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Making most of new Garden in new Home

Hey guys. I have a new house. And the garden is very wide and shallow in depth. Toward the edge of the garden. Is a short fence and then a bank downward followed by a freshwater Rhine. Then a field opposite! Our lawn is mostly buttercups and daisies with grass. To use weeed killer would kill the lawn... Any advice on how to gradually grow the grass and lose the weeds.... Or should I accept due to the field opposite it will be a nightmare to keep it compeltely weed free? Also on the bank the other side of the fence there are nettles which is great for wildlife but the Rhine is clogged with algae... There are sticklebacks living there. But I wondered could I do anything to help more wildlife come to the Rhine? Cheers Andy


  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,977

    Some photos would be very helpful. From the picture you're painting in my head (which may be totally innaccurate, without piccies to help!), I'd just regularly mow to reduce the daisies and buttercups, but leave margins to grow a bit longer to create 'instant wildflower meadow'. (You should still mow them, but leave longer between mowing). Get some wildflower plugs started to increase the range of wildflowers... see what is growing locally first.

    I personally wouldn't touch the rhine beyond clearing blanketweed. Hoik it out and stack on the bank to allow bugs to crawl back into the water. After a few days, remove it and pop it on the compost heap.

    Keeping a really good compost heap will benefit amphibians and grass snakes that live in the rhine. Wildlife and water plants will find the rhine of their own accord.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,258

    What's a rhine? Not The Rhine I hope.image

    Is it a syke or a sitch or even a sick in these parts?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,977

    Yep, it's the south-western word for drainage channel/dyke. Pronounced 'reen'.

  • DevineDevine Posts: 25
    Brilliant thanks! Good picture in your head. I'll upload some photos later. But this great news!

    The Rhine lol, is a kind of stream or freshwater run off for the fields behind our house. (Ex landfill but now grown over with grasses and wild flowers.
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,977

    There will be nutrients in the landfill that are encouraging the blanket weed... not much you can do, except avoid adding to it with fertiliser run off from your own plot. Sounds like a lovely garden btw! Practically ready made for wildlife.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149

    The rhine is outside the garden? If so then there isn't much you can do to attract more wildlife. It will be maintained by someone else. I used to love riding by the side of the rhines near Weston super Mare.

    Keep mowing the lawn and that will help to suppress the weeds. As usual, the RHS has some sound advice on what chemicals to use.


  • DevineDevine Posts: 25
    Thanks Ceres and WillDB,

    sounds like I'm kinda doing alright then! I do love the garden... Sat outside now just watching kestrels buzzards and swallows! Extremely lucky
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,583

    You can buy weed and feed lawn products to use in spring and autumn that will help strengthen rhe grass and weaken the weeds.  Do not be tempted to mow too short as the buttercups and daisies will simply shorten their stem lengths and too short a grass blade means they can't feed their roots and thicken up and grow strongly.

    I suspect amphibian wildlife will be very pleased to have blanket weed forked out of the rhine and left on the sides as it will clear the water for their use but, as said  above, nitrates from the fields will run off and encourage aquatic and marginal plant life beyond what is normal so you will have a constant task.

    Leave the nettles as long as they're on the other side.  Wildlife loves it for nectar and feeding caterpillars and shelter..

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Agree with 'Obelixx'  the right approach is to use standard 'weed and feed' products in Autumn and Spring - they act on the broader leafed plants and will help kill off the buttercups and daisies.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,320

    As my dear late Mother would have said " act in haste: repent at leisure" 

    Live with it, take your time to decide what's good and bad before taking any action.

    Talk to your neighbours about what grows well and what doesn't etc etc.

    Above all, enjoy it.

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