paul wheaton wrote:
Here is what I need from you ...
1) Find out where, in your community, there is a chemical product exchange. This is something where people bring loads of the gick they are not going to use any more and then people that are going to use that sort of thing will get that instead of buying stuff. This could take hours to find out about and I want you to post that information here. I suggest you start with your extension office.
2) You will promise to never, ever again use any kind of fungicide, herbicide, insecticide or anything less than purely organic.
If you do these two things, I will help you.
paul wheaton wrote:
You said the magic word. Weed killer. Based on that, I utterly and completely refuse to help you.
I think you need to find a community that is better fit for you.
paul wheaton wrote:
Tell me about your area's toxic goo event. Where is it. What date?
I'm pretty sure that's annual blue grass (Poa annua). You can't get rid of it, no way no how. The heat will kill it off but the seed heads will drop and germinate year after year, like crab grass. My yard is loaded with it.
Jeremy Bunag wrote:
I think buddy's right, annual bluegrass. Best thing you can do is follow the good practices and thicken up what you have, let the good grass win. (I'm still working on that, but I think it's improving!)
From all my research, I think he's right as well. Annual blue grass (Poa annua). Here's what I've found to combate it organically.
[li]More like crazy to prevent it from seeding. Unfortunately, this isn't going to happen at my house due to lack of time.[/li]
[li]Use Corn Gluten Meal in late summer and again in spring to prevent the seeds from germinating. This has to be done for years until all the seeds are gone. Corn Gluten Meal is also a good nitrogen fertilizer.[/li]
[li]Promote healthy soil so the good grass wins.[/li]
[li]Deep and infrequent waterings. It's not as drought tolerant as the good grass, so it will die off faster.[/li]
[li]Add clover. Clover adds nitrogen which makes the good grass happy.[/li]
[li]Add slow release organic nitrogen.[/li]
[li]Promote earth worms. Besides all the good stuff they do for your soil, they feed the birds. Birds also eat seeds. When the birds come for worms, they'll eat the seed as well. Everyone is happy.[/li]
[li]Remove new patches before they seed.[/li]
[li]Try to avoid soil compaction. As it's a used yard, that won't happen, but the worms help with compaction.[/li]
I found this information from a number of different sources. The funny thing is that some of the places that advised to use chemicals to manage the problem said they're rarely effective. The general consensus is that it was best treated with cultural changes (mowing, watering, use, etc...), all organic!
Now, I feel my soil is not exactly healthy in the back yard because a lot of the grass is just not growing. I think this leaves it open to weeds, which is why I now have a weed problem. The annual blue grass is just one of many weeds popping up right now.
I'm going to take some photos of all portions of the yard, grass, and individual weeds soon and will post them.
And I'm STILL trying to find a chemical exchange program in my area.
Bagging and mowing short goes against advice stated on this site. Although, from my experience, mowing very often, but still high, would get most of the shoots.
The Corn Gluten Meal treatment was found by accident and from what I've read works very well. The trick is timing and doing it year after year. But since it seems to be a good natural fertilizer (I'm no expert here), that doesn't sound like a bad thing.
paul wheaton wrote:
This is sooo cool! I get busy and don't check here for a while, and presto! Everybody covers my butt!
Letterk, there is hope for you yet. Good job on your research. Keep looking. If nothing else, once you find it and you know about it, then you might be able to pass the info on. In some communities it is at a county dump. People come to the dump and bring their goo, and for a day there is a goo-swap. I would guess there could even be something longer term. A shack full of half filled bottles of goo.
Odds are that the herbicide you tried to use is a broad leaf herbicide - so it won't work on a grass.
Corn gluten: I'm against that stuff. Think about it: it tells seeds "don't germinate yet" - so then they germinate later. What good is that? I want the weeds to germinate so that they will die.
If you take a good look at that picture, you will see the "good" grass mixed in there too. So we need to encourage that grass.
Some of you suggested mowing lower. I want to suggest the opposite. Mow higher. My only concern with that is .... what variety of grass is the good grass? The blades look relatively fine. I suspect that if you tried to mow higher, the blades would just flop over.
"More like crazy to prevent it from seeding."
(I assume that should read "Mow ...")
"Add clover. Clover adds nitrogen which makes the good grass happy."
I think your grass is really N heavy right now. You would have a hard time getting the clover to take. On top of that, I think your "bad" grass is gonna like the clover too.
"Add slow release organic nitrogen."
Already N heavy and bad grass likes it too.
"Promote earth worms. Besides all the good stuff they do for your soil, they feed the birds. Birds also eat seeds. When the birds come for worms, they'll eat the seed as well. Everyone is happy."
Not bad. I'll let the stuff about the birds go because my strategy doesn't care about lots of seed.
"Remove new patches before they seed."
For the truly cheap and lazy, like me, I find bliss in apathy about the "bad grass". But if you're freaking out over it, this idea is pretty quick and direct. Dig out the stuff that bothers you and replace that patch with a little compost mound. The surrounding grass will eventually fill the void (although other weeds might move in first). If you have a patch of good grass growing somewhere that you want to, say, put in a garden, you can dig out a chunk of sod and move it to where the "bad grass" used to be.
The method was to tell it to germinate later for 6-7 years until it can't germinate any more.
Why do you say N heavy?
But maybe next year.
paul wheaton wrote:
As long as you get it into the hands of somebody that would use it (instead of buying more of the same and using that) then I'm a happy guy.
I should have asked this at the beginning: How cold does it get where you are? Does it freeze?
Your plan will make those companies stinking rich!
And, if you ever forget to keep giving them your money, boy will you ever be sorry.
Oh, and you better sign up for life: some seeds can last decades.
Unless, of course, you give up this silly game and just take my easier, cheaper, less stressful approach.
The color is such a dark green. I look at that and I think "somebody has been laying on the fertilizer to just the right amount for maximum growth. If you add just a wee bit more it will die of nitrogen toxicity."
Good job! You're getting the hang of this now! A little knowledge and a little patience can pay off huge!
I just found your site a few weeks ago, and it has my name written all over it. We have very sandy soil, and I don't want to chemically kill the grass, till it and attempt to fix the soil. So I tried your two foot hole method. I dug one hole in each side of the yard and filled it mostly with compost and what actual soil we could salvage. It has been two weeks and I didn't feel like anything was happening, so I bought some night crawlers to add to it. But when I dug into the hole to put the worms in, there were all kinds of new grass roots growing in there. Something is working! Thanks for the help and I'll keep you updated.