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Cutting through lots of big nettles/brambles
14

funinthesun19 · 25/04/2020 08:00

The bottom of my garden is overgrown with huge nettles and thick brambles and I’ve neglected it for quite some time now. Blush But now I’m motivated to just get it done.

I don’t have the money to hire someone to do the job, so I want to try and do it all myself. I need to cut through it all first of all, and I was wondering if any of you know what tools I can use to do this? I’ve looked online and things such as loppers and shears come up. Would they be ok to use to cut it all back?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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ppeatfruit · 25/04/2020 08:46

Well if you use sharp shears and smaller secauteurs (sp!) for the smaller branches. and heavy duty gloves, wear a thornproof jacket, it should work

. You can buy those electrical shears that work with charging batterries too , they are expensive of course. Also a bit heavy.

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TiddleTaddleTat · 25/04/2020 08:47

I'm afraid I don't know the names of all the different types of cutters!! In ordinary times you'd be able to go and look at a selection and hold them etc to see what's best.

What do you already have?

I'd have thought as well as something to cut/slice up the plants you'll need those thick leather gloves that go up your arms.

Good luck. Sounds fun, actually!!

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ppeatfruit · 25/04/2020 08:49

Or you leave them to the pretty butterflies and bees and call it your 'wildlife garden" Grin For the environment etc....! Use the nettles for teas, plantfeed etc. Oh and enjoy the blackberries in the autumn!!

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Tuesdaylast · 25/04/2020 08:55

I’ve been clearing a huge bramble patch (about 30 foot long) and have been using a machete, which you can get online for £10-15, and leather gauntlets that come well past my wrists, which you can get on eBay.

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rslsys · 25/04/2020 09:03

Loppers with extending handles are the way to go, along with thick leather 'rigger' gloves to handle the cut stems.

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Buddahstack · 25/04/2020 09:06

Loppers are the way to go.

I cleared a big area last week and realised v quickly that the best way was to cut back the very low crap so you can see where the brambles are growing from. Cut them off at the ground and then pull from there. It is BEYOND satisfying when you get a big one and it comes out in one big go.

Please wear PPE though Wink I got a blackthorn in my leg which went manky and I had to get a nurse at work to remove it

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OneEpisode · 25/04/2020 09:09

The nettles you can wilt and compost, or as a PP says, for culinary purposes. What about the brambles? They are nasty even when dead. Are you still able to dispose of garden waste (collection) or will you have to shred it all in some way?
Cardboard is a good weed barrier-will biodegrade in a year or so. You can stand on it, reducing the chance of bramble spikes through your wellies.

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woodencoffeetable · 25/04/2020 09:12

you need good gloves - builder's gloves, thick leather one.
many diy store rent out equipment.
hire a shredder and maybe electric chainsaw or hedgetrimmer.

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Cailleach · 25/04/2020 09:17

Very thick gloves and a branch lopper. Start at the top of the brambles, work down.

You will need to dig out every scrap of nettle (bright yellow) and bramble roots (dark red, deeply rooted) otherwise they will grow back.

Burn any bramble pieces, do not compost nettle or bramble roots.

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c3pu · 25/04/2020 09:27

Once you've tackled it and got rid of it all, don't forget about it - there will be regrowth from the odd bit of root that gets missed.

Weedkiller gets a bad rap, but I find it does have it's place in gardening. My method to tackle weed infestation is to dig out what you can, dig out any regrowth a couple of weeks later, and any regrowth after that gets a dose of weedkiller (glysophate based stuff is pretty good, doesn't persist in the soil, and kills the entire plant down to the root usually). After that it'll all be pretty much gone forever and it'll just be the usual maintenance weeding for a normal patch of gardening.

If it's a problem patch try to find something that will compete with the weeds and will grow in the conditions, rhubarb is quite useful for this as it grows almost anywhere and can withstand complete neglect. Plus it's tasty.

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ppeatfruit · 25/04/2020 10:23

Weedkiller DESERVES a bad rap. It doesn't only kill weeds (which actually it doesn't do very well, flame throwers are more effective)

It kills every wild thing that uses your garden. Why do we think that sparrows are endangered.? Why do we KNOW that people who use them get the big C ?? An "innocent" spray of the roses twice a year will make people ill. Please don't use it. Geoff Hamilton has wonderful gardens and he HATED them.

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ppeatfruit · 25/04/2020 10:30

I like blackberrries, the brambles are a bit of a pain if they're where you don't want them, just keep pulling them up with thick gloves (I use 3 layers when i do it 2 thin I thick).

The birds love brambles too if you get rid of them you may well get rid of the birds which eat your snails (don't put slug pellets down though of course). I have a lovely hedgehog which eats the slugs and snails in my organic garden. (when we first moved here, there were loads of them, they seem to have just disappeared now apart from the odd one).

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MereDintofPandiculation · 25/04/2020 11:24

I wouldn't start by cutting it back. I'd work from one edge, uncover a root, and start pulling. Brambles shoot from a sort of node just under the surface, so if you get hold of that and pull hard, you can get the whole thing out (you may have to cut some runners if they're too entangled). The bramble won't regrow from roots.

Nettles are more difficult - they have tough yellow roots which form runners. But loosening the soil with a fork, grabbing a root (they don't sting) and pulling hard is vary satisfying, especially when you see a nettle some feet away "shrinking" and disappearing into the ground as a result of your pulling.

This is how I've always done it. Cutting back first leaves a crisis of motivation when it's all cut back and "all" you have to do is remove the roots.

You can compost bramble if you put it through a shredder first. Nettle tops are full of nutrient and well worth composting (or at this time of year, eat the tips). Nettle roots can be composted if you make sure they're truly dead first, by leaving them out several week in the sun so that they dry out.

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EdwinaMay · 25/04/2020 11:47

It's easiest to pull up brambles in Dec /Jan when they aren't actually growing.
If you aren't in a hurry you could keep strimming it. Eventually grass will replace the nettles and brambles over a year or so.
It depends on the area really. A couple of square metres, you could cut with secateurs and pull up the roots loosened by a garden fork.
If not a strimmer then a hedgetrimmer could cut it all down. Then dig out roots.

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