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Please ignore - posted in the wrong category and now cannot delete!

edited March 2020 in Problem solving
Hello everyone, 

*** I am editing this because I have only just realised this post should perhaps be in 'Garden Design' - very sorry - this is my first time using the forum and as I understand it I now can't delete this/repost. 

I am new to gardening and because my back garden is entirely covered in slabs I thought I would remove some to create some sort of a border and plant flowers:

I have lifted the slabs to find lots of roots (I believe ) that are quite strong. How can I control/ get rid of these? They seem to run throughout the whole garden:

There are also lots of stones and sand from where the slabs were put down. 

I am not sure what type of soil is underneath. There seems to be a lot of sand mixed in from where the slabs were laid, and quite a lot of small stones. 

This was quite impulsive and now I feel rather lost! Any advice on what I need to do to fix up this area to start planting? What would I need to lay down and how?


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,142
    Welcome to the forum! I’ll leave one of the plant ID specialists to tell you what roots you have there.

    Nice that you are returning some of the hard landscaping to green space. You may find the beds a little narrow but that will largely depend on what you intend to plant. The soil doesn’t look too bad but I would get some organic matter or compost mixed in there to improve the quality. You could put down a landscape fabric and plant through that which would (hopefully) stop any unwanted growth from your root network. 

    Good luck! 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,074
    Most of us go straight to recent discussions. It doesnt matter at all where you start your thread.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,508
    Hello there. I'm afraid that those roots look very much like ground elder to me - I really hope that I'm wrong - and you will need to remove every piece or new plants will develop. As I said I hope I'm wrong but I wouldn't plant anything precious there until you have some top growth with more identifiable leaves on it that you can photograph and post on here.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574
    Flipping heck @Hexagon!   I do not tell people they've posted in the wrong category!!  I never look at the category as I always look at Recent Discussions.   I do sometimes advise people how they may get more answers but I do,always, try to be helpful and constructive.   In fact I've been helping another poster with a slabbed garden today.

    I agree with @Ladybird4 bird about not planting anything precious till any of those roots that are left produce some foliage to confirm their ID.  I also agree with @Dave Humby about narrow borders being harder for plants and design.

    Great that the slabs are coming up.  The soil thus exposed will benefit greatly from having some well-rotted manure worked in to improve texture, fertility and increase micro-organisms and worm life which will benefit plants.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,315
    Hexagon said:
    @Obelixx When I joined the forum you had a go at me for pruning my weigela at the "wrong" time. Subsequent posts I found you to be very offensive, not just to me, but also other users, so I blocked you, but you kept mentioning me and posting on my threads, then I private messaged you asking you to please leave me alone. For some reason, you still continued to harrass me. For the sake of my mental health, please just leave me alone.
    I'm not getting involved, nor taking sides, but there's an " ignore " feature. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,255
    Threads don’t belong to one person ... they’re public conversations. Anyone can post on them. 😕 

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

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,255
    @Hexagon ... it looks to me as if you criticized two individual posters by name on this thread at 19:59 ... not good really eh?  

    If you don’t want to be spoken to or about then I suggest it should work both ways.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,706
    Hexagon said:
    B3 said:
    Most of us go straight to recent discussions. It doesnt matter at all where you start your thread.

    True, but being a new member on a forum and then having someone like PapiJo or Obellixx come along tell you you've posted something in the wrong place or that you've posted too many photos on a ID thread, really isn't the nicest welcome. 
    Oops !   o:)
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • @Dave Humby Thank you very much :) Yes I do think you're right about the size of the area I might lift up more of the garden soon!

    Yes @Ladybird4 I think you're right because someone has identified these as bindweed ('a plague' apparently) and now I'm terrified of how I'm going to stop the growth! They may be correct as my neighbour in the next house but one has a garden full of bindweed. Nightmare! But yes, as you and @Obelixx have suggested I will wait for some growth to see what I'm dealing with before doing anything.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,255
    We had really bad bindweed when we arrived in our last garden ... it reached right up to the upstairs windowsills!  :o  What we did was to carefully target spray the leaves with a glyphosate weedkiller and leave it to act ... it can take several weeks before the plants turn brown ... then we pulled it all up and waited ... sure enough a few brave and determined bindweed plants remained ... we treated these just the same, then waited.  We repeated this throughout the summer ... then dug the garden over in the autumn ... the following spring no new bindweed appeared and we were able to plant our new garden  :)  Occasionally a few new bindweed tendrils made their way  through the fence from next door ... I painted them carefully with the weedkiller and they died off.  We were there for several years and the bindweed stayed away 👍

    I know there are a lot of concerns about glyphosate (some countries have banned its use by amateur gardeners and  I believe some have banned it totally) ... in fact I am so concerned about it that we make all our own bread from organic flour as some non-organic farmers  routinely spray their fields with glyphosate to hasten the ripening of the grain.  

    However my personal opinion is that there are a few instances where careful and targeted use of glyphosate  has a place and the sort of practice I describe in my first paragraph, I believe is one of them.  I would stress that the chemical should be applied to the leaves only and not sprayed around the plants and on the ground.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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