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HELP! Where do I even begin?!

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by ET1911, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. ET1911

    ET1911 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    :new:

    First time poster and ultra novice gardener so be nice!

    I've recently moved into a house I can finally call my own. When I moved in we were approaching the end of the very dry spell. The grass looked patchy, the few flowers there were could have used a water... Nothing too challenging I thought to myself.

    I then went away for a week just as it got all soggy again, on my return was a very very different beast. All hell has broken loose!

    The whole garden is completely awash with weeds! The grass is now more, what looks like Dandelion, than anything else. That is mixed with deep rooted stinging nettles and all sorts of other garbage. How do I even begin to clear this up?

    I thought about digging them out, but if I do that whatever is left of the grass below will be dug out too.

    Is this a case of digging the whole lot out and starting completely fresh? Can I just throw some weed killer on this and watch it do it's magic?

    I'm completely new to gardening having never had any green space of my own, so any answers please explain like I'm 5!

    Pictures of the monstrosity attached (I think I've done that right, we'll soon find out). Any help appreciated!
     

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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      First of all, welcome ET1911 :)

      You could apply a lawn weedkiller. It works quickly....a few days or so. Then mow whatever grass remains. Rake the grass area to cultivate a seed bed then sow grass seed. September is perfect time to sow grass seed.

      Or, if the ground is uneven and not level enough for a lawn you could dig over the whole plot. I would still apply a weedkiller first. Rake and level and sow seed.

      Get the lawn right and the rest of the garden is much more manageable:)
       
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      • Loki

        Loki Total Gardener

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        :sign0016:
        I'm afraid you don't have much grass between those weeds :frown:
        As verdun says, September is a good time to sow seed or re turf.
        If you want it in simple terms what I would do ( don't tell the weedkiller haters :blue thumb:)
        Spray everything with round up ( glyphosate) follow the instructions and spray again if necessary
        When it's all dead you can then rake and level in preparation to sow seed or lay turf.
        I hate advising weedkiller but those dandelions are HUGE ! I would love to hear what others advise. You also said you have nettles in there. Without removing them first, they will grow throw.
        It will be gorgeous when you get it how you want it!
        What a lovely space:) good luck:dbgrtmb:
         
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        • ET1911

          ET1911 Apprentice Gardener

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          Hi guys,

          Thanks so much for commenting.

          So the general consensus so far seems to be a spray with strong weedkiller for the Dandelion affected area. Once sprayed, obviously the weeds die. Do I need to do anything else, or do I just pull up all the dead stuff?

          On the nettles, I've actually had a go at removing them this evening. Their root systems are so expansive! It really took me by surprise! I think I've got the majority of them out, but it appears they might be originating under the fence from my neighbours garden. Could be an ongoing battle!

          Is there a particular grass seed which you would recommend? I've looked around and noted an all purpose mix. Once the seed is sown, would it be best to give it a kick start with a some feed as well?
           
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          ET1911 :)
          Stinging nettles do indeed have strong expansive roots that tend to break up and root again when physically pulled, dug etc. You seem to have them under control though apart from the intrusion from neighbour's side.

          You could spray with glyphosate and dig a trench and line the neighbour's side with plastic or membrane. Maybe have a word with your neighbour about spraying on his side too.

          A dwarf fine rye mixture....the usual general purpose mixture generally available now.....is ideal. Hard wearing and good looking.

          A day or two, or even on the day of sowing, a granular feed could be applied.

          In the spring a general lawn feed will kickstart your grass for next season

          Keeping the mower on a higher setting will also help keep your grass looking good
           
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          • ET1911

            ET1911 Apprentice Gardener

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            Perfect, thank you so much! This all seems a lot less daunting now :)

            The weather forecast looks good leading up to the weekend so I'll crack on then.

            If there's any interest, I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress. I'm in no doubt I'll have plenty of questions along the way!
             
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            • Loofah

              Loofah Well used member

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              I'd use a selective weedkiller on the grass area rather than glyphosate but whatever you choose do it on a wind free day or the rest of your garden will get killed. With that quantity of weeds you'll have several years of finding them and digging out / killing off unfortunately simply because they've clearly been left for some time to set seed.
              Glyphosate is what they call a systemic weedkiller meaning it will kill all parts of the plant, it also decomposes on contact with the soil. I'd use this on the nettles if you want rid of them.

              Have you thought about moving the shed forward a bit and adding some trees or hedging to block the view of the house at the bottom of the garden?
               
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              • ET1911

                ET1911 Apprentice Gardener

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                Hi @Loofah

                Thanks for your comment!

                Excuse my ignorance... Would a selective weedkiller have the same impact as the Glyphosate? You say Glyphosate kills all parts of the plant, does this then mean a selective killer would only get rid of the head? After a close inspection, the Dandelion growth is so thick that there really isn't much grass growth beneath at all.

                The shed actually used to sit on top of the small patio area to the left. For whatever reason, the previous owners decided to move it to the other corner (which is one of the sunniest bits of the garden!!). But I eventually plan to move it back to its original spot.

                You can't see it on any of the pictures, but there is actually a stump left from a tree which, frustratingly, was chopped down about 6 months before I purchased and would have given perfect privacy from the house behind! Hedging or another tree will certainly be planted back there in time though.

                I'm starting to realise that raising a garden is certainly not an overnight task and definitely nothing like watching Titchmarsh on Ground Force when I was younger!
                 
              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Selective lawn weedkiller kills the weeds in the grass but not the grass ET1911.:)
                Glyphosate kills everything.
                Yep! Can be confusing. :sad:
                The plan is to kill the weeds and spread grass seed over the remaining grassy area. After raking of course to loosen soil there
                A lot of satisfaction though in doing things slightly more slowly but you will be surprised at how much you can achieve in a year:)
                 
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                • andrews

                  andrews Gardener

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                  Looks like you have a great project on your hands there. The nettles will more than likely return and, having had this problem when we moved into our current house, glyphosate is the way to go.

                  You've already identified that the shed is in a sunny part of the garden. Decide where you want to sit out / how you want to use the garden and don't let the current layout define your garden design.

                  Then you can decide on the planting theme. Initially we filled our beds with free handouts from friends and, 17 years later are now replacing some with plants that we want in the bed (thread to hopefully start on here this weekend)

                  Good luck and enjoy the space
                   
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                  • clanless

                    clanless Super Gardener

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                    How about something other than a lawn?

                    I'd be tempted to weed kill the lot - install a simple gravel path - and have flower beds either side.

                    This way you can enjoy a more colourful/scented garden.

                    I have no lawn at all in my front garden - a winding gravel path and beds either side of the path ready for planting up :thumbsup:.
                     
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                    • Verdun

                      Verdun Passionate gardener

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                      No lawn? No lawn??? :gaah:
                      A lawn makes a garden for me. Why?
                      The smell of newly mown grass is wonderful.
                      An area of green is so good for the soul.
                      What else can you sit on, play on and walk on that is as soft?
                      What else sets a garden off better than a lawn?
                      Plus I enjoy cutting the lawn...I have 2 here....and would never been without it:)
                       
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                      • CanadianLori

                        CanadianLori Ever Hopeful Canuck

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                        I agree with @Verdun. There is nothing worth saving in that lawn area. Use roundup/glyphosphate and destroy the lot. Then you get a fresh start.
                         
                      • clanless

                        clanless Super Gardener

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                        :rasp:
                         
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                        • Verdun

                          Verdun Passionate gardener

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                          Right, I'm off to cut my lawns.......the softness underfoot, that smell, those stripes, the satisfaction, and it is such a beautifully sunny day too :snorky:
                           
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