The Garden Forums

Dig In!
It is currently Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:11 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am
Posts: 35
Location: San Antonio Zone 8/9
Ok i guess Ill start this one off. I moved into my house in september and by proxy inherited a bad lawn. During this summer the realty company let it dry out and die in many 100 degree days. When it finally started raining again in oct. and nov. chickweed and other weedy grass started to grow...So now i want to start all over again because it is right to do but what is the best way organically to do this. I know round up would take care off the problem post haste but the frost free date in San Antonio, TX is Mar. 7th...ive got a little time maybe....oh yeah did i mention this is a big lawn...help me out...tick tock tick tock

_________________
Bad To The Bonemeal!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:42 am
Posts: 162
Location: Portland, OR
We ripped out our old lawn this past summer. We finally had our sewer line installed, so it was time. We had been waiting until the sewer was installed, so the installation wouldn't rip up the new lawn.

How did we do it? We rented a back hoe and dug the damn thing out. It was terribly thick with moss and thatch, all together the sod layer was about 6" thick. It would have been an awful mess to take out by hand. But one other approach would have been to rent a sod cutter. It cuts the sod into strips that you then roll up and remove. I think these are the only ways I can think of to remove a lawn organically.

Hope that helps.

As far as killing the lawn with something.... I think you still need to remove it before you replant. This will allow you to amend the soil before you replace the sod. We rototilled in amendments after we removed the lawn and then seeded the lawn instead of sod. I think you can end up with a stronger lawn by seeding it, but it isn't the instant effect of sod. Also you may have a harder time keeping seed wet enough in Texas. Here in the PNW we just seed in September and let the warm fall rains do all the work. I never even had to water the seed once. Although I will have to water the new grass this summer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am
Posts: 35
Location: San Antonio Zone 8/9
well actually there is basically no lawn to speak of....it has real big patches where theres dirt with weeds intersparsed....the reason why i wanted to star up again is cuz once the spring rains come up come those weeds...the ground isnt too bad just want what weeds are present and might come later to not grow at all...I was thinking of smothering them out for the time being until i can plant some grass seed...

_________________
Bad To The Bonemeal!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:17 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Central Texas
I am over here in San Marcos and maybe I can help since I've recently (3 yrs ago) put in a small (1200sf) zoysia lawn using only organic materials (except for the occasional need for chlorinated tap water) and methods.

If we can figure out what you have got and what you want then maybe we can figure out what to do.

How much experence have you had with organics?
What are the shade/sun (full, none, morning, evening)conditions?
What part of SA are you located (sandy La Vernia, rocky Bulverde, fertile Castroville)?
Front yard, back yard and what is expected use (dog pen, lawn games)?
City water or well water?
Rainwter collection set up?
How much time/$$$ for this project have you got?

Bob Webster on KTSA am 550 with his organic gardening call in show at 5:30am(?) on Sat. and 9:00am(?) on Sun. is a GREAT place to start with local help.

I'm out the door to plant potatoes before it rains - sure hope I didn't jinks it.

lemmeknow
lemmeknow if i can help.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am
Posts: 35
Location: San Antonio Zone 8/9
Ive only recently started looking into organic means...However I have composted several times in the past and present...I live in western SA near Sea world. We of course have that clay soil. The sun will be touching this lawn from about 9-5ish maybe even 6 which i would guess would be full sun.. and ive got two trees that would provide a little shade around there bases but theyre young...it will also be city water but i do have two rain barrels that i plan on modifying with spigots...as for time...i usually have one day a week in can devote to the lawn and im sure i could get up to mow it....money?...well i have probably about $500... which i know probably isnt very much..but im open to any ideas anyone has

_________________
Bad To The Bonemeal!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:17 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Central Texas
isnt very much..but im open to any ideas anyone has[/quote]

Since our rainwater supply is SO unpredictable (avg 30", '04=55" and '05=19") and we live, at least for now, in a semi-arid zone..........

Are you interested in water conservation as well as organic?

Do you 'need' the 'standard' lawn?

Have you considered a native, low water requirement grass,perhaps in combo with some landscape 'features' incorpoating xeriscape plants?

Are you in a neighborhood? If so, is anyone doing any thing innovative?

We have numerous plants, shurbs, and small trees which have NEVER been watered since planting- none of which are cactus.

I am definatly NOT into mowing, much less pouring money down the drain or out the end of a hose. The only reason we put in a small patch of turf (which by the way is in the shape of the lower half of the state of TEXAS) was to play yard games in the afternoon shade.

There are loads of alternatives to St. Augustine which is NOT native nor adopted to this area.

If you decide to go with a seeded turf then King Seed in SA is probably your best bet. Listen to Bob tomorrow and/or John Dromgoule(Gardening Naturally) on 590 am in Austin, right after Bob at 9(?). Both will probably have grass questions to answer.

By the way, have you got a pickup truck or trailer to move materials? If so, and your willing and able to do the work, then 500 bucks can go a long way.

