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Six months ago we moved closer into our local town, with a small rear garden and mainly because I suffer with Scoliosis and cannot walk very far or garden for very long.
The garden was very overgrown and before Christmas my wife and I managed to clear away a lot of the undergrowth and weeds but as you can see, since then all the weeds have come back, and there is no way i can go around on bended knee trying to pull every one out they are to small for that.
Any suggestions for an easy way to take control and keep it that way.
Perhaps I'm asking the impossible! 

Thanks for any suggestions. 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,569
    a stainless steel hoe is what you need. 
  • A hoe or 3 prong cultivator would get them for now. As there is so much bare soil you could cover it with black plastic or landscape fabric until you are ready to plant in the spring, or you could mulch heavily with well rotted compost or manure.  Nature does not like bare soil and disturbed ground will always grow weeds if you put nothing else down.
    AB Still learning

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,953
    From the close-up the weeds look mostly bittercress which are annual weeds and easy to get rid of with just a hoe.
    The problem with this little weed is that the life-cycle can be as short as 5 weeks, so you need to tackle them before the start to flower.
    Once you get on top of them you'll get fewer and fewer.
    I can also see what looks like a leaf of an arum unfurling (but it may be something else). They can also be invasive and need to be dug out, the tiny bulb can be quite a way down in the soil. They multiply rapidly if left undisturbed. They've been a problem for me for many years.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,198
    edited January 2020
    Personally, I would bite the bullet and try to weed again. As one who also has long-standing back problems I know this is easy to say - more daunting to do.

    I have a 30 minute trick which helps. Set yourself a limit of half an hour's work or an area of one or two square metres, weed thoroughly and then mulch that area thickly. Any dormant bulbs or perennials will still come through but it will stop any weed seeds on there germinating. 

    Try to do half an hour every day and you'll soon clear that bed - especially if there are 2 of you at it. Set an alarm on your phone so you know when the half hour is up - it will go surprisingly quickly. 

    A hoe is a great tool for keeping on top of the weeds once the weather warms up and any uprooted seedlings can be left to shrivel up in the sun.

    The shingle can be treated with a systemic weedkiller but I'd leave that until end of Mar / beginning of Apr when things are growing strongly.

    Long term I'd use a combination of bark mulch and ground cover planting for that border.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,326
    A hoe would certainly help, but even with that, it’s a difficult, wide and sloping bed to access for anyone, even fully fit and able gardeners. The retaining log wall looks fairly new, but will rot in time and the whole thing may slump forwards.

    If you had the funds, I would consider getting someone in to construct a higher, sturdier retaining wall (e.g. of stone, brick, railway sleepers) incorporating some access steps (if you can manage steps) and paths. That way you can clear everything, weeds and all and level off the soil. Think about planting the majority of it with low maintenance, spreading shrubs and deeply mulching with bark chips or similar to control weeds whilst the shrubs are establishing and filling the space. Once everything has knitted together, the weeds will hopefully be shaded as well as crowded out. You could reserve the front edge for perennials and other plants that require more care and watering without climbing, bending or over-reaching.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thanks for all your comments much appreciated.
    Looks like I need to purchase:
    Stainless steel or 3 prong cultivator.
    Mulch - what would you recommend never used mulch before. 
    Ground cover plants and shrubs - suggestions please.
    The idea of keeping the front edge for perennials and other plants that require more care and watering is something we have in mind, especially as it is easy to reach. 
  • If you do not have any tools already then a good system is the Wolf garten one. You purchase a handle( or two, they come in different lengths) the "heads" then click lock on so you can swop attachments. They are not the cheapest but they are good and there is a wide range of attachments for many jobs.
    AB Still learning

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645
    Another vote for the Wolf multi tool system especially the double edged hoe head especally the push-pull hoe head which comes in 10 and 15cm widths.  We have 3 lengths of handle here and lots of heads - hoes, cultivators, rakes, pruning saw etc.

    Mulch can take various forms.  Multi-purpose compost is probably one of the cheapest and well-rotted manure one of the best.  Then there's chipped bark, cocoa chips (not if you have a dog) and any other weed free organic matter you can find at a local GC or DIY shop.  The advantage is that it smothers weed seeds, encourages beneficial microbiotic fungae and critters and worms so yous oil quality improves and plants grow better. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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