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Mattias
March 18th, 2009, 08:37 PM
We have a small patch of land behind our house that is totally overgrown with all kinds of stuff, including vines and roots. We want to clear it up completely. What is the best way to kill everything that's growing there?

Composite 2992
March 18th, 2009, 09:33 PM
If you're not going to build or plant on it, you might not want to tear out everything. Just keep it trimmed low and keep the current vegetation in place to prevent erosion.

If you're going to plant or build, you'll need to till everything out down to the root level. Mulch all the plant material and compost it. And spray a weed killer as well as a pre-emergent weed killer. Roundup has a commercial for it's pre-emergent weed killer spray (Roundup extended control).

If you use Roundup extended, you can't replant for four months. During which you'll have to make use of erosion controls. You can get in contact with the City and County stormwater division to learn more about this and prevent silt from eventually getting into our reefs.

Barry
March 18th, 2009, 11:47 PM
We have a small patch of land behind our house that is totally overgrown with all kinds of stuff, including vines and roots. We want to clear it up completely. What is the best way to kill everything that's growing there?



Diesel oil will do it but nothing can be planted for about 12 months. Your local car repair shop will be able to give you some free after they serviced vehicles.

Amati
March 19th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Diesel oil will do it but nothing can be planted for about 12 months. Your local car repair shop will be able to give you some free after they serviced vehicles.
That has to be about the most idiotic advice I've read in HT.

GeckoGeek
March 19th, 2009, 12:19 AM
Diesel oil will do it but nothing can be planted for about 12 months. Your local car repair shop will be able to give you some free after they serviced vehicles.

Probably a good way to get in trouble with the EPA.

Barry
March 19th, 2009, 01:16 AM
Probably a good way to get in trouble with the EPA.

You are probably right but a few years ago I had an extension built onto my house. The city planning came to measure up and look at the architectural plans. It was they who advised me on the diesel oil. Apparently it stays in the soil where it is put and does not run off onto other land.
I borrowed a strimmer and cut down a lot of the weeds. Then put the diesel oil down. The ground was soon clear and the builders had no problems with the extension. Now I only have a small back yard but the flowers and bushes which I planted are really thriving.

Nords
March 19th, 2009, 05:50 AM
We have a small patch of land behind our house that is totally overgrown with all kinds of stuff, including vines and roots. We want to clear it up completely. What is the best way to kill everything that's growing there?
You're going to split your labor between erosion control and weed control, but either way it's probably the same total amount of labor.

The "extended" RoundUp will make you wait a while while you mitigate erosion. A faster (but more labor-intensive) option would be to spray "regular" RoundUp to kill almost everything. Tougher plants like haole koa trees and nutgrass may require painting on concentrated (50%) RoundUp, which sells for at least $50/quart. After a week or two (especially while waiting for the haole koa & nutgrass to die) you clear the land. Rototill it if you can, which will help you remove all the roots. Then apply a generous spread of fertilizer, wait a week or two for everything to start growing, and repeat the RoundUp application. If you're patient (and the weather is dry) it might be worth a third round.

This will get about 90% of the haole koa & nutgrass, but after three or four rounds you'll be well ahead of the game. The only higher success rates I've seen come from even more manual labor. A group that's replanting Kalealoa with native vegetation removed their haole koa roots by digging down 1-2 feet. They also had a serrated clamp/lever tool that grabs on to the roots at ground level while the lever is vertical, allowing the user to twist the six-foot lever down to the ground around its pivot point, which lets the clamp pull the roots out a few inches. Reclamp and lever again. Once the main root is out then the haole koa hardly ever comes back. Hardly ever.

The best nutgrass eradication I've seen was a neighbor who literally dug up the top foot of soil and sifted it for the little nuts. Took him three weeks of several hours a day but it worked.

Before you start all of this, it'd be good to have a planting plan for drought-tolerant native low-maintenance vegetation. You'd want something that would crowd out any other seeds spread by birds or breezes. Or a concrete foundation with drainage...

Leo Lakio
March 19th, 2009, 01:08 PM
What is the best way to kill everything that's growing there?Let me come over and try to cultivate something. My black thumb will guarantee certain death of any flora in the vicinity. :D

Kaonohi
March 19th, 2009, 02:06 PM
Well, either hire Leo or....
Regular roundup spray, see what dies and what comes back.
There's a new Nutgrass killer, expensive, available at most upscale garden stores.
For other stuff Roundup doesn't kill, either uproot or burn.
Repeat as necesary, to kill off sprouts from seeds.

We had 1/4 acre of cat's claw. Roundup, then burned dead plants with kerosene, propane weed-burner, = no more cat's claw! Even killed all the seeds. Now it's overgrown with ginger...

It's a jungle out there! LITERALLY!