Need advice on renovating a back garden.

OK so, here's the thing.
I'm wanting to sort my mum's rear garden so that when the kids are arounds they can go out back and play. The problems I have are as follows;

There are many patches of nettles that need removing;
The ground isn't level;
My mum refuses to let me use weed killer cause she believes all the stories about it being poisonous for decades after its used... 

Now, the fact that the garden looks more like the rolling hills of Ireland than a garden I can sort. What I don't know how to sort is how to kill weeds without weedkiller, on a budget? I mean, neither me nor my mum have much money, so a nice cheap option would be great, a single large bottle of weed killer *would* do the job, if I was allowed to use it. But as I can't I'm looking for advice on cheap alternatives. 
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  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,112
    The best way is to dig them out roots and all and either chop them up and put them in your compost bin, or put them in the green waste bin.  Do you have a garden fork or spade and a pair of gloves?  If not, somewhere like Wilko is probably the cheapest option to get them. 

  • blinx2003blinx2003 Posts: 7
    I have all that, but I've tried digging them up at least twice in the past but they just keep coming back. 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,112
    You need to get all the roots out, and if they've been left alone for a while there's probably seeds in the ground that will grow whenever the conditions are suitable (there's an old saying "one year's seeds, seven years' weeds"), so you need to keep on top of it, and above all don't let them set any more seed.  Pull/dig them out as soon as they reappear.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 3,789
    Advice from the RHS here
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=714
    It can be done, but it takes time.
  • blinx2003blinx2003 Posts: 7
    Ah, thanks, did not know that nettles "cannot withstand repeated mowing" though exactly how often it means by repeated is unclear, though I've got to say, my mum does have a problem with upkeep on the garden, even when it is sorted... Looks like I've got a new job.

    Guess it's just gonna be one of those long term jobs, but hopefully once it's done, it's done. Now just gotta get some grass seed, as it's pretty sparce out back, and in time might have a garden to be proud of. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 3,789
    Well, you've come to the right place for advice ! Take it steady, don't be disheartened if it doesn't work straight away.  Hopefully your mum will be enjoying watching her grandchildren playing out there in the not too distant future  :)
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 1,823
    Most weeds can't stand repeated mowing in the main season this means at least every 2 weeks but preferably every week. There is a weed killer based on an extract of geranium roots which is more "natural" this will break down in the soil quite quickly. 
    AB Still learning

  • blinx2003blinx2003 Posts: 7
    Most weeds can't stand repeated mowing in the main season this means at least every 2 weeks but preferably every week. There is a weed killer based on an extract of geranium roots which is more "natural" this will break down in the soil quite quickly. 
    This may be more palatable to mum than the other stuff, but honestly I still doubt it. I can Google for it  but you wouldn't happen to remember it's name? 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 3,789
    Might be this that Allotment Boy is referring to, but l don't know for sure

    https://www.greengardener.co.uk/biodegradable-weedkiller.html
  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,495
    When I was a child our back garden was just as you describe. It was fantastic for kids! No-one cared if we rode bikes, played football, dug holes, made dens. There were lots of bugs and butterflies. I'm a gardener now, and it would make me weep, but if all you want is somewhere for the children to play, leave it be. The nettles won't harm them, we all need to learn about nettles!
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