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Re: CULT: Pre-germinant weed control

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: CULT: Pre-germinant weed control
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@erols.com>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 17:51:11 -0600 (MDT)

Sing7178@aol.com wrote:
> Thanks for the info everyone on surflan.  I plan on going out and finding it
> very soon.  I am in the process of expanding my garden to an area that was
> previously all grass.  Does anyone know an easy way to remove grass?
> Gayla
> East Peoria, Il
> Beautiful, cool morning

Gayla -- Your wonderful, cool weather has already reached us and we are
luxuriating in it.  I know of two ways to remove grass -- one shorter,
one longer. The short way is to use an edger on the area of your lawn
that you want to convert to a garden. With the edger, cut 1' x 1' or 2'
x 2' squares in your lawn, like a checkerboard. Then, using a tool that
looks like a hoe that has had its head flattened out (i.e., a hoe's head
is at right angles to the handle; this tool's head is straight in line
with the handle), slice underneath the square at root level to remove
the grass. This is imperfect, since you will leave some roots, and you
will also lose a lot of dirt along with the turf that you slice off. You
will probably want to replace that lost dirt with something in order to
keep the level of your garden above the surrounding area (remembering
the need for good drainage). The longer way is to solarize the section
of the lawn to be converted, by covering it with black plastic for about
3 weeks and letting the heat from the sun cook the grass. It will kill
it deader than a doornail, but it will still be there. You can then till
it, but must follow this up by raking the dead grass out, if you want to
plant now. It seems a little late to be doing all this in northern
Illinois, unless you don't intend to plant until next spring, in which
case it is fine.

If you don't intend to plant until spring, either method #1 or method #2
offers you the opportunity to save the well-dried scalped turf/dead
grass, run it through a chipper-shredder, and add it back into your
garden as dirt in the spring.

Griff Crump, along the tidal Potomac near Mount Vernon, VA 

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