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Garden infested with things that aren't grass...

(6 Posts)
ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 20-Apr-13 14:57:17

We have just moved (well in January but weather hasn't been decent enough to do any gardening until now) into a council house. The garden is very overgrown and I am a total gardening novice. I really need some help with pulling it round to a playable level for the kids.

The lawn is completely infested with stinging nettles and thistle looking things and lots of other things that I can't identify. Is there a weedkiller I can buy that won't kill the actual grass and won't break the bank? I've just mowed the lawn for the first time and it looks a lot better but they'll all just grow again by next week.

There are weeds and ants crawling all along the cracks in the yard. I've bought a spray bottle of patio weedkiller and I'll try and pull those out over the next week and then I'll get some ant powder. Any recommendations?

There are about five tree stumps dotted about and we're getting a stump grinder in to get those down and then we'll turf over it but I need to kill all these weeds before we lay the new turf or they'll just grow through wont they?

There is also a 1m x 8m strip of weed on the other side along the fence that I am replacing that I intend to gravel (or some such aggregate) for a bench and plant some small plants/bushes in that area. I am notorious for killing any living plant so can anyone recommend some small plants that are totally maintenance free? I plan to dig it all up, lay down membrane stuff and then gravel over it, get the bench and then plant some plants over the course of the year as and when I see something.

Any other nuggets of advice for a first time garden-owner are very welcome smile I have never mowed a lawn before, until today, never done any kind of gardening and have never been in a garden centre in my life so this is totally alien to me!

TIA smile

quoteunquote Sat 20-Apr-13 17:56:04

Don't add poison to your garden, buy some gloves use a garden strimmer , remember to leave a wild patch with nettles for the butterflies, I use nettles to keep children away from parts of the garden I don't want them.

dig it, cut it, if you keep cutting they give up, make a compost heap,

listen to gardeners question time on bbc radio 4, you will soon be an addict, check iplayer, enjoy,

but don't add poison, you don't want it in your garden, in your children's environment.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 20-Apr-13 18:14:37

I have a strimmer smile

The cord is really short though so I can't use that until I get a big extension lead but it's 'to buy' list.

The whole garden is being dug up and levelled out - it has a massive dip in the middle - then being returfed so will the weeds come up through the turf?

I've been out with some gloves today and pulled a load of stuff out by the root but I have dyshidratic eczema and it seems to have aggrevated me through my gloves for some reason so I need to get some thicker ones. confused

quoteunquote Sat 20-Apr-13 19:38:01

Yes , so give it a very good digging over and racking over before you lay the turf, pick out all weed roots.

the search for the perfect gloves is always a challenge.

everything you ever needed to ask is on the hundreds of forums, and ask away on any you will get tons of advice,

watch garden's world, and listen to garden's question time, lots of guidance, and idea,

watch the chelsea flower show online, because it will really inspire you, don't be scared it's not hard once you get started.

start your ideas book,

David Austin roses, for a lovely heavily scented climbing rose to go behind your bench.

SilverSixpence Sun 21-Apr-13 22:04:29

Get one of these they are completely brilliant for pulling out weeds painlessly. I'm planning to get rid of all the moss and weeds then sow new grass seed to hopefully get a nice lawn. i've also seen Green Thumb mentioned on here who can sort the lawn out for you.

BeatenByAnEgg Sun 21-Apr-13 22:07:58

Years ago, we had a garden with a wild weedy bit with lots of nettles (and bindweed). We dug the whole lot over and pulled out lots of roots from the nettles and the bindweed. Until we got the roots up, the nettles and bindweed kept coming back.

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