Growing veg in an unkempt garden!

Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forum!

I have just moved into a new house which has a 'professionally landscaped' garden, although the house has not been lived in for a year and therefore the garden is rather overgrown and needs some tidying up.

The main thing I want to do is grow vegetables, and I was planning on putting some raised beds in the bed areas that are already in the garden. However, when I was clearing out the weeds yesterday, I found that the bamboo which I was going to 'fence off' with the bed, has enormous roots that are as tough and hard as the bamboo itself! The bamboo itself is about 4 metres high, as well as the conifers and phitonia red robin which are in other areas of the garden.

I would have no idea how to dig up such a big and monstrous root system, so I am thinking how I can work around it... The roots are literally up to the surface of the bed, some roots are sticking up out of the soil! I do quite like the bamboo, although I would trim it down a bit. So I am thinking, can I put some weed control membrane on the top of the bed as it stands at the moment, and then put my raised beds on top, just to prevent the roots from sucking all the goodness away from the vegetables? Obviously I will make the raised bed deep enough to ensure that the veg have enough space for rooting.

Any advice you can give would be great! I have grown veg for a few years in pots, but this is the first time I am able to actually grow in an actual garden! image




  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683


    I think this is fine in the short term - not sure, is this a rented property or your own? But I don't think it is a long term solution.

    At some point in the future the problem will need to be addressed as it continues to grow, unfortunately.


  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    Bamboo is very hard to get rid of and if you put a membrane down it will grow through it ,I know it came through the pond will need to really take the task of digging it right out ,its a pain not easy to eradicate.conifers will turn the soil sour and you will not be able to grow anything near them .

  • If you own the house, I'd spend time digging up the bamboo.  It's a great plant for pots, but it's a right thug if planted in the ground.  If you're renting the house, ask if you have permission to 'sort out' the garden, and dig the blooming thing up.  What you could do is stick some of it in a big pot (a very big pot), so the landlord won't notice it's been evicted, that way you can still keep it as screening, but it won't take over the garden.

    You'll need to try to get as much of the roots out as possbile, as it will come back from a tiny bit of root, you just have to keep digging the damn thing up - one of you will give up eventually!image

  • Loz46Loz46 Posts: 74

    Hi thanks for your replies. We own the house, so can do whatever I like... My main concern with digging the bamboo up is that it is right on the edge of the garden, so I'm sure the roots will be going into next doors garden...

    'Thug' is definitely the word to describe it!!! I think big pots are a good idea for sure.

  • Loz46Loz46 Posts: 74

    flowering rose - If I cut down the conifers and leave stumps, will the soil gradually improve, as the conifer is not actively requiring any more nutrients any more? I maybe able to dig them up, but again they are right up next to a fence and it may prove difficult... Thanks

  • The only way to get rid of an invasive bamboo to dig out what you can and then keep on weedkillering any new growth for as long as it takes. It could yake a couple of years.

    If left, it will take all of the moisture and nutrients out of the soil and you will not grow any decent crops. Raised beds will not solve the problem. Sorry.

    I think planting some bamboos in gardens should be banned, along with leylandii.

  • Loz46Loz46 Posts: 74

    LOL thanks for your advice, I am going to dig it up as this is what everyone recommends. I certainly don't want it to zap all of the nutrients for the other plants.

    Hard to explain to my boyfriend who is gsrdening-ignorant why it should be dug up! :-\

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