Pre-emptive apologies for the double post (on Turf Management)
I really need to start all over with the grass next to my driveway. Not sure if I am going to just replace it with a gigantic sun garden or new sod/seed. But for starters, I need to kill off every weed.
It's a lot of work, but the first thing I need to do is separate the wheat from the chaff my hand-digging as many of the weeds out as possible. These go into a special aluminum foil-wrapped sun oven that kills the weed seeds and then they can go into my compost bin. Only the most obvious offenders will be pulled -- I don't have the manpower or time to hand-eradicate every one of them and all their upcoming progeny.
I could just rent a sod-cutter and carve it all out that way -- but then I have giant rolls of weed-infested sod. Can't put it in yardwaste bags (a no-no), can't throw it in the compost heap (weed seeds need to be killed off first, yes?), can't sell it, so killing the weeds off first seems the most organic way (and, I'm finding, the most labor-intensive way) of doing it.
Next, I'll kill off the grass by digging a trench around the entire area. Cover with a large sheet of black plastic. Secure with bricks (on the driveway side) and bury in the trench on the grass sides. Wait for a good three weeks (if it ever decides to get warm up here in Chicagoland).
Once uncovered, remove all the dead grass and leftover weeds. Hopefully, that length of time (given some good, hot days) will eradicate all the weed seeds left over.
Then, following the sage advice of someone who posted a great article on preparing one's soil, I'll prepare the soil using a 1/2 to 1/2 mixture of nice, black compost (presuming 1/2 soil and 1/2 compost here). When I remove the dead grass, I will shake off as much soil as possible, which means I shouldn't have to bring the soil back up level with the yard and driveway (there will be a slight depression, I'm assuming -- maybe some rich topsoil from another source in the garden would be a good idea -- but I would need to make sure it's free of weed seeds, too).
Once the compost is mixed with the soil, then I face a fork in the road. Giant sun garden or grass? I don't think I'll sod again, because I don't think there are any sod vendors in Chicagoland who actually RAISE their sod organically. I don't want to plant sod that's been raised with chemical fertilizers (and more weed seeds, probably), so to avoid introducing any foreign elements into my grass that I can't control, seeding seems the best route to take.
Where would the Dirt Doctor community adjust the techniques, direction, and methods I've mentioned here?"