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Jungle of a garden, please advise!

(16 Posts)
Greencheese Wed 19-Nov-14 19:37:16

Hi, please can you wise gardening lot please help.

We've just moved into a house, the gardens a jungle! It's not been touched in at least 3 years apparently. I've been hacking it all back and it's slowly looking better but my question is what do I do with all the huge chunks of tree, ivy and branches?

Do I burn it?
There's too much for a skip I think?
Do I hire one of those mulcher things?


MaudantWit Wed 19-Nov-14 20:09:29

Does your council offer green waste recycling? We pay for our service here (two large sacks a week and it will take prunings up to a certain thickness but won't take really heavy branches) but in some other areas you get a wheelie bin for free.

If you can use a green waste scheme for the larger stuff, you could start a compost heap for the ivy, leaves and (eventually) grass cuttings and then you can enrich the soil with it in future years. A shredder/chipper would help you chop up woody material before you put it on the compost heap.

MaudantWit Wed 19-Nov-14 20:11:11

Oh, and a bonfire may not be as easy as it sounds, as new wood is likely to be wet, smoky and slow to burn. And your neighbours may not thank you if you are burning a skipful!

Greencheese Wed 19-Nov-14 20:28:50

We have the large green wheely bins but I'd be filling them up for months. There is rather a lot. To give you an idea of size , If I was to have tossed it into one of those large skips I'd of probably filled 3! There are quite a lot of lather branches too. I'm a bit frightened of a fire I must admit.

Oooooo I'd wish the fairies would just magically take it all away tonight!

MaudantWit Wed 19-Nov-14 20:39:19

Eek. That is a lot. Are you going to come to the end of your massive pruning session soon? Could you hire a shredder so that the stuff is reduced in volume and then fill the wheelie bin every week until it's all gone? Or is even that too optimistic?

The other thing that's just occurred to me is that when I had massive work done to some fruit trees and had huge branches to get rid of, I offered them on Freecycle, thinking woodturners might want them. As it turned out, there were a lot of people with wood-burning stoves who wanted them. Could you get rid of the biggest branches that way?

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 19-Nov-14 20:41:18

Friends (or freecyclers) with woodburners and woodstores might be interested in the branches if they're large and the right type of wood. If they really want it I'd let them cut it into manageable logs for transport wink

I don't have a wood burner (yet) but I've created a few log piles for creepy crawlies in my garden using the vast amount of laurel we cut down in the spring. The leaves were snipped off and went in the green garden waste bin or into the compost heap.

Maybe not to everyone's taste but I quite like the texture they create at the end of my garden next to the compost bin and shed!

Good for wildlife too smile

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 19-Nov-14 20:44:07

Any useful wood,put at the end of the drive with a 'free wood,help yourself sign'.
I was very grateful to come across such last year,and its good to burn this year.

Compost non perennial weeds.

Green waste collection,or bonfire pile the rest.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 19-Nov-14 20:45:46

If you have any old carpets and a patch of garden you don't need to plant out straight away,they're great at suppressing weeds.

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 19-Nov-14 20:57:39

Cross post with MaudantWit grin

I just remembered loads of our neighbours kindly offered use of their green bins. We were able to fill an average of four bins every fortnight (fortnightly collection round here) so it only took three attempts to clear!

I don't think we live in a massively green fingered street hence people rarely use their massive green wheelie bin (it's strictly for garden waste, shredded paper and food waste - not sure people bother to separate the latter from their main bin unless they plan to compost it). Very grateful to the neighbours.

If you plan on installing a wood burner in the near future I would definitely cut the branches into logs and build a basic woodstore for them. Logs take a good year to season (dry out) so they would hopefully be ready for you next winter. I'm getting quotes for a wood burner at the moment and well-seasoned wood is not cheap!

MaudantWit Wed 19-Nov-14 21:09:04

If you're entrepreneurial, you could do what the local school did and sell the branches for £30 a car boot full!

HaveYouSeenHerLately Wed 19-Nov-14 21:21:15

In fact, do you live in Herts? grin

Greencheese Thu 20-Nov-14 08:15:31

No, not in Herts sadly or you could have the lot ha. I've seen a couple of mulchers on eBay so I'll keep my eye on them, I may have to admit defeat and just slowly fill up the green bin, the house at the end of the row is empty so I'll borrow theirs too. The branches are more long than thick so I doubt people would want them.

The carpet idea is fab thanks, I'm kicking myself as the previous owners left loads of old carpet in the cellar Md we took it to the tip! Grrrr

Those fairies havnt turned up so I'll guess I'd best get to it!

Thanks everyone.

Ferguson2 Thu 20-Nov-14 22:57:49

A shredder will take care of the green material and smaller branches, but not thick stuff. The shredded material can be composted fairly easily, or used as a mulch, when you do get ground dug and plants in.

So buying a shredder could be a long term investment. Many rotary ones are noisy, and some not very powerful, but there is another kind that work more slowly and 'crush' the material, though maybe not so finely.

Greencheese Fri 21-Nov-14 09:29:11

I'm going to collect a Bosch 2000 this morning, only £35 from Gumtree, at least that will satisfy me with the smaller stuff. If it doesn't look as much I won't feel so overwhelmed, I also found a compost bin under a load of ivy! I'm going to chuck it all in there.

It's going to be a long slog but if I make a start I'm more likely to keep doing it ha

Ferguson Wed 26-Nov-14 23:15:45

That's a bargain - list price £160 I think!!

Best to have a RCD cut out to avoid any risk of electric shock.

Greencheese Thu 27-Nov-14 19:31:11

I'm a bit disappointed with it to be honest. The slot is too small really so you can't get much in it. You need to chop the branches up really small, so I may as well put them in a bin bag and take them to the tip after chopping them up. Grrrrr. Ahhh well.

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