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 Post subject: lawn difficulties
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 2:45 pm 
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We live in a new house and are starting our third summer- we have mostly bermuda in the front yard, but are nurturing St. Augustine- I think we have what folks call dollar weed spreading- what can I do about that- I am certainly and organic gardener!

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 10:46 am 
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You may find the lawn care forum helpful. The best way to control most weeds is to have good healthy soil and no bare spots. You can spot spray weeds with 10% vinegar, orange oil (about one ounce per gallon) and a tablespoon of mild soap or yucca extract as a surfactant. My favorite soap to use for this is Dr. Bronner's because it is natural. This organic herbicide will kill anything it hits, so take care.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 3:27 pm 
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There must be 10 plants called dollar weed. Some are more of a problem than others. I would be hesitant to suggest something to kill it without knowing what it is. Sometimes (rarely) just good maintenance will take it out.

If you want the St Augustine to take over, set your mower to the highest setting (3+ inches) - for life. If you ever lower it, you're inviting the bermuda back along with many, many weeds. If you want the bermuda to take over, set the deck to the lowest setting (1 inch).

If you want the St Aug to take over, water deeply and infrequently. St Aug likes deep roots and will survive the longest droughts if the roots are deep enough. I didn't believe that but my next door neighbor has not watered her St Aug in 4 years. It looks great! If you want the bermuda to take over, you can water any which way but be sure not to leave any leaves wet in the late afternoon or evening. You'll get fungus for sure on either grass.

If you have your version of dollar weed in the present bermuda and want to get rid of it, try the 20% vinegar spray supplemented with a dash of orange oil and dish soap. That mix would be 4 ounces of orange oil and 4 ounces of dish soap to a gallon of pure vinegar. The ratios are absolutely not critical, but just suggestions. Pour it into a small, handheld sprayer and wet the leaves, not the soil. The dollar weeds should die off within 2 hours. The bermuda will be discolored for a few days/weeks. Any St Augustine hit with this mix will die out completely to bare soil starting in 3 days.

20% vinegar is the most hazardous chemical you will use in an organic program (I hope). Do whatever you need to do to keep it out of your eyes. One rancher reported a hand splashed some when he was pouring from the jug to the sprayer. He was sidelined for 3 months with a temporary blindness. IT IS BAD STUFF if you get it in your eyes.

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