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Newly cleared front garden - next steps

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Kaymo, 26 Feb 2019.

  1. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Hi,
    I inherited a very overgrown, large front garden, from the previous owner. Was probably once presentable, but been left for decades and all the shrubs and trees had grown into a messy hedge, with Ivy running through it. It proved impossible to tidy up so last couple of weekends I have been clearing to start again. I've managed to save some shrubs and small trees and need to do a bit of new planting, but I have been left with a soil that is riddled with surface roots, much of it presumably from the Ivy which was everywhere.

    Trying to decide what would be the best way forward from here. Considered just cutting back any remaining stumps to ground level, then covering the soil with bark/mulch to make it presentable quickly, then spraying any Ivy etc shoots that pop up until it is all killed.

    I suppose the other alternative is to dig everything out, removing as much root etc as possible, might be better in the long term, but this could take ages to do, its a big space overall - pic below is just one corner. Also thinking that this might just split up the ivy into hundreds of smaller plants!

    Anyone done something similar before and have any advice.

    2019-02-26 14.38.31.jpg
     
  2. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Dig it all out. Our back garden was like that we cut it all down to ground level and even with regular mowing all sorts grew back.

    32E6B64C-328D-48AF-9E61-F965A6838871.jpeg
     
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  3. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    I guess ideally you need to dig and rake that lot out.
    You might find covering it all with industrial black polythene helps kill some of it
    Personally I'd go over it with weed killer, being careful to not hit plants that I wanted to keep
     
  4. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Didn't take long for the 'spray everything with glyphosate comments' - pretty much the worst thing you can do.

    Buy some weed cover that is impervious and cover the whole lot, not before adding some organic matter. The combination of organic matter and ground cover will rot mostly everything down within a few months, except tree stumps of course which are a seperate consideration. Alternatively dig it as Ian suggests.
     
  5. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Why do you say that, do you mean from an environmental point of view?
     
  6. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Well yes and the fact it's completely unnecessary
     
  7. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    Ok. I do have some glyphosate but it has lasted years because I tend to use it sparingly, mostly on something where I can't get to the roots. I used it on Japanese Knotweed and on Ivy that was run right through a tree and I couldn't get to the roots, but in that situation I fed the ivy by putting it in a bag and tying the bag around some leaves. I don't like spraying it randomly in large amounts so what you suggest sounds good.

    'Impervious' usually means not allowing fluid to pass but I presume in this case you mean impervious to light. So, get out the worst of it and any stumps etc, cover it with organic matter, then some weed control fabric which I have, then maybe buy some bark to hold it down and make it look presentable. Later in the year I can just lift the weed control fabric once everything is dead underneath.
     
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  8. HawkEye244

    HawkEye244

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    Bang on, and if you choose to mulch before applying the cover it will help build the health of the soil and rot down the dead weeds faster. A mulch of a few inches is all that's necessary or you can go thicker. Generally the more mulch you do the more crumbly and rich the soil will be come planting.
     
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  9. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Put down a good thick layer of mulch, and wait for a bit. (I’m sure you have other projects you could be getting on with!). There may be some interesting herbaceous perenials, or bulbs etc., that come up. It would be a mistake to kill everything before you really know what’s there.
     
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  10. Kaymo

    Kaymo

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    I am partly tempted to do that, and partly tempted to just get it covered up. The whole area was covered with brambles and Ivy, so not much else survived at ground level. I did managed to rescue some plants, but those were at the edge where they will still be able to get light. There are loads of bulbs and plants in the back garden that need splitting up and thinning out, so I have no shortage of plants to put in their place. The way things are going just now it could be a few weeks before I get back to it anyway, and some things might have started to sprout by then.
     
  11. DIYnot Local

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