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Clearing overgrown allotment - do you need a strimmer?

(8 Posts)
ItsAllGoodMan Thu 23-Jul-15 21:42:40

Will it be too difficult to clear an overgrown allotment with loppers & shears? I plan to cover it with black polythene over the winter but need to get the grass & weeds low enough first. Have never used a strimmer so am a bit intimidated by the idea!

Ferguson Thu 23-Jul-15 22:59:38

Can't you dig out some of it to start with? Loppers and strimmers will only leave the woody bit and roots in, so digging gets more out. Harder work - Yes, and also depends just HOW overgrown it is.

coolaschmoola Thu 23-Jul-15 23:04:14

We rotavated ours.

Cedar03 Fri 24-Jul-15 11:03:56

Depends on the size of your plot and how overgrown it is. But we cleared our half plot with shears last summer. It was mostly overgrown with grasses. Then we dug out the dandelions and dock leaves and nettles. A strimmer would have been much easier but we don't have one.

Oh and we applied glysophate to it first to help kill everything off. This is not ideal if you want to be organic but it helped us to start off (just make sure you apply it on a still day without much breeze otherwise other allotment holders will be cross if it blows onto their plots).

We then covered it over with tarpaulins and it died back. We were able to then dig it over in sections during the autumn and winter. We took ours on this time last year. Applied the weedkiller in August. It died back and started digging (very compacted soil in one area so this took time).

Rotavating is not recommended if you have lots of dandelions, docks or mares tail as we had. As chopping them up simply spreads the roots right across the plot and they pop up everywhere next year.

ItsAllGoodMan Sat 25-Jul-15 20:07:27

It's probably about a 2/3 plot size so quite big. Mostly overgrown with tall grass, thistle and bramble. We managed to clear some today with shears but wondering if we should hire a strimmer for the rest. We'd have to hire one. Are they easy to use?
Planning on covering the plot with plastic / cardboard until the spring, then doing the no dig method, maybe...

chocolatemartini Sat 25-Jul-15 20:15:54

We just took on a plot and have strimmed, rotivated and covered in black plastic. We bought a strimmer for about £100 and plan to sell it on (I think- DH bought it). Whereabouts are you?

ItsAllGoodMan Sat 25-Jul-15 20:16:52

We're in Bristol

silversixpence Sat 25-Jul-15 20:19:21

I did mine all by hand, plot is a similar size. I forked the ground to loosen the roots then pulled them out. If it very overgrown a strummer will help but I still think you would be better off digging afterwards. It took ages but where I have got the roots out we get far fewer weeds coming up. The bits at the end where I was in a rush (heavily pregnant then with newborn!) the bindweed is coming back with a vengeance hmm

I

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