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what to do with overgrown patch

we have a large patch at the side of our house which is continuously overgrown with weeds and spring flowers. we have lived in this house for nearly 4 years now and would like to use this space as a vegetable patch next year. we have dug the patch out 3 times since we moved here, and every year new weeds and flowers seem to appear! 

does anyone have any advice for how we can go about preparing the soil? we saw on a bbc programme about planting a type of grass/flower (cant remember the name!) and that fertilises the soil and gets rid of weeds? 


the soil is very heavy/clay like and will need a lot of work. Would putting manure down help? it is a very large patch and would require a lot of manure!

Thanks in advance, 

Claire Rogerson


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    The problem is every-time you dig over the soil you are bring weed seeds to the surface and they germinate-I am a bit confused as to why you keep digging it over-have you actually tried growing something in the area?

    No plant that I am aware of will get rid of weeds-you seem to be hinting at green manure perhaps- but that is more digging inimage

    If you hoe off the weeds as they appear that is a good control-pernicious weeds like dandelions need pulling out or treating with a weed killer.

    What sort of veg do you want to grow?

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    Have you read about lasagne gardening? Improves the soil without digging and sorts out the weeds. This article may help Lasagne

  • Tina_i_amTina_i_am Posts: 173
    I am a complete novice and I'm sure someone can add or correct me, but I'm sure I've read that with some difficult weeds you might consider covering them with something like old carpet to act as a barrier to the light and wait for them to die that way.

    I think you might need to leave it in place for some months for it to do its job, could be a year.

    Do you know what weeds you have, sounds like a lot are self seeding or have roots which keep coming up?

    Good luck and I hope that you find a solution

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    I dig my massive plot over twice a year and hoe weeds off every week - spring to autumn. Your problem is that once you've dug it , your leaving it and letting the weeds build up again.

    Me personally would strip the top layer of weeds off with a spade. Cover the whole lot with weed membrane, not purchased from the pound shop, can I just say. But the real 'I am' horticultural membrane. Then build your self some nice raised boxes, they don't have to be 20ft tall, the height of a plank is sufficent and fill them with a nice mixture of soil/compost. Of course, if you want them 20ft tall thats your prerogative.

    A lot less hassle then having to keep turning and improving heavy clay soil - I give up with me mams. The gravel went back down and flower pots were rearranged - nightmare !!

  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    Id think of raised beds too, membrane in between them with something like gravel or bark. Make life easier for yourself that soil will take a lot of work 

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