praying mantis
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

Grass seeds in my dirt-garden-to-be

A week ago I didn't have potting soil so I threw some dirt from my front yard in a few pots with some compost. This week every pot done this way had a few hundred grass blades coming up. My side yard is turned dirt waiting for the rest of the garden to be ready for planting. I, now, believe that the instant I add compost and water to those areas I will get grass everywhere.

What would you do?

I intended to transplant and start seeds this weekend.

I could let everyone duke it out.
I could solarize for 6 weeks (not really an option).
I could water this week. Hula hoe the grass next week. Bake it in the sun then plant. I am not convinced this will really change the outcome.
I could resign myself to weeding for the remainder of my awake hours.

Suggestions? Sympathy? Support? Sigh.

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 3:48 am

Is killing off the grass with vinegar an option? I read here that vinegar would be a safe substitute for Round up but I haven't tried it yet.

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applestar
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Posts: 27726
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

What are you planning to plant?
My usual method is to soak the ground, then use 4~5 sheets of black/white newspaper and cardboard wetted down. Use newspaper where you're going to plant. Use cardboard in open areas in between.
Poke holes in newspaper to plant.
Put down a layer of compost/amendment first (i.e. under the papers) OR dig the planting hole, replace with just enough compost/compost+soil and plant or sow seed.
Finish with a layer of straw or shredded bark mulch depending on how nice you want it to look.
You'll only have to weed the immediate area around the plant where the mulch is not touching. :wink:

praying mantis
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

I don't know the impact on vinegar to the soil itself. Would it be enough to alter the acidity of the soil? Does it breakdown readily enough that planting will not be affected?

The plans for the area have not been solidified. I have a several bushes, grasses, herbs, and ornamentals to add. I also wanted to plant annual seeds. I think I am resigned to plant and deal with the grass as it comes up.

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