I bought a home recently (southeast US) and the previous owners were neglectful of their back yard. It is pretty much a variety pack of weeds: buffalo weeds, dandelions, wild strawberries, etc. There are a couple of types of ivy taken over several spots as well. I guess a couple batches of failed grass growing attempts also appear in small parts. Now that summer has rolled in, I can see that much of the back yard stays very shady throughout the day, while some spots are medium-level sunny.

I would like a grass lawn (which the neighbors have seemed to achieve), but I am very inexperienced. Should I buy an herbicide and kill off everything, and then throw down some grass seed? Is that the right move? Will herbicide harm my peach tree?

Looking for general recommendations and maybe some specific product suggestions.


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    Welcome to the site! Even though you've given a lot of detail, which is great, we really need some pictures to get a sense of what you're looking at. Would you post a view of the whole yard, and the area of the lawn that needs the most work? Thanks! Jun 1, 2016 at 0:15
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    and your general location would be useful to know
    – Bamboo
    Jun 1, 2016 at 0:20
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    If you're patient, and that's no objection from local bylaws and other restrictive policies, you could set up a chicken train to remove all the plants for you, and reseed as the train moves along. Jun 1, 2016 at 1:34
  • What's a chicken train? Jun 1, 2016 at 4:01
  • I would not recommend the use of herbicide. I'd go down the Permaculture route. Depending on size of space, I'd plant most edible perennials around the edges, fruiting bushes, strawberries, artichokes, sunshokes, chives, herbs. And then think about a small grassy area in the middle if you really must. Lawns are overrated, high maintenance and expensive green deserts.
    – Organic
    Jun 1, 2016 at 9:37


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