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What can I do with my disastrous garden??

(12 Posts)
EverythingsDozy Tue 11-Mar-14 11:36:54

My patch of grass desperately needs levelling but can't really afford a landscaper and since I rent, don't want to spend a lot on it anyway. Can anyone suggest how I may level it without it costing a small fortune?

Also, I have two trees which I quite like (a pear and a cherry tree) but underneath is always overgrown with horrid stinging nettles. They grow about 2-3 foot high!! How can I kill the nettles without killing the trees? Is it going to be a case of digging them out before they start growing? Obviously they're all dead now with it being winter but spring and summer they're awful!!!

littlecrystal Tue 11-Mar-14 12:02:26

Nettle soup in spring can be very tasty and extremely healthy. Sorry not much help in hear! (but I would love some nettle soup!).

I would just weed them out manually!

mistlethrush Tue 11-Mar-14 12:09:11

What's not level about your lawn?

Nettles - the roots are very distinctive - yellowy - and not too bad to get out. However, with the roots of the trees you might struggle. You could get a landscape fabric to put under the trees which would stop all weeds growing and still let the rain through. Alternatively a wool carpet with hessian backing works if you can find someone throwing any out - I would mulch over this so that the hessian doesn't show (put the carpet side down so that you don't have the patterns up!!!). You can also mulch over the landscape fabric.

EverythingsDozy Tue 11-Mar-14 13:22:33

It's so bumpy and uneven. There are holes and hills and it's just terrible. It's so hard to describe how bad it actually is, I have twisted my ankle from walking on it.

Carpet is a good idea, I have some brown hessian backed carpet in my loft actually, which would be great because it's brown!!! grin

mistlethrush Tue 11-Mar-14 13:27:09

Make sure its a wool carpet as it will rot that way - a nylon one you'll end up with the hessian rotting and just lots of nylon tufts around!

Lawn... If there are actual holes etc, you could take the turf up and fill in the hole underneath with some soil and then relay the turf, giving it a bit of a stamp down, and you can top dress with lawn sand to get some of the smaller depressions out.

Bramshott Tue 11-Mar-14 13:34:48

I would just pull out the nettles on a reasonably regular basis. Over time it will weaken them, but more to the point, they will be gone for a good few weeks. I find nettle-pulling mildly therapeutic, as long as you wear good gloves and tuck your top in at the wrists!

Ferguson Tue 11-Mar-14 18:18:34

Nettles very easy to dig out; they 'run' a bit, so follow roots round and you may find another nettle at the other end. (Nettles ARE good for wildlife though).

I've known people with bumpy lawn, set rotary mower as low as possible, and mow so that it takes the tops off 'hills', and any resulting soil can fill in hollows.

But if it's really very bad would you not want to dig it all over, rake it level, compact it a bit, then re-sow with a reliable lawn seed? They come in different varieties, for different conditions and requirements; ie, shade, fine-ornamental, family-play etc.

EverythingsDozy Wed 12-Mar-14 13:41:42

I've started doing the lawn, I'm just pulling all the grass up and getting down to bare dirt. I mean, half of it isn't even grass, it's weeds and dandelions and all sorts of rubbish!
Does that sound okay? To get it back to dirt and re-sow the grass? How would I stop the weeds growing back in the new grass?

Bramshott Wed 12-Mar-14 14:46:11

Regular mowing is the best way to keep weeds down. Grass likes being cut. Weeds generally don't.

EverythingsDozy Wed 12-Mar-14 14:50:25

I'm pretty much a novice at gardening. Is there anything I can put onto the bare soil to kill anything left behind but will also let stuff grow after a while?

peggyundercrackers Fri 14-Mar-14 22:47:34

Easiest way to cover the grass area you have dug over is to put turf back on it once it's levelled. You could seed it but that will allow weeds to come back or if you could get someone with a decent weed killer that would kill most stuff on it and leave it a few weeks then put turf down that stop most of it coming back.

PigletJohn Fri 14-Mar-14 23:03:15

most common weedkillers are taken in through the leaves. They kill what's growing, but you can then reseed or plant. You can spray or dribble round the trunks of trees without damage, as they aren't leafy.

Exception is Pathclear which is specifically marketed for stopping seed germination. There have been others but I think none on the retail domestic market now.

You can even reseed a lawn, and spray up to the day before the grass emerges. This is often done in agriculture, when they know pretty well to the day how long the seeds will take to germinate. Digging, hoeing and raking brings weed seeds to the surface so they grow.

Most people will spray the day before they seed.

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