We moved into this house almost a year ago now. The house had stood empty for almost two years. The previous owners had had a pet pig (I can tell where the pig lived...there is actual grass there). The problem........we have almost no real grass. The "lawn" is made up of cheatgrass, mallow, purslane and lambs quarters. I detest any kind of chemical use; hubby sees it as a one-time necessity to "clear the slate" and start fresh. I would prefer to dumb a gazillion bags of fall leaves on it, smother the weeds and plant in the spring, killing two birds with one stone (killing two birds with one stone, killing the weeds and improving the soil). He wants to "cross this off his list", so to say.....and is quite stressed out that we plant seed before winter.
*sigh* Here are the pix........so you can see what we're dealing with. Is there a protocol for removing cheatgrass (besides dousing gasoline on our "lawn" and setting the whole thing ablaze)......??
Where I suspect the pig had his abode......
We are about to come to blows on this..........LOL.......some sage advice PLEASE...
Paul, the soil is in decent shape; but I'd like to "lasagna garden" the whole thing over the winter and plant grass in the spring. Would it be easier/more effective to use bales of straw?? Adding four inches of topsoil would be cost-prohibitive for us. There's a reason your "organic lawn care for the cheap n' lazy" is so popular If we could afford to dump topsoil over the whole thing; there would be no Round-up issue. Cheatgrass is a horse of a different color, I'm finding out.
Thanks for writing, Paul.....if you have anything else to add, I'd love to hear it....
I'm just thinking that if your topsoil is only two inches deep, then your lawn is gonna end up kinda crappy anyway - unless you add topsoil.
Do you have access to a tiller?
Can you rough up the soil a bit with a rake?
How cold will it get there this winter? Based on your answer to this, I could suggest some seed that you can plant that will grow through the winter and smother all weeds in the spring. Then you can cut it down or till it in and then plant your grass seed.
Another option is to till now, plant grass seed, and then your seed and your weeds will be in a race. You will still have some weeds, but good lawn care will eliminate most of them. You could even skip the till step, but that would mean more weed struggle for longer.