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Old 04-14-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
Canada 02
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looking to create some flower beds around the yard.

This is the plan. I would mark the perimeter with spray paint. Cut into the ground with a garden spade. Insert landscape edging to define the flower bed. Then spray everything inside the bed with Roundup to kill the grass. A week later when the grass is dead, rototil the ground, add compost, topsoil or peat moss. Cover with landscape fabric then mulch.

Never done this before. Got some of the prep ideas from HGTV.

Questions. Is Roundup safe? Anyone ever use it before? Do i even need to use it? If I simply cover the grass with dirt, and cover that with landscape fabric, the grass should die, correct?

Also, some of these beds will be used to grow veggies. Will Roundup be unsafe in a veggie garden?
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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I thought Roundup was illegal in Calgary now?

To add more questions to the thread:

I have a couple 20-30ft spruce trees that are looking a bit rough. I thought it was from the hot dry summer, but after winter they aren't much better. They are still green, but lots of branches are fairly bare of needles. Thoughts?

I have another tree that was split by wind and the previous owner put a strap around it to hold it together. The whole thing stayed green last summer, although the split part did go brown a bit faster in fall. Should I just leave the strap up there forever?

When can I start pruning hedges/bushes?

[/clueless former condo owner]
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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I don't live in Calgary.

Roundup is widely available down here at Home Depot, Lowes etc
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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My wife is a horticulturist specializing in Calgary (zone differences etc). I'll see if I can't get her in here to answer some of these questions tonight.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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I need to build a patio from the slate I just got from Ducay. I hope I can figure out how to make it look decent and level
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:17 PM   #6
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Round Up becomes inert soon after it is applied. It isn't the greatest product to use if your are mildly eco-conscious because it can last a lot longer in aquatic environments. If there is no chance of it running off with rain and into the drains (or your nice green lawn) then go for it.

An interesting note about Round Up is there are already plants developing an immunity to it. Isn't evolution great.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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Does anyone know a good arborist in Calgary? I have a huge mature poplar tree in the back yard that's full of dead branches, uncluding one heavy one that stretches over where I am thinking of building a playhouse for the kids. The trouble is, my yard has no vehicle access so the work would have to be on ladders and ropes.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:36 PM   #8
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Then spray everything inside the bed with Roundup to kill the grass. A week later when the grass is dead, rototil the ground
I sliced my grass out with a sharp spade, and back filled with new topsoil from Burnco. Much better.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:41 PM   #9
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Anyone have any reccomendations for herbs or vegetables to grow in a low light area? I have a small flower bed in my yard, but since it's the back of a building surrounded by other buildings there's little to no direct sunlight on the flower bed. It gets some reflected light but not a ton.

I'd like to grow some sort of small herb garden, hopefully basil, mint and chives, but I'm not sure how well it'll do. If there's anything else I should consider I'm all ears.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bownesian View Post
Does anyone know a good arborist in Calgary? I have a huge mature poplar tree in the back yard that's full of dead branches, uncluding one heavy one that stretches over where I am thinking of building a playhouse for the kids. The trouble is, my yard has no vehicle access so the work would have to be on ladders and ropes.
My neighbour had the same problem, but the tree was sick and needed to come down. Must of been damn near 40ft tall. Like you, no vehicle access, but a truck in the back alley with a crane works great!
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:44 PM   #11
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So...should I get the Sunflowers going yet? I want my fence back as quickly as possible.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #12
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Depending on the amount of grass you want to remove, rent a sod cutter instead. The RU will work but you'll still have to dig up the grass somehow. This is a PITA. You won't be able to rototill it. I've tried. It doesn't work

A better alternative is to build a raised bed over the grass. Make the border and then put topsoil on top, leaving the grass there. It'll die soon enough.

RU is not illegal in Calgary. Only combination weed'n'feed products are banned for consumer sale.

Quote:
Anyone have any reccomendations for herbs or vegetables to grow in a low light area? I have a small flower bed in my yard, but since it's the back of a building surrounded by other buildings there's little to no direct sunlight on the flower bed. It gets some reflected light but not a ton.

