Return to the Lawn Care Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Posted by joyce_6333 Z4 WI (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 13, 11 at 20:06

This is my first time posting, and sure hope someone here can offer advice. We just built a new home on a couple acres of wooded land. After final grade, DH had 6" of black dirt spread out, and then seeded it with a wildflower mixture from seedland.com. -- just around the house where the trees were disturbed. Then he put straw over the top. He and I totally disagreed on this whole process. I felt for the amount of money he spent he could have had it all sodded. But that's another story for another day. Anyway, now we have a yard full of the most awful weeds. Tall, thick grasses that grow at least 3' to 4' tall, oats (yes oats!), many broadleaf weeds that are HUGE and very little wildflowers. It's absolutely horrible. Where do we start to rectify this mess. I've been pulling these tough grasses and weeds until I'm blue in the face. And now we have clover, I mean HUGE clover. Impossible to pull out. I doubt even tilling the whole yard would help. Any ideas? I'm afraid this is a long process and may take years to get a nice lawn. HELP! and thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

UGH! I hate to say it because I really hate using chemicals but... it sounds to me like you are going to have to spray the area with weed killer and start over after everything is dead in the areas.

My first attempt at gardening way back when I had put down some of the same seed mixture and gotten the exact same result. Mind you it was only a tiny area that I did and thank heaven for that. I was able to pull it all out by hand in a short time.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Spray it with Round Up, wait a week, mow the whole mess down and remove the debris. Then get a tractor with box blade and regrade the area. Once that is done you are ready to either seed or sod.

Secondly just before you do this, get a good Family Practice Lawyer, you might need one for a divorce. :<)


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

What you have is pasture. That would be a fine mix if you had cattle or goats.

My first thought is to remove the 6 inches of dirt unless it was needed to create proper drainage. Do that with the box blade mentioned by texas-weed. The result of the box blade will be a perfect surface for sodding or seeding new grass.

How does the hubby feel now about grass, though? Are you willing to water, mow, and fertilize?


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Perhaps there is something in between you can compromise on. How large a lot do you have again? Why did your hubby want the natural yard? Is he a hippie, a wildflower lover, or does he just hate mowing?

Missouri has this great stretch of hiking trails at the Shaw Nature Preserve. That has to be what your husband wants.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Excellent questions from toronado - gets to the root of the issue...so to speak.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Thanks everyone for listening and for the suggestions. I was afraid that's what you were all going to say. But I'm willing to bite the bullet to get a nice yard. As for DH's desire for a natural yard, it comes from living in a 6500 sq ft house that sat in the middle of a city block. Talk about mowing! He's just plain sick of it.

Yesterday, we had a neighborhood DPP (Deck & Patio Party), and most of our neighbors have these beautiful expanses of green grass, surrounded by the forest, with lots of beautiful flower beds and shrubs. I kept oo'ing and ah'ing, and I think he was starting to see the error of his ways. I am willing to start over, and can put up with a bare yard for awhile to get a nice lawn. Thanks for the help. Was hoping there might be a simpler solution. Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how it goes.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Sad to say but as you describe the problem the only thing to do is to let RoundUp have a go at it.
That said, read the instructions and follow to the letter---more is not better.
It may take a couple of applications but considering the glyphosate kills all greenery be careful where and how you apply.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

A lawn, a meadow and a prairie are three different things. Try and find out which one you two can agree on. There are also degrees to how pristine a lawn needs to be. There are low growing grasses that don't need so much mowing by the way. No matter which of the three you chose there is no escaping lots of prep. work and at least some maintenance. There are also low growing flowers and forbs. I wouldn't worry too much about what the neighbors think but that's just me and it sounds like your own preferences are not exactly being expressed. I have seen some very beautiful native plantings in place of lawns but they still require work and lots of weeding and mulching. Don't know which you purchased but a lot of "wildflower" packets are loaded with annuals, weed seeds and invasives. Tilling would probably make it worse. Your imported soil or your mulch may have been loaded with weed seeds as well. Some of the wildflowers also don't look great for the first year or two so maybe there are a few gems hiding in there which, hopefully, don't get overwhelmed by dandelions and such. Mowing will encourage grasses and discourage other plants to some degree.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

As for DH's desire for a natural yard, it comes from living in a 6500 sq ft house that sat in the middle of a city block. Talk about mowing! He's just plain sick of it.

Huh? With that kind of financial status one would think he could hire someone to do it.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Ditto weed.
I was beginning to wonder if it is time to hire a professional lawn service.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Oh, please don't think we're in a high income financial status. Property had been in DHs family for 70 years, and we purchased it for $115,000 10 years ago. Put alot of money and work into the place to make it nice, but we took a big hit when we sold it because of the economy. We do Ok for a couple old folks, but certainly not ubber rich by any means. We did have a lawn service at the old place that did all the fertilizing and weed/pest control, but we always did our own mowing. I've pretty much convinced him that's the route we should take now. Thanks again!


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Okay I'm confused. How much actual turf are we talking about right now? I think we are thinking that you live in a 6,500 square foot mansion which is the only building in a city block. The rest of the city block, we are assuming, is the turf your hubby is tire of mowing.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

Joyce sorry I did not mean to offend, but like others, I am a bit confused. 6500/ft2 home on a city block lot sounds pretty big to me. Where I come from a city block is anywhere from 10 to 40 acres, and acreage in cities are not cheap in most respects.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

I believe the OP and her husband used to live in a 6500sq/ft house, that's why the husband is tired of mowing. They now have a new place and the husband wanted a "natural" lawn so to cut down on the mowing.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

I was wondering if that was the case. That they moved, and the previous place gave them a bad taste of mowing.


 o
RE: Hubby wanted a 'natural' lawn

I would probably give it a full set of seasons to mature, there may be some areas you really like that can be incorporated into a landscaping plan with a proper lawn. I assume you have a lawn tractor so get on a regular mowing schedule and try some products to control your broadleaf weeds.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Lawn Care Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here