Salting the Earth

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by yodafett, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    Odd Question, probably for Ag/Chem people. What is the approx concentration of salt that is needed to render ground uninhabitable for plant life? I know this was a common practice in the ancient world, particularly with the Romans and lands they conquered. Long story short, I have at strip of land that, due to layout, placement, and my neighbor on the other side of the fence, is EXTREMELY a pain to deal with. I would like to just salt it to the point where it won't grow. I know there are chemicals that can do this, there are a lot of kids in our area, as well as pets, and I don't want to harm anyone, I just want this small strip of weeds/underbrush to stop being a pain in my buttocks. I'm just looking for a rough estimate, like "1 pound of non-iodized salt per square foot of land" or something of the sort, if anyone has any experience with it.

    Disclaimer: This is MY property, I'm talking about, not some prank or anything.
     
  2. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    It's more of a metaphor than an actual thing you can do. Some plants are pretty sensitive to salinity, others can deal with it pretty well. Look at the side of the road (if you live in a place that actually gets snow), they salt the road and salt runs off into that area, but it's not devoid of life.

    Also, even if you salt the land, if it gets rain, it will dissolve the salt and dilute it over a larger area. Eventually it will become liveable again, assuming it keeps getting water.

    All you'd do by salting that patch of earth is potentially ruin or damage the rest of your lawn. Don't like dealing with it? Pave it, or tear out all the plants and plant a tree or a bush or flowers or a rock garden that you'd find easier to deal with.
     
  3. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

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    Plant a row of arborvitaes.
     
  4. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that this is a small stretch, maybe 16 inches wide, that runs down one side of our garage and out building at the edge our property. The other side is our neighbor's fence. His yard is like a friggin' wildlife preserve. I'm lazy about yard work, but, literally, we see varmints and animals leaving his yard. Complaints to the city, for nuisance citations, etc. don't do anything. So, I figure by killing everything on my side, it'll at least help things.

    The strip is too skinny to get a mower down, my weed eater won't reach the far end of it, without buying another 50' extension and stacking them, then fighting the whole way down, as I'm not exactly a small guy, anwyas. I would LOVE to pave it, but again, based on the space, it would mean either a) moving my garage, or b) moving his fence... I want to take a "scorched earth" policy to this strip of land...
     
  5. MidnightBliss

    MidnightBliss Well-Known Member

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    Round Up
     
  6. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Their not trying to salt the earth they're seasoning it so when Galactus or Unicron come to devour this planet they get a bit of flavour to take the taste of dirt out.
     
  7. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Actually there's a story that the Romans did it, after the 3rd Punic war. After they'd beaten Carthage they sold the entire population that was left alive as slaves, burned the city down, and plowed the fields around it and put salt the in rows. But that might not be true. The Assyrians and Hittites were known to sow the earth with salt around a defeated city.
     
  8. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    Might as well save yourself the headache and just use weedkiller.
     
  9. Ratchets Hatch

    Ratchets Hatch Cannot Hold Weapon

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    You could lay down a strip of landscaping fabric and cover it in gravel or river rock.

    Here's what it looks like.

    It's pretty easy to do and will keep anything from growing there.
     
  10. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Gut it with a shovel and landscape it.
     
  11. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    Actually all you need are a couple of bags of rock salt. Wait until summer though when the sun will really bake it into the ground. My dad would do that with some tree stumps killing them off. Another idea is vinegar, my neighbor was telling me about that one tonight, but you have to be very careful with it because its apparently an equal opportunity mass plant destructor.
     
  12. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    They probably actually did it, but it was more likely a symbolic gesture than one that made the fields unusable, though it probably hurt crop production for a while.
     
  13. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    I had read some time ago that Rome actually did salt the earth in Carthage as retribution for Hannibal's attempted sacking of Rome. Annnnnnnnnnd so I did some research on the matter, and it seems that the salting of the earth by the conquering Roman general is a "19th century invention" because N. Africa became a vital source of grain and Carthage it's shipping hub. The Roman General did burn the city to the ground for a total of 17 days and of course it was rebuilt to the Roman Standard.
     
  14. Gort

    Gort Klaatu barada nikto TFW2005 Supporter

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    We use white vinegar to kill weeds, it works pretty well and it's much better for the environment and animals than Round-up.
     
  15. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    If you read up on it the whole reason Rome went after Carthage that third time was for it's farming produce. The Senate needed a source of grains to feed half a million Romans. Salting the earth would be a bit crazy.
     
  16. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    The Romans did a bunch of crazy things, though in this case there's no accurate account of them salting Carthage. Though apparently they DID burn the city for 17 days, that's pretty impressive. I was speaking more in a general sense to the practice than in that particular instance, and when it was done it was more a symbolic gesture than anything else.
     
  17. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Polybius's histories would like a word. As he was actually there for the sack of Carthage. And it was never mentioned.
     
  18. yodafett

    yodafett Well-Known Member

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    Rock Salt and Vinegar might be a winner, then. "EO Mass Plant Destructor" is EXACTLY what I'm looking for... Plus, vinegar is pretty cheap.
     
  19. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    What, the burning? Polybius talks about the burning, and Scipio's reaction to it. Florus and Orosius refer to the 17 days thing.



    Or did you think I was talking about the salting? Like I said, probably didn't happen at carthage, but did happen in the ancient world.




    Be careful how much you use, because it can also poison parts of your lawn you don't want to give the hannibal treatment.
     
  20. firehawc_69

    firehawc_69 cloppers = ignore list

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    Pour gasoline on it.

    I remember when I was a kid I had to put gas in the mower because it had run out. I spilled quite a bit and the grass died where it spilled, there was a bald patch there for a couple of years.

    From that day forward I've always poured gas into the mower over concrete.
     

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