I'd like to grow some sort of small herb garden, hopefully basil, mint and chives, but I'm not sure how well it'll do. If there's anything else I should consider I'm all ears.
Most vegetables need all the light they can get, but lettuce and spinach prefer partial shade. What kind of flowers do you have in the bed?
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bownesian View Post
Does anyone know a good arborist in Calgary? I have a huge mature poplar tree in the back yard that's full of dead branches, uncluding one heavy one that stretches over where I am thinking of building a playhouse for the kids. The trouble is, my yard has no vehicle access so the work would have to be on ladders and ropes.
Call Wilson's Landscaping

Wilson's Expert Tree & Landscaping Service
3 Glenmore Cr. S.W.
Calgary , AB T3E4B3
(403)686-4265
Fax: (403) 207-2051




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Old 04-14-2010, 02:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by valo403 View Post
Anyone have any reccomendations for herbs or vegetables to grow in a low light area? I have a small flower bed in my yard, but since it's the back of a building surrounded by other buildings there's little to no direct sunlight on the flower bed. It gets some reflected light but not a ton.

I'd like to grow some sort of small herb garden, hopefully basil, mint and chives, but I'm not sure how well it'll do. If there's anything else I should consider I'm all ears.
Dill can grow quite well in low sunlight conditions. But be warned. It's a weed, and it certainly grows like one. You will need to keep an eye on it and thin it out if it starts getting out of control. 1 or 2 healthy stalks should be enough. Parsley is another herb that can grow really well in low sunlight conditions. Try to find a flat leaf variety as opposed to the curly leaf.

Chili peppers can grow quite well in the shade, but they need a long and warm growing season. Even a slight frost can ruin them. If you're starting with seeds, you probably want them in the ground, oh, a month ago, but if you can find small plants and transplant them, you may be able to have a decent harvest by august.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:49 PM   #15
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lQuestions. Is Roundup safe? Anyone ever use it before? Do i even need to use it? If I simply cover the grass with dirt, and cover that with landscape fabric, the grass should die, correct?
You don't really need the Roundup. Just dig up the grass, including the roots (means digging about 3-4" deep). That's what I did for my gardens, and I haven't had any problems with grass returning - I didn't even need landscape fabric (which I personally find to be more of a nuisance than anything).

In terms of safety - it's not believed to be especially toxic to humans or animals, and isn't really a safety concern if you use it properly (i.e. follow the directions). Health Canada is currently re-evaluating this pesticide though, and the allowable uses could change. There is a bit of recent data about possible endocrine disruption, and using it around young kids or pregnant women maybe isn't the best idea. Personally I wouldn't use it anywhere I was growing vegetables in the near future just as a matter of erring on the side of caution, even though it is used on food crops (why use it if it isn't needed?).
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:52 PM   #16
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My neighbour had the same problem, but the tree was sick and needed to come down. Must of been damn near 40ft tall. Like you, no vehicle access, but a truck in the back alley with a crane works great!
My back neighbour is the CPR line so it's gotta be done lumberjack style.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #17
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If you're in less of a hurry, and starting in the fall, you can use a layer of newspaper under a layer mulch to kill the grass. Works well here in zone 8 with warmish and wet winters, not sure how it would work in colder and drier areas. I imagine it would still kill the grass, but wouldn't decompose as quickly, so you might have to pull a bunch of paper out when you till it up in the spring.

Sod cutter if you've got enough space to work it, but my experience in tight spots in my yard is the only tool to use is a pulaski. Hard work, but gets at the grass roots better than a spade.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:04 PM   #18
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So...should I get the Sunflowers going yet? .

Indoors? Yes.

I'm going to start a crap load of Sun Flowers (Indoors) this Week.

Started my Tomatoes Feb. 5th and they are nice and bushy already, Hoping for a good crop this year because last year's was horrible!
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:06 PM   #19
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You don't really need the Roundup. Just dig up the grass, including the roots (means digging about 3-4" deep). That's what I did for my gardens, and I haven't had any problems with grass returning - I didn't even need landscape fabric (which I personally find to be more of a nuisance than anything).
Quote:
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I sliced my grass out with a sharp spade, and back filled with new topsoil from Burnco. Much better.
sure, not using chemicals is preferred, however I have 1/2 acre, and will create beds on ~1500-2000 sq ft of existing lawn. It can be dealt with for ~$10 of round-up
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:33 PM   #20
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Call Wilson's Landscaping

Wilson's Expert Tree & Landscaping Service
3 Glenmore Cr. S.W.
Calgary , AB T3E4B3
(403)686-4265
Fax: (403) 207-2051

He came over this afternoon:

$1500 to take a double-trunk tree down and do some cleanup in the dozen or so trees in the front yard in his picker truck.
$2000 to take down 3 huge trees in the back by hand
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