Hello all, I am new to the forum and gardenening I have no knowledge in
gardening what-so-ever .... Basically me and the mrs have moved into our
new house but the gardens are terrible they was just full of 6ft high
brambles and stinging nettles I have cleared all the vegetation out so
now it's just a muddy mess we want to get a lawn laid down ... I was
just going to dig the big clumps of bramble roots out then rotovator it
and level it out then lay the turf but my father-in-law says if I just
chop it up with the rotovator the brambles will just come back so I've
started digging it over and taking all the roots out (Jesus you have
never seen so many roots it's just like a mat of roots) but when I told
my uncle he says that I should leave the new growth to come through then
use a weed killer like round up or something so the roots die so I don't
really know what to do I really want the quickest way ... Well actually
the mrs wants the quickest way possible to get rid of them so we have
got a lawn in time for our daughters birthday party so what would you
Thanks for reading Adam
If by brambles you mean blackberries there is no eay way to do it. It will
take time, patience and probably several rounds of killing and waiting for
the next lot to come up. What area are you talking about clearing from
brambles? What season are you in now, when is the party?
Sorry yes I mean blackberry bushes some of them was up to and inch thick
I would say so they are quite established .... The back garden is about
40ft x 60ft
and the garden is full of them... We are in winter in the uk now the
party is in April doesn't sound like it will get done for then lol
Roundup (glyphosate) isn't really strong enough to kill brambles - you need
something nastier so look for a herbicide that contains triclopyr or one of
the glyphosate+ mixes (that + is something that sounds like metsulphuron
Ask the Mrs is she really wants to swamp your home environment with
weedkillers and if she does, has she done any reading on what they contain
and how they may or may not impact on young children, pregnant women and the
environment. I'm not saying don't use them, but before you go and do
anything, you need to know what you are using and how it may impact on your
family and how much enjoyment you will get long term from your garden.
you won't get through those roots with
any small rotorvator.
you'll need a rather heavy plow with a
deep tine to get the roots out and likely
you will still have some left anyways.
the quickest solution is likely the most
expensive. leave the roots there, put in
a heavy weed barrier fabric and then bury it
with 12-18" of new topsoil. tamp it down a
bit and then place the sod. no chemicals,
no digging, instant grass and you're done
other than the mowing.
the most labor intensive way is to dig by
hand and pull the roots, this will make it
easier to fight later (the few roots you'll
miss will come back up, keep mowing them down
or digging them out as they appear). it'll
take two to three years for all the shoots
to appear and be removed.
the least labor method is to cut it all back
and keep mowing just like the rest of the grass.
eventually the brambles give up, but the cut
off stalks are tough on the feet (you can put
down a temporary dance floor for the event over
that section when the time comes).
Thanks for the reply songbird there isn't any grass out there at the min
it literally was just brambles and nettles so it has got to be dug over
anyway but I was hoping to just dig it over then level it and add
topsoil anywhere that needed it then lay the lawn but I might do what
you said and get a mini digger dig off 8" or so then lay weed barrier
fabric then put new topsoil on top .... How much would 12" of loose
topsoil compact down to if u used a whacker plate? I don't want it to be
if you're digging it and taking the roots out
you won't need to bring in more topsoil (a big
expense most places for the size of area you
are talking about). i only mentioned weed
barrier type fabric and topping it off with
more soil if you plan on leaving the bramble
roots intact, otherwise it's a wasted expense
if you can dig it and screen the soil that will
catch most of the biggest chunks of roots. but
it is a lot of labor. after that you will only
have the odd pieces coming up and regular mowing
will keep those from getting too far. a few
weeks before the event you can go over it and
trim off the harder stalks that are in there
so people won't get stalks up their sandals/
feet. an easy way of doing this quickly is
to take a flat metal rake and drag it upside
down across the grass. if you have prepped
the soil level and put down sod the rake will
catch only on hard stalks that have been
chopped off. track them down and snip them
off with loppers or hand pruners.
8 inches isn't likely to be down far enough
down as you will see once you get going. :)
if you are renting a digger then you'll be
having a lot of fun anyways...
make sure you know where your utilities,
drain fields, drainage lines, power cables,
etc. are before starting. you might still be
surprised at old cesspits, rocks, bedrock,
draintiles, ... hopefully no bodies. gold
coin collections in old jars can be nice. :)
The one time I tried it with brambles I had pretty good luck attacking the
area with a high-power rented cultivator. There was a lot of shoulder
wrenching pain as the roots continually tangled with the spinning blades
stalling the engine and it took many stops and starts to untangle and
dispose of what got ripped out but a Saturday took care of it all.
This was an area of perhaps 40X20 feet at the very back of a property I had
bought. After the cleanup I had a large truckload of good topsoil hauled in
and I moved it back there with a wheelbarrow in thirty+ round-trips, graded
and packed it down a bit, and seeded liberally. That was the best part of
my lawn at that house and I never had a problem with the brambles coming
back. I suspect that any that started to come up were not capable of
withstanding being mowed down every week so they were never able to
reestablish a foot(root)hold again.
If only I could have such an easy time with the English ivy which has
ownership of at least 1/3 of an acre of my present wooded lot. It doesn't
die quite so easily.
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