Cleared bramble garden

Hi, We have just moved into a house with a garden that was covered in bramble-up to 20 feet high. They have been removed, the soil turned over and the roots, as far as I can tell, removed. I am keen to start a wildflower patch, and I understand that will need low nutrient soil.
Will the brambles have sucked all the life out of the soil, leaving it suitable for wildflowers? 
We will be laying turf in the next few weeks - should I leave the patch I want to use bare?
I am, by the way, a complete novice... Thanks in advance. 
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  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 305
    Hi Elu and welcome to the forum.  

    my first thought is that you really should leave that ground now, exposed to warmth and rain, to watch the remaining bramble come back.  The notion that you definitely removed every bit of the roots, is noble, but probably flawed.  It's very probable you have (as would anyone) severed some roots, and those roots will be back as a new bramble in a few weeks, maybe a month at this time of year, very most.

    keen as you are to proceed, waiting is by far and away the best thing to do.  If not, you'll end up destroying your new seedlings you do want, whilst trying to remove the fast growing bramble that will once again dominate the area unless you remove it.

    as for 'wildflower patch' it's not my thing but almost certainly someone else here will come along with some advice.
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 305
    Bramble has rhizomatous roots, so if you leave a tiny bit in the ground, it will regrow.  I speak from experience of a few hundred square metres of bramble and I found a glysophate weedkiller necessary.  
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    @islander may have a good point. Not digging it out would avoid turning one root into many, and thus into potentially many new plants? I've been chopping (with a mattock) and pulling for the last couple of years and the damn things are still coming back.
  • elu439elu439 Posts: 6
    UpNorth said:
    Bramble has rhizomatous roots, so if you leave a tiny bit in the ground, it will regrow.  I speak from experience of a few hundred square metres of bramble and I found a glysophate weedkiller necessary.  
    I take it the weed killer would have no ongoing effect once it had killed the brambles? Forgive my ignorance .. 
  • elu439elu439 Posts: 6
    Thank you all. How about the nutrition of the soil? Will it have more or less nutrition thanks to the brambles? 
  • elu439elu439 Posts: 6
    UpNorth said:
    Hi Elu and welcome to the forum.  

    my first thought is that you really should leave that ground now, exposed to warmth and rain, to watch the remaining bramble come back.  The notion that you definitely removed every bit of the roots, is noble, but probably flawed.  It's very probable you have (as would anyone) severed some roots, and those roots will be back as a new bramble in a few weeks, maybe a month at this time of year, very most.

    keen as you are to proceed, waiting is by far and away the best thing to do.  If not, you'll end up destroying your new seedlings you do want, whilst trying to remove the fast growing bramble that will once again dominate the area unless you remove it.

    as for 'wildflower patch' it's not my thing but almost certainly someone else here will come along with some advice.
    Thank you. Having started reading about gardening and all it involves, patience is the first thing I need to learn! 
  • UpNorth 
    "The notion that you definitely removed every bit of the roots, is noble, but probably flawed"

    That made me laugh out loud  :) and reminds me of my battle with ground elder. I also found useful to dig everything over after removing what I could find, then waiting, because now I have a large rectangle of soil exposed to the rain, so whenever a foe rears its ugly head I can easily remove it and its network of roots.
    Good luck!
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 13,548

    I have tried weedkillers, digging up and chopping down (as Islander said). Chopping down was the least effective, they always grow back in the end. Even when I used weedkiller in the paddock if I didn't do it more than once they came back, sometimes 2 years later. In the garden I've found digging up is best.

    Try the wildflowers, if they grow then good but if not then try another project.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 305

    I have tried weedkillers, digging up and chopping down (as Islander said). Chopping down was the least effective, they always grow back in the end. Even when I used weedkiller in the paddock if I didn't do it more than once they came back, sometimes 2 years later. In the garden I've found digging up is best.

    Try the wildflowers, if they grow then good but if not then try another project.

    yes i also had to do two goes at weedkiller and like you i tried chopping initially, i scythed a huge area, but back they came, stronger and the open area allowed other stuff two, the nettles for instance!     

    it's clear from Islander that there's more than one way here, often that's the case i guess with gardening.    all we can do is share, and take our own path...best way to learn!
  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 7,011
    I think it also depends on whether you are clearing a Bramble patch ( i.e. nothing much other than brambles ) or trying to clear them from between mature trees and shrubs.

    I'm doing the latter at present and it's hard work and painful too :s  80 foot of wall with brambles intermingled with mature trees and shrubs and overgrown Roses ( Blackbird being helpful as now decided to nest in the midst ! ), Ash saplings, Ivy, Goosegrass and Bindweed.........and that is just part of the back garden.  The front also has Brambles which have sneaked under the house walls.  Judicious use of weedkiller as well as digging where possible.  

    As said, differing methods bring differing results.  Always good to have other's experience but we all have to adapt to our circumstances ( and energy I should add ).
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