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Beginner Question about the Lawn

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Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  Square One on 5/13/2011, 8:10 pm

Do I really have to dig up the lawn to lay down by SFG? I am concerned about inadvertently damaging part of the sprinkler system in place and it would be so much extra work. If I put a double layer of weed block underneath, would that do the trick? I have made the boxes, and have finally gotten everything together for Mel's Mix so am eager to fill and plant! I appreciate your suggestions and do whatever is best. The growing season is so short here I may miss this year's crop. Thank you!

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  Miss M on 5/13/2011, 10:41 pm

No, you don't need to, as long as you put the weed cloth under there. I don't know if a double layer is better than a single layer. I put down a thick layer of newspaper first to help kill the grass, then chicken wire (moles), then weed cloth. Very Happy

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/13/2011, 10:44 pm

Depends on the type of grass underneath. If you have cool season grasses like fescue or bluegrass, I wouldn't even put weedblock down. I just dump the MM right on top of bare, green grass. If you have warm season grasses like bermuda and/or a lot of weeds in your lawn, weedblock is almost essential to use first.

Welcome aboard! As you can see any question is worth answering. I hope to see you around soon. Check into your regional forum when you get a chance, too. You may be able to get a better, more specific, answer there since they would konw what grasses grow in your climate. And, it's always super helpful to post a pic, too.

Glad to have you.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  Old Hippie on 5/13/2011, 10:55 pm

Hi Square One! Glad you found the forum. We are so happy to have you. I am on the same side of the continent as you are but north of you in British Columbia, Canada.

BBG is so right about the bermuda grass and weeds. Some of them just will not die not matter what you do to them. I put down a thick layer of cardboard under the bed I made last year and the one kind of grass came up through it. So last weekend I tore it all apart, put down some more and two layers of weed cloth. Hopefully, that will keep it at bay for a while.

Feel free to post any other questions you may have. Best of luck with your garden. Be sure to join in all the fun here. Post pics if you can. We love that. Once again......welcome.

Gwynn

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/14/2011, 11:35 am

A quick edit:

I just remembered what I did to my first SFG last season. I scalped the grass with a mower before putting the MM in place.

I had cool season grasses. I set the mower on its lowest setting and mowed a little larger than the area the garden would sit on. Then, I put the wood bed down and then filled with MM. Never had a problem with grass.

Bermuda and creeping grasses won't give up that easily because they come at you from sides, not just underneath.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  moswell on 5/18/2011, 4:35 pm

I'm doing this for the first time this year too, and just put weed block down (one layer). I've had a few weeds (and trees) sprouting up, but since I'm paying so much attention, I can pull them out quite easily from the Mel's Mix before they get too big. I've got a crapload of maple tree seeds trying to grow in my garden. Guess next year I'll pay better attention and get the little seeds out before they have a chance to sprout!

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  white95v6 on 5/18/2011, 5:49 pm

welcome.

this is also my first yr. and what i did was i put down a thick layer of leaves first. a old time landscaper/gardener told me to do this. it covered the area from october to april. then i put the MM on top of them. i have had very little trouble with weeds. now the maple trees in the front yard sure have made me busy. i got about 90% of the seeds out before they sprouted. but i missed some cause i had to pull a few of those jokers out.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/19/2011, 3:24 pm

Square One

We are really glad you joined us. As you can see, this is a friendly, helpful group and several members have responded to your question.

Enjoy your first year of SFGing. Please keep us updated on your progress and please post pictures as you go because we really I love you them.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/19/2011, 5:11 pm

@moswell wrote: Guess next year I'll pay better attention and get the little seeds out before they have a chance to sprout!

Quite the undertaking no matter how prepared you are. Those trees put a crazy amount of helicopters down....whattamess!

Welcome aboard! I hope we see more of you around.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/19/2011, 7:42 pm

GREAT question!

I've got one too, BBG this may be your area, in my strawberry bed I put down weed block, newspaper, cardboard, newspaper, and then our soil of "choice". Last year we had trees that kept popping up through what we had down so I dug it all up and re-did it the way I just mentioned. I saw a tree yesterday peeking through. WHAT CAN I DO??? They look like those blasted crepe murtles, but I'm not sure.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  Miss M on 5/21/2011, 10:45 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:Last year we had trees that kept popping up through what we had down so I dug it all up and re-did it the way I just mentioned. I saw a tree yesterday peeking through. WHAT CAN I DO??? They look like those blasted crepe murtles, but I'm not sure.

Are they pre-existent trees that are coming through, or are they new? Crepe myrtles put out a lot of helicopter seeds, too... they're just much smaller than the ones from maples. If they're new, there's nothing wrong with the bottom of your box. You've got seeds blowing in.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/22/2011, 8:59 am

This whole entire area of the yard, which acording to Mel's book would be the PERFECT spot for our garden, closer to the house, is a problem. We rowed there one year and had peppers and tomatoes there, and a bunch of these trees. The strawberry bed is almost 6" deep, and when I tried to pull this little tree up, it would not come, so I was wondering if maybe there is some sort of root system going on, it may just look llike crepe myrtle and be something else. Not even round-up killed these two years ago, we burned them, and they just keep coming back.

My reason for suspecting crepe myrtle is we cut one down about 5 years ago, and I started a compost type pile on top of where it used to be, it keeps coming up through the pile that is now about 3' deep.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/2/2011, 9:53 am

BBG I finally got some pictures of the mystery trees or shrubs that keep popping up where we cannot mow, weedeater is on the "get now" list.

This one is in the middle of the strawberry bed, that was weedblocked, newspapered, cardboarded, newspapered before adding what I had to use for soil.


Larger one.

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  camprn on 6/5/2011, 3:07 pm

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/lawn/almanac/index.html

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Re: Beginner Question about the Lawn

Post  walshevak on 6/5/2011, 3:20 pm

Something with roots is putting up that tree. Is is not from a seed that started this year. So you may be right about a crape myrtle or other tree root being the culprit.

I was not home last May/June and didn't have a garden area with nice fluffy soil. I had no idea how many seeds the crape myrtles can send forth, but I sure did find out this year. They even piled up and spouted within themselves on the outdoor carpet on the deck. The tulle over the gardens kept most of them out of there, but they gathered in the folds and came tumbling down when I opened to work the gardens.

I left the seed pods on the crape myrtles for the birds winter fare. Next year all the seed pods are getting cut off in Jan.

Kay

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