W E E D S !!!!!!! Help please :)

We have recently moved to the countryside and there is a field full of mares tail and other undesirables available to us.  Is it possible to turn this plot into a veg patch?  If so, where the heck do we start?  Step by step help would be great as we have never really done gardening on a large scale before :/


  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,168

    Jane.......there are a couple of threads relating to Marestail which might be worth your while looking at.

    As for the other "undesirables", there are various ways of tackling them. .I guess you need to decide whether you prefer the chemical or the natural way and take it from there.  Again there are various threads but you can always post something a little more specific if you are talking about brambles, perennial or annual weeds.

    You WILL get there in the endimageimage

  • I don't use chemicals in my garden, I have marestail, did get rid of it a bit with pulling but sadly it seems to have come back with a vengeance.


  • I don't want to use chemicals. There is a little stream nearby and I don't want to contaminate it as the land slopes downwards. I was thinking of cutting it back then putting a large piece of tarpaulin down.  Then next year putting weed surprising membrane then buying top soil and compost to fill raised beds.  Would this work?

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    My veg patch was covered in Marestail when we moved in our house, 4 years later and it is still a slight problem but not as bad as it was. I too don't want to use chemicals and I pull it up using one if those deep root tools to try and get as much of the root as possible, although it isn't a field so that might be difficult for you image

    I started a thread on marestail a while ago when I didn't know what it was and there have been several others. See have said that the weed suppressant doesn't work, I don't know as I haven't used it.  At the end of the summer I dig over the veg patch and take up as many roots as I can, I think this year I am also going to remove some if the existing soil and replace it with new topsoil/manure/compost mix.

    To be honest I have learned to just live with it now and deal with it the best I can....I don't think there is an easy solution I'm afraid image


  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,168

     Janet........much depends on what your weeds are........if you don't want to use chemicals, then hand digging is the way to go.  You will need to remove all the perennial weeds first I think. 

    Weed supressing membranes can work but unless you use a really heavy duty one, you may find it really not worth while...........persistent weeds will still grow thru  unless you eradicate first..  You will still get annual  weeds growing ........wind borne, dropped by birds, etc but they should be relatively easy to deal with.

    It is a bit difficult to give advice without a little more info on the plot you are working on - perhaps a couple of pics will bring you some considered help and advice. Plenty of people on the forum who can advise and helpimage

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