Embarrassing State of My Landscape


Last year  my hubby decided to cut down the bushes we had growing in the front of the house.  They were old yews and holly bushes that were getting out of hand.  It would have taken some massive trimming to get them to fill out again.  Hubby hated them from the moment we moved in so it was finally time for them to die.  The only problem this created is that it left the earth underneath free and open for weeds to take over.  Since the stumps are still in place I cannot mow the area so it either has to be cleaned by hand or sprayed.  I just don’t have the time anymore to pull ALL the weeds by hand – I have a life filled with school, writing, product reviews, cleaning, cooking, laundry and caring for two young children.

When it comes to the spraying alternative I’ve never been much of a fan.  I don’t like spraying chemicals because of what side effects they may have on me, my kids and the environment as a whole, yet like with most people I lack time and energy to keep up with all the work that’s involved in weeding by hand.  I can’t afford to hire someone to come do it either.   The opportunity presented itself via BzzAgent to try a new product from AMDRO called the PowerFlex System.  It offers 4 different pesticide/herbicide treatment cartridges: Grass and Weed Killer, Lawn Weed Killer, Home Perimeter Outdoor Pest Control, Indoor Pest Control.  I received all 4 and am mostly excited about using the Grass and Weed Killer in the landscape closest to my home.   The Home Perimeter Outdoor Pest Control spray will be useful this year also fending off ants, wasps and spiders. . . I hope.  Already there are large and small ants coming into the home.

This is what I received in the box:


After a cursory reading of the instructions I like the fact that the concentrates are NOT to be mixed in the tank.  They screw onto the top of the tank and mix with WATER in the tank within the nozzle.  Save time, save concentrate, save money. Cool.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it works.

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this publication.  A full size sample of AMDRO Powerflex™ was received via BzzAgent for review.  Opinions expressed here are my own and based on my experiences with the product.

4 comments for “Embarrassing State of My Landscape

  1. Rycke Brown
    May 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

    This ends up being an ad. Too bad.

    Please do not spray your property with herbicides and insecticides. Insecticides are for inside the house, not outside. Bugs are necessary in the landscape, particularly ants and spiders, which are often predators. Inside the house, I recommend Listerine to kill ants and wipe them up, but it has no residual effect. Natural pesticide companies use more concentrated herbal oils for long-lasting effects.

    Herbicides can be heavy duty fertilizers of broad leaf weeds and can make your problem worse.

    Spread 6 inches of compost over the weedy areas and plant young starts and seeds in the compost. As the weeds come through a few at at time, they will be easier to pull.

    Cover the compost with a light mulch of coarse bark, wood shavings, or pine needles. Be sure that the bark has the fines sifted out, as they kill soil. Feel free to write for more information.

    There is no such thing as no maintenance. I can see that someone tried to achieve it when the shrubs were planted; your old weed-barrier cloth is showing. Pull a few weeds or hire someone to pull them. Get your young children out there pulling them with you, and bring them up right.

    Yours in gardening naturally,


    • May 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Thank you for the tips Rycke. That weed barrier cloth IS really old. I would like to do the large curving beds design around the front and east side of the house, but my husband is bucking the idea. You will be happy to know I was not able to spray anything – the darn thing didn’t work. I was not going to spray pesticide outside anyway, just indoors, but I’m glad for the tip about natural, non-residual pest killers indoors. Inside my problem is mostly ants of every size and shape including large flying ants late in the summer. I contacted AMDRO for a replacement sprayer and my plan is to use the pesticide in my back room where most of the bugs come in (I don’t like the thought of using it in my main living areas).

      You may have seen this sponsored post as nothing more than an ad, but I assure you the content is real and so are my experiences. It got us talking didn’t it! I learned something new too.

      This is what I had to share with BZZAgent this morning:

      Since AMDRO, like most weed killers, must be applied on a warm day I had to wait a few weeks for a warm and relatively calm day. When that day arrived I unpacked the AMDRO reservoir, nozzle and the Weed and Grass Killer to demolish the weeds in front of and around my house. I followed the directions to a T. I filled the reservoir, inserted the line and primed the pump for at least a minute and it was spraying fairly well. So I uncapped and removed the sticker from the weed killer cartridge and inserted it in the top of the gun and went to work. I was soaking everything top to bottom very proud of my work.

      About 20 minutes in I decided to look at the level of weed killer in the cartridge compared to the level of water in the tank. To my dismay the level of liquid in the cartridge had not moved one millimeter but the level of the water had gone down by half. Given that one ampule/cartridge of weed or pest killer should make 1 gallon of spray and the tank holds one gallon the cartridge SHOULD have been down by half. I WAS WATERING MY WEEDS!!! So disappointed.

      I removed the cartridge trying to see what could be the problem and everything was normal from what I could tell – the pin in the gun went into the top of the cartridge, it was screwed in completely, the line was fully inserted into the top of the tank. I put it back and tried again. This time it wouldn’t spray at all. Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Except if you count the oily liquid that leaked out through the trigger all over my hands. I was beyond irritated now – I was ANGRY.

      I removed the cartridge from the gun anew, closed it, wiped down the nozzle and trigger and washed my hands. Now without anything attached to the gun I tried spraying again. You could hear the pump motor working but nothing was coming out of the nozzle. I stood there like an idiot for several minutes trying to re-prime the gun and nothing worked. Following the instructions for how to remove a blockage from the water line I detached the water line from the top of the tank and to my low pressure, foot operated air pump and slowly started pumping while depressing the trigger. After about 5 pumps or so a burst of water came out of the nozzle. I pumped a few more times then reconnected the line to the water tank again. As per the instructions I attempted to re-prime the gun for one minute (five separate times) and still no water will come out.

      Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the effectiveness of the weed killer OR pest killer solution because none of it ever even came out onto what I wanted to kill. I’ve contacted the company and they have offered to send me a replacement gun. My hope is that I receive it before the bzzcampaign is over and I can try again with a fully functioning system. So far I’ve had better luck with manually operated pump spraying systems. They lack convenience but at least they work.

      Look at the attached picture – instead of the weeds being dead they are now twice this size and getting ready to bloom :(.

  2. Rycke Brown
    May 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Another thing to do is create new bed borders with 6″ high cobble rock, making long curves around the house. Fill in with compost and cover with mulch. It is like an instant makeover; people will be impressed.

    Tight, straight-line beds with corners are not big enough for shrubs to fill out in their natural forms, and they don’t look all that nice. Big, curving beds look generous and have room for big plants.

  3. Rycke Brown
    May 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I forgot to mention the obvious, which is not always so obvious. Tear out that weed cloth; it kills the soil by starving its life beneath the cloth. It took me a two years with my first gardening customer to figure out why the plants surrounded by cloth didn’t grow well.

    – Lucero

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