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Overgrown Garden!

I would like advice on how to tackle my overgrown garden. We started yesterday and are overwhelmed with the amount of work involved. We are new to gardening and would appreciate any advice. 

We were welcomed by brambles as we opened the gate and can see nettles and vine weed, not sure what else. Thank you


Last edited: 21 August 2017 08:47:34


  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845

    We were welcomed by the same in a large part of ours 12 years ago.  Couldn't get in for the wild raspsnettles, dock and other horrors

    it took two years of spraying and cutting.  In those days we coukd get a product I think you need a licence for now but i don't know hiw you feel about chemicals 

    good luck, keep us posted with photos it's always great to have "before and after" and if you keep a record it can give hope in the darkest days!! 

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    My first question; are you wanting to do this with or without chemical help (I.e. what are your opinions on a carpet bombing raid with weed killer to give you a fighting start) ?

  • We started ploughing through the brambles.  We aim to use a strimmer to cut through the rest. I am at a loss after that. Would weed killer be the best way to go forward or dig it all out? As I said, I'm a novice at this and my mind on how to tackle are as thick as the brambles themselves! 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,626

    Weedkillers of any sort are best applied when the plants are in active growth so I would advise waiting till spring.   Meanwhile, identify anything you want to keep by poking a cane in next to it to reduce accidents and then strim or hack everything else to the ground.  Let it all dry out and then bag it up for the local tip as brambles will take forever to rot down and you don't want any live bits of bindweed or nettle and dock seeds in your compost heap.

    Do this as and when you can so the ground is more or less cleared by late autumn.   This will let you see the structure of any beds/paths/lawn/terrace etc so you can draw it out on paper and work out where the sun goes and thus identify sunny and shady spots for future planning.

    If you can, fork over smaller areas and pull up weed remnants and roots by hand and let them dry out as above.   You can then mulch the cleared areas with well rotted farmyard manure and/or garden compost of just cheap multi purpose compost and leave it be over winter.   This will give you a head start in ground preparation for planting next spring.

    Next spring, you will see weeds growing again and then you can spray witha Brushwood killer - stronger than plain glyphosate - which will go down into teh roots and kill the whole plant.  However, some, like brambles and bindweed, may need a secon application.  It takes 2 weeks to work and then you need to wait and see what re-appears.   You also need a dry, sunny day for spraying.   Do not dig over borders full of bindweed as every teeny bit of root you leave behind will become another plant.

    If you have a yen for spring bulbs, try planting them in large plastic pots and keeping them sheltered form the worst frosts over winter.   Then, in spring, you will be able to plunge the pots in your borders after treatment and have some instant colour to start you off..

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,412

    If there are any areas that you don't want to tackle straight away then after hacking down/ striming & clearing cover with thick black plastic weighted down. Leave it on as long as you can, a year plus if you can stand it.  Keeping the light out will weaken or even stop re-growth. The weaker weeds will be easier to dig or if you let light in for no more than 2 weeks & then spray it will be much more effective. The other way would be to leave cover on and make deep beds on top.

    AB Still learning

  • DubloonDubloon Posts: 45

    Think about hiring a small mechanical digger (and possibly someone to drive it) and dig the whole place up and start again. Another option might be to offer a donation to your local Scout troop if they come round and blitz the place. Draw out your plan for a beautiful garden, pin it to your kitchen wall and use it as motivation....that space could be wonderful. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,626

    Not a mechanical digger.  We are in a new garden - to us - and are converting a former donkey pasture to a potager - 29m x 25m.  Digger chappies said spray to kill everything then we'll dig it all over and then move it around to level it and then come back and harrow it to a fine tilth.

    All duly done and dusted by early May - since when it has grown a fine crop of bindweed, dock, weedy persicaria, mallows, nettles, thistles and other weeds I haven't met before.   It has been resprayed but more have grown from seed or unkillable roots so now we're tackling it one bit at a time as we build each raised bed and OK is hoeing each new bed once a week so the roots will eventually give up and no annual seeds will establish.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • imageThank you for your help and advice. Having worked over the last few weeks, I have now cleared the garden. I have dug up roots fron what I can see and thinking of spraying it with weed killer? 

    Last edited: 20 September 2017 16:57:58

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,399

    You will want to use glyphosate, and it must be sprayed onto actively growing foliage. If you've cleared the top growth, wait till spring and then spray what comes up. It will take a few applications.

  • Overgrown garden Bramble's nettles docks I've dug it over and took out all the roots I could find brought plants from previous garden in pots would I be able to plant the pots to ground level and wait till brambles reappear and spray them hoping the root don't get in the pots
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