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Old 10-22-2001, 03:35 PM
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Default To Roundup or Not to Roundup

Hi there -- This fall/winter I plan to embark on replacing a grassy/weedy lawn with all variety of native landscaping that eventually will cover roughly 2500 square feet or so. After observing the 'lawn' closely for a year it seems pretty likely that there is nothing native growing in the entire yard except two very small coast buckwheat plants. I've been hand pulling some of the more problematic weeds since last winter. I do intend to try to smother the weeds as best I can with mulch once the rain begins and they start growing vigorously, but wonder if this is an unrealistic method of weed control given the amount of ground I have to contend with. I live two blocks from the Coast and it's definitely too foggy to try to bake anything into submission. I am debating whether I should go the Roundup route before I get started with planting the natives. I'd be interested in hearing the pros and cons of doing this from you native proponents out there. Assume that I will follow the directions if I use this product. I'd also appreciate any other suggestions for dealing with this situation. </p>
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Old 10-25-2001, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

Julie,Gee, what a can of worms you have opened here! Even among native plant people there is a good deal of variety in how they view spraying of herbicides, even when done in a manner consistant with the label. Some feel that the use of weed-killers is inconsistant with the whole use of natives. Certainly that view has merit.My personnel view is that there are certain situations when the use of round-up is not only called for, but the only practical solution over sturdy weeds. I have been landscaping for alot of years and have found Bermuda grass, field bindweed, and a few other weeds to be beyond the normal mulching and pulling methods range, when found in fairly large areas.That said, I would not say an area of the size you describe is too large to handle by hand unless some of the weeds are of the super-weed class. Just labor intensive. Once you get small islands of good soil cleared and planted and mulched the areas between can begin to be worked. Pretty soon the areas with weeds are the small islands and are easy to finally eradicate.Should you decide to use Round-up however, make sure you apply lightly. More is not better and I have shudder seen people spray bare ground with the thought that it prevents weeds from sprouting. It does not. It becomes inactive on contact with the soil and should only be sprayed as per directions on photosynthesizing foliage itself. which brings up dormancy-If it is a bermuda problem then make sure your application is done before its winter dormancy starts or it will not be effective. Also be sure to avoid even the smallest hint of drift. It is best to spray a fine mist to coat the leaves but that also make the spray easier to drift off site. A light breeze suddenly springs up and your neighbor's roses could be killed off. Not the way to impress your neighbor about native plants!Where you live, what species of weed, how large an area, how much time you have, and your personal feelings about using herbicides will eventually help you decide which way is best for you and your landscape.Best wishes-Dan</p>
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Old 10-30-2001, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

Dan, thanks very much for your thoughts. I was really looking forward to observing a vigorous debate on the topic, but perhaps all the Roundup naysayers were persuaded by your thoughtful remarks . . . To follow up on your suggestions, do you have any recommendations on a resource book, website, Weeds for Dummies, etc. that would help me identify some of the non-native weeds, especially the grasses, in my yard? I think I've figured out what most of them are, but I'm not sure whether I've got Bermuda grass or not.</p>
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Old 11-02-2001, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

If you explore www.cdpr.ca.gov, there are some very good links to both science-based herbicide information for the layman, and a link to weed ID the latter through pesticide certification testing resources.</p>
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Old 11-08-2001, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

Check out 'Weeds of the West' it is a heavily used reference here in Yosemite.</p>
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Old 11-18-2001, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

Hi Julie,Here are some suggestions based on brief experience and mis-experiencein decreasing order of 'to be taken seriously'.1. Read all you can about using Roundup and other chemicals. laspilitas.comhas some advice in their 'lawn replacement' section. But I'd also suggest doinga google.com search on phrases like 'roundup' and 'bermuda grass'. I foundlots of methods and information that way.2. Don't half-heartedly spray roundup on half-dormant weeds, plant your nativesand hope to never see another weed. Be *patient* and coax your 'lawn' intoexuberant growth before your chemical attack.3. You're not a sissy if you wear rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator.4. Consider other chemicals including 'pre-emergent' weed killers. I read somewherethat Treflan was relatively ok around CA natives. After puzzling over where to get'treflan' I read that 'oxyzalin' is the same thing. The latter is the active ingredient ofa product called 'Weed Stopper' available at your local nursery/environmental-poisoncenter. I've tried this in a limited area and it sure works! Just don't try to reseedimmediately. If I've misstated anything about treflan/oxyzalin/pre-emergents, pleaseanyone correct me.5. If you have philosophical reservations about using chemicals to achieve yourpristine California native landscape, you can try saying to yourself what I said to myself,to wit 'Get over it! Your yard has just suffered through sixty years of abuse includinglandfill, chemical amendment, bermuda grass, over-watering and neglect. A *onetime*program of weed eradication is not doing significant new harm to the environment'.Best of luck,Andrew</p>
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Old 11-20-2001, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

I have relandscaped two yards in the last 13 years with natives. Both yards were heavily weed infested. If it wasn't for round-up, I would have given up on those yards. It saved my personal time as well as my back. But I had to apply it regularly over several growing seasons. The weeds I get know I pull by hand on a regular basis, the plants I want are growing fine, and the birds and bugs seem happy. Now, there might be something better. But round-up was the herbicide du jour at the time.</p>
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Old 11-21-2001, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: To Roundup or Not to Roundup

thanks to all of you for your advice</p>
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