Sorry for rambling, hope this helps get the ideas going.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am
Posts: 35
Location: San Antonio Zone 8/9
Well im sort of looking into smothering some of the weeds with newspaper and wetting it down...after that maybe some crushed up leaves to add some organic matter over that...then to top it off some topsoil, composted manure, and coffee grounds...and then covering with cardboard until the first of march...that hopefully might keep some weeds down....my whole yard isnt gonna just be grass...im planning on putting some vegetable plots and some mulch around what trees i do have...as for landspaping some of the flowers that are gonna be going in are coreopsis, echinacae, morning glory and maybe some lantana...im weighing the options too....turf...seed...turf...seed...

with turf i only see st. aug. around here and with seed i see bermuda....

_________________
Bad To The Bonemeal!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:01 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:33 am
Posts: 1
Location: z4MN
Don't know if it is kosher to post this, but this link to GW Organic Gardening is the FAQ for organic lawn care.

http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/orga ... 16580.html

It was written by Dchall in San Antonio. Dave & I have exchanged email in the past, so I'll send him a link to this site iinviting him to participate.

_________________
The charkha is the symbol for nonviolence on which all life, if it is to be real life, must be based."
Mahatma Gandhi - Harijan, April 27, 1947, p. 122


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:02 pm
Posts: 1630
Location: PNW
I think lawns are one of the hardest things to do organically, but maybe it's just because I don't like fighting the laws of nature (monocropping), plus I spend too much time keeping the grass out of beds and mowing, plus grass just grows too well here in the rainy NW.
I've used smothering to get rid of weeds and/or grass with good success. You could go to a store that sells paint and get a big roll of paper that is designed for putting down on floors to keep paint off. That speeds up the process a lot, as does cardboard.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:20 pm 
That link to FAQ on GW is a very good link. Dchall is my mentor as well.

The only time to be overseeding a lawn is in the fall. In the spring you have too much competition with weeds. However, you may want to put down some Dutch white clover till you can overseed in the fall. It will germinate in the spring and with minimum care will stay green all summer and will condition your soil. No fertilizers will be necessary as clover will fix N out of the air. American lawns in the 50's all contained clover with grass lawns.

You don't mention what type of grass you want to manage or what you have growing currently? A hybrid Bermuda or St. Augustine I believe is best for your area. Bermuda requires higher maintenance and monthly fertilizations for best results. But it will crowd out all your weeds if kept cut short, 1/2 to 3/4 inch. A reel mower is preferred to get that close of cut.

I've been organic with my lawn and plants for over 5 years now. I disagree that it's difficult to accomplish, in fact, just the opposite is true.

Cultural practices will help you control 90% - 95% of common weed problems. With most lawns, the exception being Bermuda, you need to mow the grass tall/high 3-4 inches. This creates shade at the soil level and helps prevent weed seeds from germinating. Also proper watering, deeply but infrequently, makes your grass roots go deep into the soil, deeper than most weed roots. This takes time to control, but it will work, all without any chemicals.

Let us know what you decide what kind of grass and/or conditions you have to grow what species of grass.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am
Posts: 35
Location: San Antonio Zone 8/9
well i decided to put down bermuda seed for my lawn...the only problem is that i water and 5 hours later it seems like the water has evaporated...wondering if i need to buy sprinkler or something...

_________________
Bad To The Bonemeal!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:37 am 
Phoenix7801 wrote:
well i decided to put down Bermuda seed for my lawn...the only problem is that i water and 5 hours later it seems like the water has evaporated...wondering if i need to buy sprinkler or something...


Well, chances are you need to get you soil into shape first. You'll need to core aerate your soil, followed by a topdressing of compost or other organic material, like dehydrated cow manure, of 1/3 of an inch.

Or have you already put down the seed?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 am
Posts: 35
Location: San Antonio Zone 8/9
oh....sorry didnt say i guess...seeds already down...however...i had laid down bags and bags of spent coffee grounds not to mention manure and some topsoil before i sowed...i just think its cuz im not soaking deep enough...however its beginning to drizzle here so hopefully God will lend me a hand

_________________
Bad To The Bonemeal!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:19 am 
Phoenix7801 wrote:
oh....sorry didn't say i guess...seeds already down...however...i had laid down bags and bags of spent coffee grounds not to mention manure and some topsoil before i sowed...i just think its cuz I'm not soaking deep enough...however its beginning to drizzle here so hopefully God will lend me a hand


Watering practices are different for new seedlings than normal watering, infrequently but deeply. When did you seed? I'm not sure how long it takes for germination of Bermuda seed, but it needs to be kept moist and not allowed to dry out.

Starting off, the schedule supplies roughly 1/4 inch of water, then increases that amount while decreasing frequency of application at the same time.

water 15-20 minutes twice a day for two weeks
water 20-30 minutes once a day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day every other day for one week
water 30-45 minutes once a day twice a week for one week

Then move into deep irrigation, increasing the time to provide 1 inch of water all over and decreasing the frequency to just once a week. If you have to move the sprinklers at any point, the new location also receives 1 inch.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group Maintained by Rewired Media