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removing "weedproof" membrane

Hello, I'm new here and it maybe this thread has already been done - please point me at it if so.  I have bought a garden (with house attached but who cares) with really masses of so called weedproog membrane that I need to try to remove.

It has been there so long that it is now a mat of weeds growing in bark mulch and rooting into the top of the membrane plus a horribly fascinating tangle of ground elder roots underneath that have broken through the membrane in places - mainly where really strong things, like plum tree suckers - have made holes.

It's also on very sticky clay soil.

Any ideas or experience anyone could share please.



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,844

    Hi Barbara - it's one of those things that can be very useful in the right place, but a bl**dy nuisance if left without any attention. The term low maintenance gets confused with no maintenance  image

    I don't think there's any easy or quick solution - you'll have to tackle it a bit at a time,  removing the weeds  (the ground elder will probably need some weedkiller and regular attention to keep at bay) clearing the remaining bark (save for later if you want) and lifting the membrane away. Then carry on with whatever you want to do with the area, but the ground will need loosening up and feeding - manure, compost etc to improve it. 

    If you intend replanting the area, you could leave any membrane that's still there, and just get the weeds out. You can then plant through it and put the bark back. You'd have to choose suitable plants and improve each planting hole with manure etc as mentioned, to give them a good chance of thriving. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Brute force and hard work is the only way to go!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    I removed some horrid membrane in the summer: try to cut it into chunks with a sharp spade to help lift manageable sections at a time. Then it's just lots of time.

  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,723

    We had some in our garden that had been down long enough to have thistles and grass growing on and through it. we found it was easiest to pull of in strips, it tears easily enough but it gets very heavy if you do long lengths at one time.

  • Thanks very much for all the moral support.  I do feel a bit of a rush of extra determination just by knowing that I'm not missing any obvious tricks and also that other gardeners have gone through it! image

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