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what to grow along fence that's chem-lawned

 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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My neighbors use chem-lawn, and the few things I've planted, always died. *grapes, blueberries, bush cherries. Even ivy on the chain link part* Dead all of it.
When I moved away, 7ish years ago, it no longer was a problem. Now I'm back, and I'd really like some privacy, from the yuppies from hell.
I was thinking containers. The dogs I had before would have used them as escape routes, but the great Pyrenees I have now, not an issue. However, that would be alot of containers . Anyone have any better ideas?
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Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9445
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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A big-ass hugelkultur?

 
Jessica Padgham
Posts: 95
Location: Denver, Co 6000ft bentonite clay soil
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What about ornamental grasses? Since they are probably spraying to kill broad leaf weeds then growing various monocots should give you some success. If it were me I would dedicate that section to purely ornamental things since I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything grown there. Containers would also be a nice way to bring in some flowers with less risk of them being killed by the chemlawn.
 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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I've actually considered that, Tyler. It wasn't an option when I had retrievers. I could also do that for the part of the property that's not fenced.
Thanks for the idea Jessica. Do either of you know if espalier trees can be grown in containers? Then I could plant ornamental grasses inbetween.
 
David Livingston
master steward
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Espellier particularly "ballerina " would work
How about bamboo ?

David
 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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I definitely will look up ballerina. And thanks for mentioning bamboo. I forgot its a grass. A really useful grass.
Do you think a 2 foot swathe would be a wide enough barrier, so that I could try to grow edibles? It's the northern boundry, so I wouldn't need to worry about the grasses throwing shadows.
 
Abbey Battle
Posts: 65
Location: Wealden AONB
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I don't know the exact details, there are some (grass or rush?) that helps clean toxins from the soil. May be research this as I'd want to rid my soil of chemicals leeching into it.

Mind, I'd be inclined to construct a barrier by digging a ditch and inserting some shuttering.
I'm not sure what a chemlawn is though.
 
R Ranson
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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So something that would not be killed by lawn chemicals.... hmm, that's a tough one. I think containers would work, but I think high input. Maybe something could grow directly in the ground. Would willow or bamboo survive that kind of situation? Do you have enough ground moisture for that? In the case of willows, is it far enough from drains and septic systems?
 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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Abbey, chem lawn, or tru green is an American lawn care company, that sprays chemicals and fertilizer on your lawn. Then they would stick little yellow flags around it, warning people to keep pets and children off for a day or so. There's alot of people who believe it caused cancer in customers pets and family. Stinks too.
 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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Ranson, I've been looking into ornamental grasses. Bamboo also. There are some really pretty varieties, and there are some that grow to 12 feet. Think I'm going to enjoy planting this boarder. What's best is they are low maintenance, which means I'm less likely to kill them. Win, win😄
 
Abbey Battle
Posts: 65
Location: Wealden AONB
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Grow something that will totally destroy their lawn. (because I am evil). Can you ask them not to use so many chemicals? Why are they destroying the environment anyway?
 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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Lol, Abbey. If only I dared. Talking isn't an option. Atleast it wasn't before. I haven't tried since I've moved back. Most of our previous conversations were one way, them to me, via some agent of government. Ex. The sheriff shows up to tell me there's a complaint about my music. I can't even hear it ,working in my garden, but my neighbor says he can, SITTING IN HIS HOUSE? ?? The dog warden shows up. Same neighbor said my dog wasn't on a leash. She never left my yard. Doesn't matter, if he feels threatened, just by her existence, a judge could rule she needs to be surrendered. Keep her on a chain. *sigh*
Zoning officer, " Your nieghbors ( notice both) complained that you have chickens. You can't have chickens in the village" we're in a dairy community, I say. There's "right to farm" signs everywhere, I say. There's a huge arsed corn field right behind my property, that gets sprayed with stinky shit (literally ) twice a year, I say. "Doesn't matter" he says "you can't have any livestock in the village, and definitely not in THE SUB-DEVELOPMENT" He goes on to tell me they both were demanding he issue me a citation , but he talked them into giving me a week or so to find them new homes. Love thy neighbor, indeed.
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 640
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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What are the regulations on fences? Can you put up a six foot tall wooden privacy fence between you and your neighbor? Are there regulations on the color you can paint the fence?
 
Radine Star
Posts: 18
Location: southern part of Western New York
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I honestly don't know, John. Nobody else has any kind of fencing around their property line, in my neighborhood. Grumpy to my south did attach a couple of those directly to the side of his deck, so we can't see each other when he sits out there. So maybe. However, I'm really kinda excited about the grasses and bamboo. Thanks for the suggestion, though. If they don't end up costing a fortune, I'll try to get them planted this year, and I'll be sure to update this, so you all can see. Thanks to everyone, again.
 
