their claim that Roundup was "safe". Ruling was given just after the sale of Monsanto to Bayer Cropscience. Just treat Roundup like any other chemical and wear masks and gloves while using it and avoid the area for at least a few hours.
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    Member GreenMeanie's Avatar
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    How many natives do you need?
    Iíll round some up tonight. Iím always keen to find somewhere to bury them.
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    This is what I am looking at.

    Yes our puppy is special.

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    Member ApatheticEnd's Avatar
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    That lawn can be salvaged for sure. A good rake to get rid of some of the thatch, a good quality fertilizer (not Bunnings shit, you want Unibomber quality that comes from trade wholesalers at about $80 a 20kg bag but will do it 3 times over), a bit of wetting agent, and regular watering for a few weeks and she'll come back thick enough to stop the dogs tracking sand around the place. If you've got the time to hand water every day it will cost you next to nothing. If you can't be bothered a tap timer and a couple of sprinkers will do (thought he dogs might savage them). Could set up with proper retic for about $500 in parts.

    I've got an old mower that works fine I'll give you if you don't have one. I bought a new cylinder mower last year.
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    Member boeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticEnd View Post
    That lawn can be salvaged for sure. A good rake to get rid of some of the thatch, a good quality fertilizer (not Bunnings shit, you want Unibomber quality that comes from trade wholesalers at about $80 a 20kg bag but will do it 3 times over), a bit of wetting agent, and regular watering for a few weeks and she'll come back thick enough to stop the dogs tracking sand around the place. If you've got the time to hand water every day it will cost you next to nothing. If you can't be bothered a tap timer and a couple of sprinkers will do (thought he dogs might savage them). Could set up with proper retic for about $500 in parts.

    I've got an old mower that works fine I'll give you if you don't have one. I bought a new cylinder mower last year.
    All good on the mowers. I have my scott bonnar cylinder for the nice front lawn, and a honda rotary for the back.

    Looks like I am digging trenches and doing retic this weekend.

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