We had a mess in our back yard with weeds and left over black dirt and gravel that covered up the perfect spot for my perennial grass garden. It is the bunch of dead plants and dirt and an old tarp right in front of the fence on the right.
Since it’s good to share here are close ups.
The tarp may have been an old pool cover that blew back there and got covered with grass. It was full of long nasty grass roots and a misery to yank out. We had extra edging too and that was also buried under everything. It’s amazing how much mess can accumulate in 4 years from a simple mound of dirt.
The gravel mound was about 2 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet across.
First step was to clean out the gravel mound. The gravel mound was about 4 years old with enough wind-blown dirt to grow a good crop of nasty spotted knapweed with long tap roots and our miserable prairie/hay grass with long tendril tough roots. The stalks in the photos above were mostly spotted knapweed with a few other friends.
Once I moved enough gravel and sprayed vegetation killer the knapweed came out without too much trouble. The grass was harder but luckily the roots were short. (“Short” is relative considering that the grass roots are 20 inches long in some places!)
I moved some of the gravel to the walkways and the rest is now in a mound behind the fence. It took several days moving wheelbarrows full of the stuff. Finally it’s done.
That left the grass and the black dirt mound. Dave stuck tomatoes and rhubarb on the mound the last few summers so that had to get moved out. (We can buy rhubarb.)
The grass on the mound was not too bad. The dirt was loose enough that I could get even the long roots out without too much trouble. The grass on the side of the mound was another story. Some of it had roots like steel rods of spaghetti!
Once the top layer of vegetation was dead I raked the dead grass out and the mowers weed whacked it down and we re-applied the weed killer and re-raked. I forgot to get pictures of this step.
I’m leaving the mound of dirt as-is for now because we’re using it for the new roses, grasses and daylilies. I figure we’ll use most of it up on the new plants and put some on top of the old gravel base as a home for lawn grass.
Finally we’re ready to lay out the new plants and get ready to plant.