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Killed my REALLY weedy lawn with glyphosate. Can I use it to create a compost heap?!

Hi everyone,

I have a roughly 8m x 14m lawn which is nice and crispy having taken a large dose of glyphosate a couple of weeks ago. It's easy to lift now which is just the outcome I was hoping for!

Next step is to lift it and cover the bare soil with black poly for a month or two just to make sure everything is dead before laying new turf and planting up. (it's a very old, very weedy garden and this marks the start of a full redesign)

Wondering if anyone can help- would I be able to save up the crispy, dead turf to use as compost in a couple of years time? I'm picturing a decent sized heap nicely stratified with wood and organic matter. 

One thing to perhaps consider- there's a thin layer of moss under the grass which appears to have survived the blitz... will the moss proliferate if I turn the cut turf into a compost heap...?

Thanks!!

David

Posts

  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 883
    Glyphosate is reputedly neutralised on contact with soil. Having said that it definitely doesn’t disappear in a plume of smoke magic style! (So where does it go???). Anyway, If it was me I would use it as you say and use resulting compost in/beds and borders. I might feel twitchy about using it for veg beds though...
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,463
    Just stack up the blocks of turf you're lifting, soil side uppermost, in  a corner somewhere and thoroughly soak the pile. Cover them as well and that will help the process. By this time next year, more or less, you'll have perfectly usable soil for borders.
    It's particularly useful for the bottom of any raised beds if you construct any. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    Just stack up the blocks of turf you're lifting, soil side uppermost, in  a corner somewhere and thoroughly soak the pile. Cover them as well and that will help the process. By this time next year, more or less, you'll have perfectly usable soil for borders.
    It's particularly useful for the bottom of any raised beds if you construct any. 
    Love this. Thanks.

    I am in fact planning to make some raised beds, but for veg. I'm a little worried about the chemicals, like Flinster pointed out.

    One would imagine a thorough soaking (I'm in Dundee so that's no issue...) would leach out any remaining glyphosate?

    Another slight worry is that, although the plants are dead, my lawn cuttings are stuffed with dormant seeds. If I use this stuff for raised beds in the next month or two, am I just setting myself up for a world of weeds later down the track? If I store this stuff under a tarp for a whole year would you expect any seeds to remain..?

    Thanks for your engagement.

    David
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Yes.  Some seeds can stay dormant but viable for many years; I've heard of seeds germinating that were found in the Egyptian pyramids, but that might just be urban myth.  After you fill the raised beds with your home-made compost, water it well and when the weedlings appear, just keep hoeing them off every couple of days.  Depending on the height of the beds, a hand hoe might be easier than a long one.  It shouldn't take more than a few minutes.  You can leave the little plants on the surface, they will either rot back in, or re-root themselves, and then they just get hoed until they give up.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,632
    Use the glyphosate infected soil at the base of new beds and cover with clean soil.

    If you have moss, you have a drainage problem that no amount of weed or moss killer will solve.   Once you've removed and stacked the turf uou need to go over the whole of the old lawn site with a large garden fork, pushing in the tines as deeply as possible and wiggling back and forth to enlarge the holes.   Do this every few inches.  Work ackwards so you don't trample your new holes.   Pour on piles of dry, sharp sand, not builders' sand, then brush it so it falls into the holes and opens up the soil.

    Repeat as necessary to improve drainage.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Obelixx said:
    Use the glyphosate infected soil at the base of new beds and cover with clean soil.

    If you have moss, you have a drainage problem that no amount of weed or moss killer will solve.   Once you've removed and stacked the turf uou need to go over the whole of the old lawn site with a large garden fork, pushing in the tines as deeply as possible and wiggling back and forth to enlarge the holes.   Do this every few inches.  Work ackwards so you don't trample your new holes.   Pour on piles of dry, sharp sand, not builders' sand, then brush it so it falls into the holes and opens up the soil.

    Repeat as necessary to improve drainage.
    Good call. As far as I can tell, this soil has been sitting as nothing but grass for potentially 100 years, so it's HIGHLY compacted.

    I guess I'm mostly worried that there may be spores kicking about that could take hold and ruin my brand new turf... regardless of how aerated the soil is..?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,632
    edited July 2019
    If the drainage and compaction are sorted out the moss should go as it won't have favorable growing conditions.   You probably need to rotavate or dig it all oer, break it up, add masses of well-rotted manure and compost then do the whole raking level, heel shuffle and re-raking before sowing seed or laying turf in September.

    If you leave the lawn bed as it is, spores wll drift in from all around, carried by wind and rain, and moss will re-grow.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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