Casie Becker
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I'm gonna add one final suggestion, you might consider edging the section where you're planting your barrier with something that can support fungal growth. I'm thinking this is where logs or untreated boards would be appropriate. I'd hope that the fungi would help break down some of that chemical cocktail before it intrudes further into your land.

Sorry you have such neighbors. I'm lucky enough that the only neighbors I think 'might' be inclined to heavy chemical use are downhill from me. I wouldn't be directly affected if they started. I've commented before about how lucky I am in my neighbors in this suburb.
 
Donald Kenning
Posts: 78
Location: Tri-Cities, Washington
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You know, I have been staring at those two pictures for the last hour. After I read the comments, I just stared, while uttering the mantra, "the problem is the solution" over and over in my head.

Wow, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

But first, a comment on how to prepare.... Read all city, county and state ordinances regarding the property and any HOA kinda things. Understand what they truly mean. For example, I had a neighbor tell me I had to "spray with death spray" my fruit trees. I looked at the ordinance it states, "you must manage the pests" that can come to the tree. I thought, OK, I will plant garlic, create habitat for bats and dragonflies, make sure the soil is healthier, sticky traps. If anyone asks me, I am "managing the pests". If the officer is unfamiliar with this form of pest management, I would invite them to find the pests and view the research I found.

Recognize their beauty and resources ... No one likes to talk about them-self more than your (figurative) neigbor. You may consider complimenting them on how green their lawn is (OK, maybe not). However, I love those trees. Maybe you do too? Maybe it would soften their heart to talk about them. Be jealous in front of them for the tremendous resources they have every fall. If they are "smart" enough to chem their yard, they should be "smart" enough to throw that resource away. You could encourage them to create some kind of life on their side of the fence (all along the fence) that utilizes the resource they would normally throw away. Or you could say something like, "with your permission, I could use this resource on my side (along the fence) to benefit us both." You can do a similar thing with their tree branches of both their coniferous and deciduous trees. This way the neigbor can benefit from the resource that they provided. That will give them "skin in the game". Make the benefit wide so that the spill of the "chem" onto your yard does not kill all of the benefit. Try to have your neighbors realize that part of the benefit was killed by their own application of chem.. Constructing the solution this way, they will keep tabs on that "benefit you planted". In other words, make them part of the solution.

What they hate... I am going to guess, that besides the music and dog issues, the neighbors do not like the dandelions growing in your yard. They probably think that is why they have dandelions growing in there yard (need to chem it). They may be holding it against you but not telling you. If they are cheming the yard chances are good they feel this way. Recently, I had a neigbor come onto my property applying chemical stuff to my dandelions. WTF? Not quite sure how to deal with the "spread of weeds" perception, but maybe you could let them know how you are "managing" them.

Bamboo is a root propagator and some use the word "invasive". It seems to me, if bamboo is used, the neigbor will eventually perceive that you are "invading" their space (I know, they are invading yours with the chem). Bamboo could be a mutual decision between you and your neigbor. This may give you the barrier you seek, but will not necessarily improve relations.

So what do you most want to do? That is the $64,000 question.

edit: I would use the left over manure from your chicken house (you know the ones the neighbors had you remove), to apply to the "benefit along the fence" and make sure the neighbors know you did that (eventually).
 
Woody Glenn
Posts: 16
Location: Delmarva Peninsula, MD Zone 7
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I'm not a lawyer but I do have bad neighbors...... Bulldozing your wild flowers bad. With $ and a lawyer I could join the club of people they leave alone, but for now I am restricted to passive aggressive behavior, to further my re-greening efforts. Your neighbor is polluting you property with over-spray and leeching. Proving that is hard to do. The Following suggestions are for-entertainment purposes only:

A marginally ethical/ Machiavellian suggestion would be to have a large nursery/landscaping company plant a hedge of sorts that comes with a reasonable guarantee to survive. If the neighbors pollution kills theses plantings then the nursery/landscaper would be the damaged party, and would look to the neighbor for satisfaction. I would only attempt to make a larger company the monkey in the middle as they would be prepared to deal with these situations, and part of the cost that you pay is for supporting their corporate umbrella. And I would read the fine print at least 3 times.

Planting Bamboo could be like letting Godzilla loose in the back yard. If You wont run afoul of the local zoneing folks, Planting an 8 foot row something chemical resistant, maybe corn or sunflower? These would provide screening visually and from over spray. Letting it go wild an leaving the stalks up over winter will provide lots of bird food and habitat, and most probably drive you neighbor mad. Corn is so messy, but is it a fine from planning and zoneing messy?

Your neighbor sounds like a crank. Who else dose he hate? Dose he hassle every one else or are you special? Find out how the rest of your community feels about this individual. Bake cookies for every one, because your a good neighbor. How tired are the planning and zoneing people of being used as a weapon? Do they like cookies? Call planning and zoneing in the next town over and pretend to be a gardener whose roses where killed and ask what can be done. Get his goat, make him use up his credibility. Make him call the police because your blowing bubbles and danceing with plastic flamingos. Offer the police cookies. Hell offer the neighbor cookies, it could be all he needs is a little love.
 
