We've just obtained a garden.
It's a rented plot, similar principal to an allotment, but doesn't have to only be used for growing vegetables.
It's been pretty much abandoned for at least 5 years, maybe longer, except that 3? 4? years ago it was completely cleared one summer. But then nothing else happened, so it's now a thriving plot of weeds.
These include but are not limited to, ivy, dandelions, daisies, ground elder and brambles.
The plan is to spray it with a weedkiller containing the active ingredients dicamba, MCPA, 2,4-D and Mecoprop P.
Afterwards, one half of the garden would become a vegetable patch and the other half lawn. But I'm not at all sure about using the weedkiller. And won't it rather limit my vegetable growing prospects?
Obviously, we're both novices so I would really appreciate any help and advice about weedkiller or anything else really that anybody is kind enough to offer.
Cos gardening is better by day than by night.
I don't know much about weed killer as I try to avoid it, apart from spot spraying dandelions on the paving.
I would be wary about using it on any area where I was growing something to eat.
Thank you for your reply. That's my gut feeling too.
I think it's probably going to end up as weedkiller on the lawn area and hard digging for me.
That sounds like overkill of nuclear proportions.
Use glyphosate. It decomposes quickly in the soil without leaving toxic residues. It only affects green photosynthesising tissue i.e. leaves or young green bark. And it's systemic, which means you spray or water it onto the plants/weeds and it is transported through the whole plant killing all parts, including deep roots.
I agree - something like Roundup. You will have trouble eradicating the ground elder. You could spray, the cover with plastic sheeting for several months?
Why that particular mix of weed killers? I agree with PPs that it sounds like overkill, especially if you're wanting to grow food on it. But I'm not familiar with any of those so I don't know. I use glyphosate which seems to do the job.
I would agree with sprayingvwith glyphosate (roundup) letting the roundup dry and then covering with plastic sheeting or some such,
I have even d
Sorry last bit should be I have even done this successfully by spraying, drying and covering with thick layer of bark chippings.
Your choice would kill the weeds but leave the grass, good for the lawn side. However, it hangs around in the soil and on the grass cuttings for ages, not good. N0 veg this year.
Glyphosate kills everything pretty darn quick, and then breaks down, good. It needs very careful application as it also kills your stomach flora, bad. Hence it is likely to disappear from the shelves in December and only be available for professional use.
Roundup is being banned in many places because of its links to a variety of cancers, i would not touch it. I really think you would be better digging, hard work at first but no harm to wildlife and you can grow and eat what you like knowing the ground is free from chemicals. Could you hire a mini digger for a weekend to make the job easier?
I don't use weedkiller tbh. Are you wanting veg this year? If so, I would try and dig out the brambles.Then cover the veg area with weed membrane, and plant things like courgettes and squash through holes in the membrane. If you can put some sort of mulch on first before covering- compost or rotted manure, even better. By next year. most of the weeds will either have gone, or be somewhat easier to dig out . You can do this with cardboard too, and that will rot down and help over the next year.
Not ground elder though - you just need to keep digging it out. If you leave anything behind, it just keeps coming.
Oh, thanks everyone. I assumed I'd dropped off the list had got all the opinions I was likely to. Then I came back and you were all here! Thank you all so much.
A few more details: the weedkiller is specifically formulated for lawns. I wanted to know what exactly was in it. Hence the list. I'm also not in the UK (Germany) which doesn't change much but might be relevant.
The brambles are gone. They were small. The ground elder is thriving (as is the ivy) and there's a lot of it on the paths etc outside the garden too. I guess that's going to be a long uphill struggle. The dandelions are looking pretty sprightly too.
I would like to grow veg this summer, though only on the left half of the garden. I might dig out and try and grow now, regret it, then put sheeting down for the winter to maintain it when it all dies back.
I don't want to use weedkiller at all really, but boyfriend wants a lawn and I'll struggle to talk him out of it. I don't want to use glyphosate at all, but will read the link for more info about the chemicals we have.
Oh and unfortunately we're very poor at the moment, so have to keep everything as cheap as possible.
Again, thank you all for taking the time to read, consider and post. You've given me some really helpful advice and information to think about.
I don't like using chemicals either. But with my creaking joints it is the only way I can realistically tackle some tasks. I use glyphosate for keeping the paths and car area weed free, and for spot treatment of weeds in dry stone walls where hand weeding disturbs and removes too much soil. Good luck
OP just come crack to this too. Suggest that if you can cope with the time it takes, just cover it all with plastic for as long as it takes. Then create your lawn. I did this with ground elder, after digging up as much as possible. However, after a couple of years it did reappear and I sprayed it with Roundup
I bought a Fiskars weed grabber, it's a brilliant bit of kit, well worth the cost (about £35 ish). I've managed to almost rid my garden of buttercups and dandelions, they were taking over. Weed killer and trying to dig them up wasn't getting me anywhere. It is almost effortless to use and saves on back ache.
Ground elder, I forgot about that bully, however the wonder weeder has made short work of that too.
Limip I posted before I'd read the full thread and just seen that you need cheap options so sorry for the costly recommendation but worth looking out for a second hand one.
I have been a bit horrified by the damage even a relatively benign weedkiller like glyphosate does to the soil and the environment. Without wanting to sound judgemental - because every situation is different - I would try to avoid it as far as you possibly can. If you can bear to be a bit patient, covering with weed sheeting for a time is very effective (or cardboard). I think I'd be tempted to do this with half to three quarters of the plot, and start with the section that has the fewest 'difficult' weeds working by hand.
Look up Charles Dowding, who is the 'no dig' man - he starts veg beds on grass, covers with cardboard and well rotted manure (both available for free if you have farms around you with old manure heaps) and plants straight into that. Videos on his website showing how it's done.
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