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Just moved in... I don't know what to do!

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by James Allison, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. James Allison

    James Allison Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi folks!

    So, I'm new here. I just need a bit of advice.

    I've just moved into a property that is owned by a housing association.

    I've been told that the garden is 100% my responsibility. Any major landscaping needs to be approved by the association so I'm not looking at doing anything major. No water features, rock gardens, or giant sculptures!

    I'm looking at 2 options. A grassed garden with flowered borders, or a half and half grassed garden with an area for vegetable growing.

    I've enclosed a couple of photos of the current state of the garden. It's full of weeds right now. I've not had a chance to see what the soil is like. Would it be a good idea to till the soil now, or wait until the very early spring? Do I need to use weedkiller? When would be best to sow grass seeds?

    I probably should mention that the garden is on a slope too. The next door neighbours garden is very overgrown.

    If you have any questions, please ask away.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Hi @James Allison and a warm welcome to Gardeners Corner!

    GC Welcome.png

    Looks to be a nice size patch you have there, albeit a bit of a blank canvas. It is not easy to answer your question I'm afraid, as it is your garden - so what do you want? Personally, I am growing increasing amounts of food crops (fruit, herbs and veg), although for me that has been somewhat stalled this year.

    It all depends on what you think you want to do with your garden - and believe me, that will change as time goes on too. Once you catch the gardening bug, you will never be done looking at your plot and wondering what you can do differently.

    One thing is for sure, you will get loads of help and advice here - the members here are the best people you could choose to meet (yes, I am biased, but with good reason :biggrin:), and they will all be as delighted as I will to go with you on your gardening journey and give you nudges in the right direction.

    I look forward to seeing you around the forums, and if you need any help please just ask. :)
     
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    • clanless

      clanless Super Gardener

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      I would say a good starting point is to have a browse through the 'Gallery' tab at the top of the screen.

      My preference is a colourful/scented garden - minimal lawn - gravel paths - loads of beds for planting up. Have a look at my pictures in the gallery to see how my garden looks.

      I would have thought that you could have a pond - sloping is not a problem - my pond is on a slope - there is a picture in my gallery - no major work really - a simple fairly shallow hole with a pond liner on top. Easy to install and remove - so I wouldn't have thought that a pond would come under the 'major landscaping' category.

      Above all enjoy the journey! :smile:
       
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        Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
      • silu

        silu gardening easy...hmmm

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        :sign0016:. As Fat Controller rightly says it is what you would like as there is no right or wrong way forward.
        As it is only just into September I would certainly get going now rather than waiting until Spring. You don't say where you live.
        Personally I would weed kill the whole area as it looks as tho there is nothing salvageable.
        There are some who will say no to weed killer but it looks a fair size of plot to tackle by hand. Used sensibly they do take some of the back breaking work out of clearing a site. Often people who try to be 100% "green" on the likes of allotments get over whelmed by the amount of work involved and give up. Once you have the site clear and planted as you wish then is the time to work at keeping you garden area looking good without the use of herbicides.
        The ground in front of the hedge will be very dry and starved of much nutrition so I would not be planting vegetables in that area. Shrubs or grass would fair better but all will struggle a bit. The area to the right looks slopped. That would be better for a flower bed I think as mowing slopes is a bit of a pain. I know I have lots of sloped areas!
        When designing what I think would look good, I use hose pipe to mark out areas and shapes. It gives you a fair idea of what things might look like.
        As the garden has obviously been neglected for some time. Ideally it would be a good idea to till the land. It is difficult to tell how big the area is but maybe hire a small renovator unless you are very handy with a spade/garden digging fork!
        Re grass sowing. Now is an ideal time to sow grass. If you live in the south then you can sow grass well into Autumn and it is preferable in autumn to spring as weed seed competition is less. If you live in the north of England or Scotland as I do then really you need to have the area chosen sown before the end of this month ideally. Indeed I am sowing a hellish area of my land (about 1/4 acre) today. I think (not certain) grass will germinate/grow above a constant temperature of 5 oC but not positive on this.
        If it was me, I would concentrate of clearing and improving the ground. Sow grass seed where required and import lots of manure if possible to go on what will be flower/veg beds. Get those covered with anything you have to stop re germination of weeds once cleared and plant up those areas in spring. You then have all winter to decide what you would like to grow.Good luck.
         
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        • WeeTam

          WeeTam Total Gardener

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          Take 5 and decide what you want the garden for. Do you like the thought of gardening,like flowers,like growing vegetables ?

          Or are you looking for somewhere to have a seat a few drinks and a bbq.

          Whats your budget for a garden and how much time can u spend on it.

          A low maintenance low cost option would be to get to the garden centre clearance sections and get some plants very cheap and plant up next spring.
          Sow a new lawn now after hitting the weeds with wedkiller.Still time.
           
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          • James Allison

            James Allison Apprentice Gardener

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            Thanks for all of the advice!
            So, after some thought, I'll probably leave the planting until after winter. The ground is in desperate need of TLC with weeds.
            My plan is to get rid of as many weeds as possible by hand to start off with. Then treat the rest with weedkiller. Once I'm confident that the weed situation is under control, I'll till the entire garden and see what kind of soil I'm working with.
            And in the spring, I'll probably use the closest part of the garden as a veg patch as it catches the most sun there. The rest is likely to be grassed and flowered, with a gravel path.

            Thanks for the advice again. I know what I'm like. I'll probably change my mind again by the spring.:snorky:
             
          • Loofah

            Loofah Well used member

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            ?? If you're going to use weedkiller just do it at the start and be done with it!
             
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