18 answers

I Need Good Advice on Yard Care for My Terrible Weeded Yard!

So I just reciently moved into a wonderful house last week. The only problem with the house was with the backyard weeds. When we moved in they were 3 feet high. They were sprayed with sometype of killer them mowed down. Now the problem is with all of the round thistles? They are sort of round and have very very sharp spikes all over them and they are ALL over the back yard you can't even walk 1 step without getting them all over your shoes. Does anyone have any ideas on how to take care of this? The entire backyard is completely covered in these things and I'm at a loss what to do with it to care for it. I'm a renter so I don't want to put any money into it nore do I want to water it and pay the bill (its a HUGE yard) plus that would involve planting grass ect. I think I would be able to tollerate the dead look if it wasnt for all the sharp around thingys in the yard. (Sorry I have no idea what they are called!!) Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would talk to you landlord and see if he/she/they would help out in anyway. Probably needs to be tore out and reseeded. I don't think you want anything sprayed with the children around. You could consult a lawn specialist and see what suggestions they would have also.

If you don't want to spend any money on them then the only way to take care of it is to pick them. They are thistles and if you go down right to the ground and pull up on the stem they won't poke you. You need to take like a shopping bag or a garbage can with you so that you won't spread them. I had thistles really bad on my side yard and I just pick them and now I only have maybe a small handful. Good luck at not getting poked!!

More Answers

They sound like the goatheads. They are a pain to get rid of....but is your house in a HOA owned development, because if so, the landlord would be responsible for providing the yard. Most HOA's require a yard to be put in within a year of the house being built. SO the landlord can pay for a yard, you would only have to pay for water, I would think. Good luck!

If it is thistle, then is is a noxious weed and is poisonous to animals. Be careful with your kiddos around it!

I would see if you have money to hire help. Find a landscape company experinienced in new lawns. this means, they know how to lay a lawn on a new praire home to prevent the prairie grasses from poppint up. the should not only lan new sod but actually strip the lawn and prepare it. It may take a while. the thistle is a problem everywhere here. Once you get a lawn, make sure to use the weeder (stick thing with the divied end you bore down the root to get it all up) and pop them up immediately. Don't let them get a root. If they do, srpay rounup at the base so it goes on the root until it is gone. You will have a dead spot then so you may have to seed that spot in the fall...but hopefully, it will not come back. Mowing them off just makes them grow more..sort of like aspens.

Sounds like goat heads, some people call it puncture vine. grows low to the ground and spreads, pretty purple flowers to start with? Anyway if so...burning is bad it just 'sets' the seeds and creates a wonderous full crop. about the only way I know is to dig them which isn't hard as they have surface roots and are easily dug, then bag them for the garbage man. You said you don't want to plant grass...would the landlord front the money to seed? I ask because grass will choke out goat heads easily.

I would talk to you landlord and see if he/she/they would help out in anyway. Probably needs to be tore out and reseeded. I don't think you want anything sprayed with the children around. You could consult a lawn specialist and see what suggestions they would have also.

We had a yard like that in NM where we couldn't even begin to think of watering a yard. We rototilled it a few times. After the 2nd or 3rd time we had nice clean dirt for the kids to play in. We only had to keep up on it after that about once a year. It's not a long term answer that's very pretty, but it is cheap, especially if you can borrow the rototiller. We were able to get rid of all the problem weeds this way.

I would suggest that you (or have someone else) rototill the thistles into the ground. We had a similar issue in our backyard when we bought our house. We found out from our neighbors that the people who live here before us would put salt on the driveway and then shovel it off the end onto the grass. We rototilled under the thistles and they havn't came back since.

Are they goatheads? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribulus_terrestris
I wouldn't know how to get rid of them, but you probably need to find out what exactly they are before you can accomplish that goal. Maybe try the local university or your county courthouse might have some information on noxious weeds and how to get rid of them.
Maybe burn the yard?
But I think to keep them from coming back, you would have to plant some grass seed - native grasses would require less water - and maybe your landlord would help offset the cost (or at least some of it)

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