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Complete novice thwarted by the weeds!

I moved into my house just over 12 months ago. It has a decent sized garden and this year I want to do a bit more than just mow the lawn!  The main issue I'm having is the losing battle I am fighting with the weeds. So here's a run down of what I'm dealing with:

dandelions in the lawn and the paving

bindweed in the hedge

some kind of creeping weed with long green leaves in the lawn

horsetail in the lawn and the paving


Any suggestions that don't involve ripping the whole garden up and starting again would be great. As mentioned I am a complete novice at gardening and I have a young child so napalm is out!






  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,779

    For dandelions in the lawn either you dig them out or you use a selective lawn weedkiller which kills weeds, not grass. But keep your little one off it until it's been rained on. For the paving glyphosate weed killer is best. It takes a little time before you see it work though as it has to be taken down through the leaves into the roots. It doesn't affect the soil, only the leaves it has touched. When it's dry on the leaves I think it's harmless to all but the plant.

    Bindweed in the hedge is tricky. You will have to kepp pulling it out. Or try and tease it out and dab leaves with glyphosate.

    Horsetail has long roots and the only way is to spray is with glyphosate. (No, I don't work for the company!) Most other weedkillers have been banned now so there isn't much other choice!

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Horsetail is very tricky and you may find it very hard to remove. Unfortunately I agree with Busy-Lizzie on that if you want to try and eradicate altogether - though I am not usually a round-up fan.

    Have you got a weed wand to perhaps work on the weeds (if smallish) in paths and paving. It also saves your back!

  • EmmaMEmmaM Posts: 16

    Thank you. I've just dug a lot of the dandelions out of the lawn. I think weedkiller option might the best though due to the wide range of weeds I have now found! There's probably more weeds than grass really!

    I've been picking all of the seed pods which are shooting up from the horsetail. Not sure if its futile but worth a try to reduce the number of seeds!

    I had to google the weed wand thing and I am very tempted to add that to the arsenal too! Although probably not when little one is around!

    off shopping for garden stuff this aft so I'll try all your suggestions tomorrow!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754

    I sympathise Emma as it's not easy especially when you have limited time to tackle problems. Constantly pulling and chopping horsetail is the best way of keeping it in check as it weakens it but it's hard work.  I don't tend to use weedkiller but sometimes it's the best option- as you can see from the answers already given. I've suggested Resolva on one of the other threads as I personally find it more effective  than all the others although it's a bit dearer.With your lawn it might be best to get a weed and feed and when everything dies (!!) scrape all the weeds and moss out and re seed. I have the same problem here. If the grass is not getting enough light it won't do so well too so you may need a more suitable seed. Good luck! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,297

    Equisetum does not have seeds, it grows from spores. Bruising the foliage with a stick or such like before putting the weed killer on is supposed to help. In a previous garden I followed a root down over 9 feet (We were looking for the house drains). Never found the end of the root (Nor might I add the drains!).

    I have seen the roots going down a cliff face for over 30 feet. Not the sort of thing one can dig out!

  • EmmaMEmmaM Posts: 16

    I bought the resolva stuff because that seemed to have the greatest concentration of the chemical in it. Fingers crossed it will at least keep it at bay on the block paved drive this year. I last year I just resorted to mowing the bits I could!! I've also got some stuff for the lawn so I'll give that a go as well since digging out the dandelions wont be getting the roots out unless I dig up half the lawn!

    the horsetail stuff definitely deserves some respect if its outlived the dinosaurs. It's amazing how much its come up just today!

    im guessing the moss problem is next on the list. Most of the lawn is in full sun most of the day so it can't be a light issue. What do I need to do about that? I just want a lawn I can be proud of!


    Horsetail...old wives' tale (sorry ladies)...pick it on Sunday, every Sunday that is.

    image Reason... weakens it. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754

    If it's not the lack of light then the grass is probably just compacted and getting too much competition from the other weeds and moss Emma. It's a common problem- so a weed and feed is your best option. Spiking the grass and brushing sand into the holes to improve drainage is also useful.Horsetail is extraordinary-we had it growing through the pond at last house image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • You get to go for a paddle on Sundays then, Fairygirl!image

  • EmmaMEmmaM Posts: 16

    Any recommendations on the weed and feed stuff?

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