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Beginner Gardening Questions: jrhdesign picture (Yard / garden overtaken with.. barley? Help!)

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Subject: Yard / garden overtaken with.. barley? Help!

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Photo of Yard / garden overtaken with.. barley? Help!
jrhdesign wrote:
I moved into a new place a few months ago. When I moved in, the entire yard and garden area was covered with tall dead yellow wheat looking weeds. From what i hear the last tenants (who ignored the yard for a few years) covered the yard in weed killer a few months before I got here. Anyhow, I dug the whole yard out (these weed things were hard and deep) and removed everything from the yard, leaving a clean dirt yard.

I built a few garden boxes and planted a few plants in the yard. I mixed the native soil with some garden amender, mulch, and fertilizer. After a good rain and a week or so of watering the newly planted areas, grass looking sprouts started coming up everywhere. When I pulled them out, it looked like the grass blades were growing out of these spikey wheat looking pods.

These pods and the grasses that are sprouting from them are pretty much everywhere. Even in little pots where I mixed some mulch with the native soil I'm getting like ten to twenty blades of this stuff coming up.

My questions are:

1. Can I ever fix this soil to make it useable? My feelings are that if these pods can live through poison and being cut down and come back to life six months later, what is ever going to get them out of the soil for good?

2. Should I scrap my garden boxes and start over with soil from somewhere else?

3. What are these things?

Thanks so much in advance for any help.


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