Advice on my overgrown garden (inc pics!)

Hello everyone,

I recently bought a house with a 30x90ft garden, which was massively overgrown:


I have since spent quite a bit of time pulling out all of the old bushes and trees, burning as I go. As you can see, I've certainly made progress:



However, I am now moving towards being in a position whereby:

[*]There are lots of roots in the ground from the large bushes / small trees
[*]I have attempted to remove the bramble roots, but not done a great job - lots left in there / hidden
[*]I want to remove all of this, and then lay grass!

My plan is to hire a mini excavator (it's about 800cm wide - will fit through the door in my garange!) and pull up the remaining large roots (e.g. against the fence on the left, and over on the right).

I plan to use the excavator/digger to pull up the small amount of grass that exists, and also level the ground a bit more.

I then plan to get a heavy duty (13 horse power) rotorator, and use it across the whole area. I hope that this will pull up any roots / weeds / stones which are under the surface, so that they can be easily picked up and removed.

The rotorator should also leave the ground in a good condition to lay grass seed... I hope.

I wanted to check with you guys regarding this - have I missed anything or am I going about anything the wrong way? I am aware a rotivator is going to blitz certain roots (e.g. the brambles), but I am unsure how else to get rid of something dotted hidden across a garden of this size. Obviously the mini digger will identify some bits...

Please do advise / help - I was hoping to get the digger this weekend and do most of the digger work, with the rotivator the following weekend. I can only spend weekends on this due to work, and we have some extra help (probably 3-4 of us each day).

Does this all sound achievable?




  • The images are quite small / low resolution in the above post, please find a high resolution version at the following link (click the image once it loads):



    I am hoping this will allow you experts to better see the state of the ground - the remaining weeds / roots / plants I am hoping to remove with the mini digger...

  • Rotivation - good way of propogating brambles and other perennial weeds by chopping the roots up and spreading them around.  Mini-digger better idea, as you can grub out most roots.  Works best if you have a helper grabbing the roots as you dig them up.

    Rotivation a big no-no - I was hoping to do similar, the experts on here have persuaded me to dig by hand, and not make a big problem into a huge problem.  BTW, the garden isn't that overgrown, I've been dragging out 12ft bramble shoots out of mine over the weekend!

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    Nothing wrong with the photos in your first post - clik on them and they open in a new window, enlarged.


    ...your first image of the garden was fantastic.image Just needed a prune and a bit of a tidying, I'd have possibly replaced some of the shrubs with other plants and twicked the design of the garden overtime - to put my stamp on it.

  • image I want to have a seating area, a bbq, possibly a hot tub one day, an area for my future children to play football, an area for swings one day, etc,etc,etc. I am however leaving trees etc in place, just removing some bushes / weeds etc. It was a big garden with little usable space - hense the "cull".


    Mummy Muddy Paws - thanks for the heads up on the rotiviation. I certainly won't do it until I'm confident the mini digger has gotten most of the roots!

  • lyndaleelyndalee Posts: 1

    What a wonderful opportunity, its just the sort of job l love,  wish l was closer (lm in Spain)l would offer a hand,keep us up to date with your pics, best of luck.

  • image

    How do you think I can tackle these VERY sturdy roots without completely wrecking the fence :P ?


  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    haha....with great difficulty, looking at that fence. image

    You have lots of plans for your garden, good luck with it all. image

  • Ask your neighbour nicely if you can remove the fence just for the weekend.  Take it down carefully, but be prepared for it to disintegrate - investigate where you can get something similar, as cheaply as possible, just in case.  Then after you've removed the fence, carefully dig out the roots, making sure if you do any damage to neighbour's garden, you make good STRAIGHT AWAY.  You really don't want to be fallling out with neighbours that quickly (normally takes a couple of years to fall out with some neighbours, others I love & would be upset if they moved).  Find out whose responsibility the fence is, if it's yours, it's something to think about - do you want to keep it, or would you prefer something else.  Check your deeds & by-laws, some areas have laws that prevent you building a fence or boundary above so many feet (didn't stop my nasty neighbour planting bloody leylandii that are level with the eaves now).  You don't want to make an expensive mistake.

    Good fences make for good neighbours.

  • Val40Val40 Posts: 1,377

    From experience, if you have kids in the future, forget about a decent lawn and growing flowers! image You will never accomplish either. Oh, yes, and don't put up expensive fences.

  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,469

    I think there is some stuff you can get to inject in roots like this and it kills the whole thing.  Save digging but may take a fewmonths / a year to work.  Sorry I dont know what it's called but I'm sure a good garden centre would know.  Also need to be careful it doesnt effect your soil.  Good luck!  you clearly wont need to go to the gym!!

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