Terry Bytes
Posts: 10
Location: NE Iowa
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You deserve some privacy!
I would put up some hybrid poplars or hybrid willows asap.



They'd be the height you'd want in less than 3 years, and the leaves will be extremely nitrogen rich for your compost/garden.

Or, if you're not in love with your wrought iron fence, maybe a really tall fence could completely block out their view FOREVER. An ugly side for them, and a nice lattice + grape vines for your side:


And if you didn't fight for the chickens, then you need a 4-season type courtyard in the center of the yard (around shoulder height) and keep Japanese Quail in them. I can't really describe the courtyard well, but it would appear innocent enough, but you couldn't see in from the neighbors yard. Also, many cities don't list quail in their list, and they could be considered pets. Leaving them in a hutch (like pet rabbits) could work.
 
Collin Wolfe
Posts: 26
Location: 2b Regina. Sk
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Well, after living next to a raging drunk for over a decade I'd say you do have a few options.

The strip of yard is fairly long judging from the pictures. Much longer than my 50 x 100 postage stamp property.

Invasives may be the answer. Start experimenting what might grow near the fence line.

I am not sure how a cottoneaster would fare with profuse chemical use. But I bet a hedge lilac might have a fighting chance. The purple flowers are fragrant and even though I am allergic to it may help bring beneficial insects towards the property. Lilacs don't trim up quite as nicely as cottoneasters but you could then put ornamentals underneath on your side to fill up the gap.

With my nose I'd play a different game. I'd intersperse mugo pines between columnar poplars. Plus, along the property line he can now have the opportunity to rake up your leaves in the fall and your poplar fuzz in the spring.

If you felt more adventurous, weeping willow but 10 or so feet on your side. That way he could have the privilege of raking up small branches all summer long! Best of all let the natural suckering ability of the willow work for you.

The defcon option but would be manchurian elm. I've had to live next door to three giants which make gardening very labour intensive. The seeds germinate on cement, plastic or whatever else if there is even a slight film of water. These elms are the bane of manicured landscapes. If you are willing to put up with seedlings it may be a last ditch option.


Edit, geeze Terry you beat me to it...grumble...lol
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
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First verify that the neighbors are not spraying along the fence. Very likely they are spraying outside their property lines.
If so and they are killing plants on your side of the fence you likely have a actionable case against them for destroying your property.

If you wish to avoid such actions against the neighbors. It has been said that pots and raised beds on your side of the property line may work. Since the neighbor would have to be spraying with drift on to your property for such plants to die.

Should you decide to put such pots and raised beds in, here are some plants that are true garden plant that have interesting smells.
It is unlikely your village will have laws regarding scents of true garden plants.

Paperwhite narcissi
Many people love Paperwhites as houseplants at Christmas but they are not a favourite with scentophile Stephen Lacey: “They smell like the elephant house at Chester Zoo where I briefly worked.”

Amorphophallus titanum (Titan arum)
The enormous flower spikes of the titan arum can heat up to 36C. This serves the dual purpose of mimicking a freshly dead animal, while also helping to spread the appalling smell.

Eucomis bicolor (pineapple lily)
Opinions differ on how bad this smells, ranging from "terrible" to "slightly disagreeable".

Lilium 'Stargazer'
Showy oriental lilies divide people into two camps: you either love the rich, luxurious floral scent or find them sickly and overpowering.

Helicodiceros muscivorus (Dead horse arum)
The common name speaks for itself.

If you are looking for a striking plant, try a Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla). The plant is a woody vine that produces flowers shaped like curved pipes and large heart-shaped leaves. The flowers attract pollinating flies with an odor like rotting meat.

The skunk cabbage plant may be unusual, and stinky, but it is also quite interesting and uses for skunk cabbage in the garden could actually be beneficial.

Voodoo lily (voodoo lily A. titanium) plants are hardy in USDA zones 6 through 10. In cooler zones, you can lift the bulb for indoor storage after the foliage is killed back by frost. The bulb has no special storage requirements. Brush off the soil and set the bulb on a shelf until spring. The problem with bringing it inside is that the bulb will come to flower while indoors, and the smell is overpowering.
 
Debbie Sauerteig
Posts: 22
Location: Ontario, Canada. zone 5 continental cold temperate
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Did you see this thread about using fungal network to clean water passing onto your property?
http://www.permies.com/t/32011/urban/abundant-urban-waste-stream-pollution
Michael wrote and showed images of how this works.
 
G. Karl Marcus
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I grew up in Arkport, N.Y., but currently live in southwestern Montana. You could try growing catnip, interplanted with borage and hollyhocks. The flowers will draw pollinators, and the catnip will seed everywhere. It'll drive the whackos bonkers.
 
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https://permies.com/t/58443/Quality-Hand-Tools-Garden-Homestead
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