Question Weed control

Discussion in 'Other' started by Ash, Oct 9, 2016.

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  1. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    It's getting out of control and hard to keep up. Too much of our acreage is being taken over by broadleaf weed, the typical clover I believe. It's got to be the most common lawn issue, but I'm not sure where to turn for advice. Shops will want to sell you products that other sites advise against (weed & feed and the like). We tried complete herbicides like glyphosate, but all they did was kill everything, leaving ugly patches and encourage only weeds to grow back a month or so later. Worse off than before.

    What to do? Is a product like Bayer Advanced All-in-one lawn weed & crab grass killer worth going for? How do you all manage this? Sorry if this is such an amateur question, but my lawn is too big for spot killing of the weeds (they're too widespread) and I'm looking for a systemic solution that I can maintain in the long run and allow my type of grass (?mixture of Kikuyu and Buffalo) to grow without being overtaken by these invaders.
     

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  2. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member

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    How big an area are you looking at Ash? And is the plan for "pristine lawn" or just to minimise weeds? If a ride on mower is not on the card, the odd sheep (or possibly a flock of ducks) would keep it under control, but would probably help spread weed seeds, and eat your garden too (is that a fruit tree in the lawn?)
    If it's pristine lawn your after, my little lawn book "Loving your lawn" (by Nigel Ruck) suggests that to minimise weeds and help your buffalo outgrow them you should:
    - grow a longer lawn, with a dense growth habit...if you're adding seed to the lawn yourself pick a buffalo variety that is weed resistant (apparently some of them will smother weeds)
    - mow regularly at a longer setting to encourage thick lawn (if you're talking acres of lawn...this might be where some livestock could be handy)
    - Fertilise the lawn heavily to encourage it to outcompete the weeds and then mow twice within about 3 weeks.
    - if the soil is heavily compacted (suits weeds...not so much lawns) rent an aerator (those spikey things) to improve condition
    If there's too many weeds to remove by hand, do whatever it takes to stop them setting seed (ie keep mowing them and collect the cuttings for mulch - but it has to reach a temp high enough to sterilise).
    If a weed spray is necessary, use a selective one, on top of doing the above so that the lawn will fill in the hole, rather than new weeds.
    If you have areas a few metres x few metres, dig it all up and buy in turf to fill the hole - using grass seed is cheaper but you'll probably end up back at square one as it allows weeds access to the soil.
    Kikuyu is good as it's quite invasive, but it requires more regular mowing and isn't very drought tolerant. Also doesn't cope with pests/disease...maybe you could start adding more buffalo?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
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  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    How about section off a few areas and just let it go, put some native plants in, trees and bush grasses, so it basically revegetating small areas, and then you have less grassy areas to maintain, but might still be a bit of work to get it to stage were it looks after itself I guess.

    or.. the sheep
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    We generally just let nature run its course as the grass comes back in summer anyway but mowing the broadleaf weeds regularly before they can flower will reduce the infestation next season. However, I do use a selective spray to kill bindis because they really do ruin the atmos when walking bare feet around the property and the plant is too low to mow down.
     
  5. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    There is a product called Weedless, haven't used it just came across it a while ago. Might be worth looking into if other options have failed.
     
  6. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    All good suggestions there thanks. I'm not looking for the perfect lawn. Too big an area to be worried about that but I would like weeds to be controlled so I'll look at aeration and selective weed killing where possible and give feedback. I was told to go with the bindi and clover killer as opposed to the weed and feed varieties because they work better but I do have buffalo grass in much of my lawn (some kikuyu too) and it may knock of some lawn in the process. But the clovers are just too prolific.
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You can get friendly buffalo grass herbicides that deal with clover and bindis.
     
  8. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Mark. I gave it a go yesterday and already it appears the clover is struggling. Hopefully the grass survives...
     
  9. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The main reason why grass types change is due to the pH.
    Adding nitrogenous fertilizers acidifies the soil.
    So does the act of growing a lawn, ie the grass acidifies the soil it is growing on by taking the nutrients it needs & leaving the rest.
    Liming will sort it out. It always used to be part of the spring season renovation of the good old lawn. Aerate first, then lime & water, wait, dethatch & fertilize, adding more water all along.

    The other reason soil acidifies at this time of year is purely due to the dry season.
    If you have been watering, you've most likely been using dam or bore water unless you are blessed by a spring.
    Those ground waters will always be lacking vitality at this time of year.
    If you haven't been watering, then the more vigorous grasses get a hold but once the wet starts, they will not do so well as they get wet feet.
    So your usual lawn grass will spring forth again.

    However the best thing to do is as said previously, aerate the soil, lime heavily, wait 4wks then dethatch the lawn & fertilize.
    The important thing is that you must water well all through all these activities or they wont work.
     
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