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How to deal with FAR too many weeds.

Hi All,

I'm new here, and new to gardening in general, so was hoping for some advice

I'm trying to finally sort out our garden, as it's been left unattended for a few years whilst we worked on other things...

The issue I have is a large part of the garden has been overtaken with a large amount of weeds, that I want to tackle, but i'm unsure on how to do it. Previously, my wife's uncle came over and rotavated garden area, and whilst this dealt with the weed issue/turned the soil, it also brought up a large amount of stone to the surface (and i mean a lot)....

I was thinking of getting him to rotavate the garden again, and i'd then add compost on top of the soil once done, but i'm unsure if rotavating is a good idea on the basis it brings the stones to the top again...

I would cut the weeds back myself to ground level, then use a fork to get rid of the weeds, do it the old fashioned way?

I've also considered cutting the weeds right down to ground level with shears, then covering the area in tarp, and then putting compost on top of this and to plant in this, hoping that a summer/autumn/winter and then spring under the tarp would kill off the weed... 

As you can tell, i am new, unexperienced and feeling a bit lost as to the best way to tackle the issue.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
M
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Posts

  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    My preference is usually rotovate as it's faster and less effort, but it's essential that after doing so you rake the weeds (and stones) and deal with them, otherwise it all just grows back (sometimes worse).
    On my allotment I usually rotovate it twice (a few weeks apart) before planting which leaves me with a nice surface to plant in.  

    Obviously I can't see your garden or what's growing where you want to clear it.  It might be necessary to chop things down to the ground in order to make the rotovating easier.
  • DorsetMarkDorsetMark Posts: 35
    Thanks for the replies Bob, that makes sense! 
    I think i'll have to cut them all right down as some are... well, out of control. Then hopefully get it rotavated this weekend...I'll also probably need to buy myself a rake that will deal with stones too.
    Thanks! DM
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,368
    The crucial question is what weeds are you dealing with? Rotovating can make things much worse with some weeds which can propagate themselves from small fragments.
  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 165
    steephill said:
    The crucial question is what weeds are you dealing with? Rotovating can make things much worse with some weeds which can propagate themselves from small fragments.
    Yes - do not rotovate bindweed! I've been there.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,408

    So have I! Don't rotovate ground elder, nettles or dandelions either. Rotovating in my vegetable garden looked great at first but then the weeds grew like mad. In the end I've weedkilled them with glyphosate, made raised no dig begs topped with a thick layer of compost, put down weed suppressant fabric and covered it with bark chips.

    In the flower garden I've found that it is just weeding by hand regularly that keeps them under control.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • DorsetMarkDorsetMark Posts: 35
    Wow, thanks for all the replies. 
    Now I'm thinking I shouldn't rotavate! In this instance, is it best to use a fork to get them up, or not bring them up at all, and use cover/weed killer to deal with them?

    I was trying to stay away from chemicals if i'm honest...

    I have alot of dandelions... and there are some big/tall things growing with blue flowers, that, from a Google search, may be blueweed?

    I'm not too good at this and would have to look close when i get home and google them, but now i'm wondering if i should cut them down to ground level, and either use a fork to bring them up, or cover them in some material and bury them for a season to kill them?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,323
    🤔If you’ve got Blueweed growing you’ll probably be very popular with the local ‘smoking community’ not to mention arousing interest from the local constabulary 😉 

    Take some pics and let us see what you’ve got ... we’ll tell you whether it’s safe to use the rotavator or whether you need to give up the gym membership and get a good spade and fork. 

    😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DorsetMarkDorsetMark Posts: 35
    🤔If you’ve got Blueweed growing you’ll probably be very popular with the local ‘smoking community’ not to mention arousing interest from the local constabulary 😉 

    Take some pics and let us see what you’ve got ... we’ll tell you whether it’s safe to use the rotavator or whether you need to give up the gym membership and get a good spade and fork. 

    😊 
    Ha, can you tell i'm a bit... lost. Googling from memory isn't helping. 
    I'll be home by 4.45pm so i'll try and get a picture up not long after that.
    I've been told I can collect the rotavator this evening, so I guess it'll be good to know whether we should rotavate or not...

    I do know there also also quite a few dandelions kicking about also... and they're bad to rotavate (I believe?)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,323
    We’ll await the pics with interest 😉... click on the landscape icon and follow instructions ... if they don’t upload the likelihood is that reducing the size will solve the problem. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,408

    I think the plant with blue flowers is green alkanet. Can be invasive, I think it has deep roots, but some people grow it as it is pretty.

    I would dig all the weeds up if you don't like chemicals. Time consuming and hard work but better and quicker in the long run.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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