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calling all you knowledgeable plant people!

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doodle

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I live in a townhouse with a bricked in cobblestone patio and a small amount of lawn with a fence running along the back of the yard. beyond the fence is a pretty steep hill that angles down toward our yard, so every time it rains (which is often during Georgia springtime!), we wind up with water standing on the patio until it drains. along the back fence, there are several of those bushes that look like a mass of long skinny grass blades, and they''re fabulous at sucking up all the water that would otherwise flood our townhouse. my problem is this--other than those bushes, our entire yard is nothing but weeds--it looks like a cabbage patch out there! i''m afraid to use any form of weed killer because the bushes soak up all the water in the whole yard, and they really are the only thing that keeps our apartment from flooding when it rains. would using weed killer also kill our bushes, and if so, what do i do to get rid of the "cabbage patch" we have taking over our yard? thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me!
 

Aloros

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May 2, 2006
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I just pull them out by hand. Or I pay the kid to do it


If you do this, plant something in its place. A thick lawn will help prevent the growth of weeds. Or if it''s the entire lawn that''s weeds, you can always cover it until it dies.

I''ll bet you someone else has a better suggestion though.
 

Gailey

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/20/2009 12:44:39 PM
Author:doodle
I live in a townhouse with a bricked in cobblestone patio and a small amount of lawn with a fence running along the back of the yard. beyond the fence is a pretty steep hill that angles down toward our yard, so every time it rains (which is often during Georgia springtime!), we wind up with water standing on the patio until it drains. along the back fence, there are several of those bushes that look like a mass of long skinny grass blades, and they''re fabulous at sucking up all the water that would otherwise flood our townhouse. my problem is this--other than those bushes, our entire yard is nothing but weeds--it looks like a cabbage patch out there! i''m afraid to use any form of weed killer because the bushes soak up all the water in the whole yard, and they really are the only thing that keeps our apartment from flooding when it rains. would using weed killer also kill our bushes, and if so, what do i do to get rid of the ''cabbage patch'' we have taking over our yard? thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me!
Doodle

Can you post a few pictures? I can''t quite picture the skinny grass blade bushes.

Weed killer is absorbed through the leaves and transported down to the roots. If you apply weedkiller on a dry day, and you are careful about where you spray, you won''t kill anything that the weedkiller doesn''t touch.

That being said, I''m not a huge weedkiller fan, although there are some weeds that are very difficult to remove by digging. Thistle being the most invasive. Often digging will just help a thistle spread.

I''m not sure what you mean by "Cabbage Patch", so a few pictures would be good.

The thing about weeds is, they have a tendency to return and often digging just exposes more weed seeds to the surface of the soil. The more of the soil surface that you can see the more weeds you are going to have. If you are going to tackle the weeds, either by digging or by spraying, you would be well advised to plan on planting the area and covering as much of the soil as you can. Good healthy plants will choke out weeds.

If I can see the area you are talking about and get an idea of how much you like to garden, then I can make some suggestions about what to plant to keep the weeds down.
 

movie zombie

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Jan 20, 2005
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go to a nursery, explain your problem, they will suggest plants to replace what you pull out. be prepared to also tell them how many hours of sun the site gets and whether or not you''re willing to water or not. there are a LOT of plants that will provide erosion control and not require a lot of work on your part. there are books written on this. go to a nursery/garden center.....not lowe''s, orchard supply, or places like that. you want to find knowledgeable people. also, go to your library and find some books. you actually have a great opportunity here to create a nice space.

mz
 

doodle

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My yard looks so awful right now, I''m honestly too embarrassed to post pictures of it!
We call the plants cattails around here, but I don''t know how commonly known that name is outside of the southeast US. I''m not really wanting to spend too much money on landscaping since our place is a rental (for that matter, I''m not even sure if I''d be allowed to plant anything, but considering what the yard looked like when we moved in, I''d raise some hell if they tried to chastise me for improving it!)--my main reason for wanting to get rid of the weeds is so they don''t choke out the bushes that we need to protect our yard...well, that and the fact that weeds in Georgia can hide all kinds of bugs that I don''t really want to be friends with! We had actually gotten our yard into decent shape until last summer, but the drought in Georgia got so bad that there was a ban on watering your lawns, so all of our grass died, and the dandelions took over. I would definitely need something easy to care for (I''ve killed a plant in less than 6 hours before, and I managed to kill a cactus...I''m kind of a serial plant murderer!), and our yard is pretty well-shaded most of the day because the house blocks the sun, so with the exception of a small strip of yard that gets direct sunlight, the rest of the yard gets little to no light at all. Thanks again for the advice! I really appreciate the help!


Typha_domingensis.jpg
 

Hudson_Hawk

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10,541
I have nothing to add other than to confirm that those are in fact cat tails.
 

cnspotts

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Jan 11, 2003
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524
Hey, I''m from ATL, but live in AL now so I know a little about what you''re dealing with. Would it be possible to have a conversation with the owner (since you rent) about improving the area in question? Maybe they''d pay for some if not all if you''re willing to do the work and upkeep, it only adds value to their property. If that fails...

Mondo grass is a great ground cover but it can be slow to fill in plus it''s low to no upkeep. I have large areas of it that I dig up and spread around, it chokes out most of the weeds. Dandelions are tough to get rid of without some kind of liquid killer. I let mine go crazy since my lizards eat the flowers. They don''t bother me.

Elephant ears are great for sucking up water but they can get out of hand eventually if you ignore them over the years. Giant weeds. They do well in sunny to shady areas.

Gardenweb.com is a great site for info for more help and ideas.
Google images is also great for seeing ideas similar to your backyard. ex: landscape courtyards, grass free landscaping, etc.
 

crown1

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Nov 22, 2006
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1,682
try calling your county extension agent. they should be able to give you advice and for free.
 
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