Brambles/nettles

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 guys suggest?
Thanks for reading Adam
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Sparx


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Sparx wrote:

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?
David
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'David Hare-Scott[_2_ Wrote: > ;947451']

> will

> for

>

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
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Sparx


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A "come-along", and a good rope will give you a good start in removing the mature brambles.
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Billy

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He's right.
so I've

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 methyl).

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.
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Sparx wrote: ...removing brambles...
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).
songbird
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'songbird[_2_ Wrote: > ;947506']Sparx wrote:

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 to high
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Sparx wrote:

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 and effort.
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. :)
songbird
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On 1/17/2012 1:24 PM, Sparx wrote:

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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John McGaw wrote: ...

you'd feel that for a few days!

yes, if you can remove most of the rootmass then the plant doesn't have quite so much energy from the smaller pieces left to really push up a lot of stalks quickly.

yeah, that would be about as much fun as kudzu...
songbird
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