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Old 02-08-2005, 09:54 AM
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Question clearing the dirt

Rather than pulling and digging, I decided to buy a black landscaping dirt cover (for the lack of a better name). I have laid out the plastic onto the grass where I do not want to have grass. I can always check it every week, but I wanted to ask someone who is familiar with what I am trying to do. I would like to get rid of these grasses without using any form of chemicals. How long should I let the plastic sit on the ground to effectively get rid of this unwanted grass?

I plan to plant some hot pepper, sweet potato, ginger, green pepper, okra, tomato, lemon grass, and whatever that I could get my hands on. I would like to plant one of each plant but this would mean on clearing more space. So, I am trying to figure a fastest way to get clear part of my backyard for gardening without chemicals.
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:38 AM
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This is what I do...

when I need a new garden patch.

I dig the hole for the plant, and pop it in. Then I return the dirt around it, shaking out any grass or weeds that were there before. Then I take several layers of newspaper, slit it about 1/2 way, cut a little tiny circle in the middle around the neck of the plant and slide it around the plant. Then mulch with whatever you are using to mulch with. The newspaper will break down, adding compost to your bed, by the end of the growing season, and yet, will have prevented weeds and/or grass from coming through. You can do whole beds like this easily, quickly and it looks just gorgeous.

Happy planting!!! Norma
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:13 AM
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When I want to clear a spot to create a new garden I set my rototiller on it's highest setting go over the area I wish to clear with it, lower it, go over it, rake it out, lower it, go over it. It is a lot of work but I cleared the length of my driveway about 100 feet by 6 feet (rectangle) to move some of my perrinials to alongside the driveway in a formal bed with bushes. It worked great, took me about 2-3 hours to clear it by myself. I then raked it all out smooth. Placed my clumps of dug up perrinials and pots of new additions and purchased new shrubs here and there til I was firm on their layout. Dug holes, planted them and mulched the entire rectangle. Then I threw a few chunks of granite rock around, we'd gotten at the quarry during a field trip. Watered it heavy and sat back. I had started the project and finished while my hubby was at work. He actually didn't even know I was going to do it. It was a great feeling when he pulled in the drive and stopped to admire my work and commented when he got up to the house. Now I just need a cure for moles that seemed to have moved in to that area since I did this. We have animals and children so don't want to use chemicals if we can help it but they are making a mess.
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:15 AM
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lrivetz

I have had much sucess with this method... I lay a thick layer of newspaper over the entire site, hold down with brick or rock until you can wet the paper enough to keep it from blowing away. Cut a X where you want to plant, place your plant and continue on until you are done. Mulch the area with a good layer of shredded mulch, pine straw or just straw. Careful with the straw, it can bring in unwanted weeds. The newspaper is a great gass killer and eventually breaksdown and adds a bit of nutrients to the ground.

Good luck with your planting.

katsgram
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:48 PM
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I just have to add that I have used the newspaper method myself on SEVERAL occassions and LOVE it. Saves so much work, adds nutrients to the soil, allows you to plan ahead or plant on the fly.

Sarah
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:40 PM
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I'm not sure I understand your post...you're going to put black landscape fabric over your existing lawn to kill the grass, then plant?
Sounds like it will kill grass, but then you still will have to dig up the dead grass and roots in order to get to the dirt.
Its late and my eyes are fuzzy...
I have a 12' x 12' plot. I too use the newspaper method and if I find the same black fabric your speaking of on sale I use that also to keep out weeds.
Word of caution about peppers and tomatoes. Peppers planted where tomatoes were last year will not grow. Been there, done that. Never a good result.
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Old 02-22-2005, 04:39 AM
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LJsmom

It looks like a black plastic bag. Professional landscaper uses it to cover the ground and not sure what happens after that. They are not really grass, it is grass being taken over by unwanted weeds. It is easier to pull rotten grass, vegetable or weeds than pull them when they are very much alive. I have plenty of vegetable seeds and I prefer these seeds than weeds. Papers and mulch on top sounds interesting, but would it not get rid of the weeds by using just the mulch?
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Old 02-22-2005, 06:45 AM
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The mulch alone will tend to keep some weeds under control, but will not kill an area of grass and weeds, they will come up through the mulch. Trust me on this one, put the heavy layer of newspaper down. I took a college horticulture class and that is what the professor advised.

But I thought you would be putting established plants in, not seeds. I'm not sure if the seeds will take in an area that is not cultivated.. Maybe start the seeds in those little peat pots and plant when they have grown tall enough not to get lost.

Good luck

Katsgram - Nancy
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Old 02-22-2005, 07:22 AM
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culture

What is the difference between Horticulture and Agriculture?

Not all seeds but some can be planted directly.

The only plant that I have growing on a mini pots is apple and hot pepper.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:19 AM
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Will the newspaper trick work on Bermuda grass? I don't want to use chemicals either. I have used the black plastic material in the past but the Bermuda grass still comes up through small holes cut in the black plastic material. Have sprayed vinegar around the edge of the garden and that kills the grass for a little while but them it just grows back.
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