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Help please

Hi guys
I am totally new to gardening and any help you could give me would be really appreciated.
I want to grow some fruit and veg in my garden but it has been neglected for years. Some parts are dry and cracked, other parts have dandelions and grass growing in them. 
I started digging the grass and dandelions out but the roots are really deep in the soil.
Is there any way I can remove the weeds and be able to grow fruit and veg?
Thank you for any help you can give

Posts

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,021
    Welcome to the forum  :)
    My personal advice would be to keep on with the digging (it's good exercise at the moment ! )
    You could use weedkiller if you had any, but in order to plant vegetables ground preparation is important,  and digging it over and removing as many weeds as you can is the best way to start.
    Giving them a good start pays dividends in the long run. 

  • Thank you for your advice ☺️ I did consider weed killer for the really imbedded roots.
    so if there are roots still left when I’ve dug the garden over will it affect any seeds I plant?
    thanks again
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,313
    Not to be too negative @aj_shepherd you will be digging out weeds for some years yet, doesn't mean you can't grow veg in the meantime. My Dad used to say growing your own food is all about P's - persistence, planting and patience and I still have his voice in my head as each year I dig out the wind blown dandelions.

    On the plus side it gets easier each year so yes, welcome and good luck  :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Thanks for your comment @herbaceous. I will remember your dads advice when I’m out digging!
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,021
  • AnniD said:
    Thanks for the article...really useful stuff 
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    edited April 2020
    Lazy gardener alert. Smoother it all with black plastic, everything will die off eventually if it has no water or light. It will literally kill itself in the process of trying to find them. Then rotavate it. I had huge 6 ft mallows, thistles and god knows what when I started my veg plot. No way on earth they could be dug out in heavy soil that would not separate from the plants.

    Or you could go really modern, with no dig, smother it all with cardboard. Make your veg beds on top out of brought in compost piled on the cardboard as beds. Make paths between out of wood chips. This is a massively productive modern approach and can be applied directly over an old lawn. (Check out Charles Dowding on the internet for more information)

    So that gives a couple of alternatives, though of course if you can dig out what you can, do.

    I couldn't get much out of the clay here without breaking the ground in the first place, so black plastic sheet and rotavating worked well for me.
  • GemmaJF said:
    Lazy gardener alert. Smoother it all with black plastic, everything will die off eventually if it has no water or light. It will literally kill itself in the process of trying to find them. Then rotavate it. I had huge 6 ft mallows, thistles and god knows what when I started my veg plot. No way on earth they could be dug out in heavy soil that would not separate from the plants.

    Or you could go really modern, with no dig, smother it all with cardboard. Make your veg beds on top out of brought in compost piled on the cardboard as beds. Make paths between out of wood chips. This is a massively productive modern approach and can be applied directly over an old lawn. (Check out Charles Dowding on the internet for more information)

    So that gives a couple of alternatives, though of course if you can dig out what you can, do.

    I couldn't get much out of the clay here without breaking the ground in the first place, so black plastic sheet and rotavating worked well for me.
    Nice, some really useful tips. I’ve just spent another hour digging and getting nowhere! There’s some ivy or bush on the wall and I think that’s found it’s way into the soil :/ 
    i like the cardboard idea, love environmentally friendly stuff and it does seem like an easier option.
    many thanks
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,587
    Before you go down the cardboard root cut out as many of those visible woody roots as possible and then water liberally as covering with cardboard and compost will lock in dryness.   Make sure you remove all tape and staples form the cardboard too and then water that as well before covering with compost.  This will help it soften for when your new veg plants start putting down roots that want go deeper than the compost.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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