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  Need Suggestions for Pulling Up Dead Grass
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Hi Everyone -

I've got hills on either side of my driveway. They're about a 45 degree angle, 5 feet high and 20-25 feet long. I've sprayed and killed all of the grass on it in order to landscape. My question now is: What is the best way to dig up the dead grass?

I think a roto-tiller would be too dangerous with the angle of the hills. I began digging it up with a 14-prong metal garden rake, but quickly realized that I was headed for a long, difficult task and possible cardiac arrest. Is there any other tool that could make this chore easier? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all in advance.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That dead grass can supply organic matter to the soil which can help stabilize it so the rains will not erode that soil before there is something growing there to help even more so why remove it?


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8112 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, I'm new at this type of stuff, so if I don't have to remove it, that's even better. If I wanted to plant a flowering ground cover, what would be the best course of action? Just plant the ground cover over the dead grass?
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
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Me...I just don't trust plants that are supposedly DEAD...but really, they are just sleeping...and ready to re-grow when conditions are right.
I don't know what weeds you have...or had...but unless you got all of it...down to the roots, those weeds may be very much alive.

Me, I would remove them...and if they are really dead, throw them into the compost. Unfortunately what chemical was used will kill microbes in the soil and I'd probably then garbage them.
Its much better for any new plant to not have to contend with other rooters so removal is often the best way

There are tools that can be used to pull out the dead weeds very efficiently.
There's a cultivator that has 4 tines which could be used to pull the weeds out. I use such a tool in the fall when I wish to dispose of dead annuals such as begonia. Its also great for digging down 2....3......4 inches and turning it over.

What you don't want to do is leave a weed, such as dandelion, with a root intact, to come back and haunt you. Such weed, if you don't get all of it...roots and all, will come back--almost 100 percent guaranteed.

The new plantings I'm sure would appreciate being given an updated soil and I cant imagine that a good 4" of compost or triple mix, dug in, would not be a helpful dose of medicine. Such addition of a good topsoil (or compost) to such depth would be rather expensive. It would require 2 1/2 cubic yards of soil. Such amount would be best delivered by truckload on to the driveway.

A 45º hillside is definitely something that has to be carefully handled to prevent erosion from a spring heavy rain. But, if the soil will soak up a downpour, there shouldn't be much run-off.

Since this landscaping would reflect on the overall look of your home, I would re-think just planting a groundcover.
There are many evergreen varieties that could be used and are excellent erosion fighters.
Spruce, juniper, yew, cedar, --all have many forms that could be considered.
A hedge, growing on such incline, might still be thought of and would enhance the driveway.
I'd speak to a nurseryman before deciding on one cure.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Loonie - Thank you! That's a lot of great information and a lot to consider.

I'm starting to think that I'd have rather just mowed it!
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Loonie is spot on.
Call or go to local rental center.
See if they have a power rake/tiller that you can use on that slope safely.
Just because the top vegetation appears dead, you have no idea what's happening below ground.
A small tiller that is even woman friendly can be used to remove the dead vegetation. Till--rake; till--rake. Till it all again. Easy to maneuver on the slope. (Great muscle building for back muscles.)
Do you have people who can help? One till; one rake; back up people?
 
Posts: 5900 | Location: western PA | Registered: Sep 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've got a wife who loves doing yard work amd a two and a half year old son who will pick up dirt and throw it in a trash can all day. So yep, I've got help! :-)
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jun 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There is nothng made that could be used safely on a 45 degree slope, even a 30 degree slope can be dangerous. Two "professional" landscapers (people that will do yard work for pay) have told me they would not remove that dead grass, or till that area, because it is not safe to do it. They would plant the new ground cover right into the dead material there.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8112 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Loonie
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Kimm, I agree with most of what you say....planting into the dead material might be the best way....but you know, as well as most, that dead isn't always dead; weeds have a habit of coming back to bite you and you end up with s sore back, aching knees, sweaty palms, sunburn and maybe a lot of mosquito bites.
And still the weed is there with a strong root and a flower that is just waiting to send seeds flying.

Now grass, being just a lot of individual plants, it can grow on a 45º slope and as long as it gets sufficient moisture can look great.
The mowing shouldn't be a problem for the height....a string edger can do most of it as well. But putting down sod would be the only way to get it done.
 
Posts: 458 | Registered: Mar 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh poo, dead is dead. Had to kill a mess of grass & weeds & use the dirt for a garden. Lovely garden, no weeds or grass.

I totally agree with Kimm.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I've decided to quit my job, drop out of society, and wear live animals as hats."
 
Posts: 7701 | Location: Black Creek, WI Zone 5 | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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