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Overgrown Garden

Hi, I have just moved house and the previous owner has totally neglected the lawn which is now very high and full of all manner of weeds.  I'm not used to having to deal with something like this!  Can anyone tell me how and where to start?  I'm already planning a bonfire to get rid of much of the overgrown shrubs and ivy but the lawn needs some serious attention!  I have a photo or anyone who is inerested!

Thanks so much!


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  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    I would set the mower to medium or high and go over the whole lawn. You then dispose of the cuttings how you wish (compost, bin, burn). It will look yellow and brown in places but it will be green soon enough. If you are lucky the lan will be flat and you can add a fertiliser (prob an autumn one) to help the green-ness come along.

    I would wait till winter before pruning shrubs to minimose damage to them. If you are getting rid of them then now is fine. You can prune back ivy at any time.

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 484
    Your best bet (in my view) is to clear out everything you dont want, and start afresh. The lawn will probably be completly shot, and no amount of weeding and feeding will make it into a decent lawn. And any clearing of current weeds will simply be replaced by new ones as you expose the soil as those seeds currently lying dormant will spring into life. If you take off the current turf, you will also be taking away the soil which has been scattered with years of weed seeds. Some seeds can survive up to 50 years in dormancy!!
  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489

    I think I'd strim it down, cover it with a weed suppressant membrane and spend the rest of summer and autumn discovering what plants you have in the borders. That'll give you time to decide what you want to do with the lawn, there are some excellent wildflower turf meadows you can buy and they look very impressive (even just for a small part of the garden).

    I wouldn't get rid of the lot as you may have decent plants in there that either haven't flowered yet, or have flowered already this year. It would be a  great shame to lose them. If you're unsure of what anything is just pop a photo on here and I'm sure someone will identify it for you.

    Good luck with your new patch.

  • The DoctorThe Doctor Posts: 177

    Sandra, i have been battling my way through a similar situation to you. I've been posting my progress on the Garden Design topic and i have also started a blog.

    Cottage On The Bank

    I found that strimming the lawn down and then leave it to recover for a couple of weeks, i started mine in March so i left it for a month before i used a mower. The lawn will look brown for a while because of it beling over grown for so long but it will green up and calm down if you cut it every week.

    Pop up some pics and good luck

    Dan x

  • Hi Sandra,

    I'd use a strimmer to get the grass down to something like a sensible level to enable you to assess the situation properly. Dont just rip the shrubs out though.......have a look at what you've got (by the sounds of it you cant see properly), and then - dependant on the result, prune back now (still time left), in the spring, or move during the winter... you never know you may have some hidden gems (have you seen the price of well developed shrubs at Garden centres) ?. As regards the grass, Im with Doctoc63....... give it a couple of weeks and then use the mower on a high setting for the rest of the year. Come September / October... scarify and aerate with a fork and rake, Sprinkle on some sharp sand to help with drainage, give an autumn feed and then leave it over winter. Come the spring start on a high setting and gradually lower it to the level you want (with a high nitrogen weed and feed product in the spring to help green it up and see the weeds off). It'll take a couple of years to get right but it'll be worth it.

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