New to both the forum and gardening!!

Hi, I've moved into a new house which is riddled with brambles :@ I know they are hard to get rid of and I'm after a quick and easy solution to have the garden ready for my kids top play in this summer.
I have a few ideas on what to do but I would really like a pro's feedback to these ideas, some may seem stupid but I'm new to this so take it easy on my outlandish ideas please :D
Our garden is covered in loads of little stones (probably a whack idea from the previous tenant to rid them of brambles) but it makes it hard to dig the whole of the 22sqm area I want to work on.
My ideas are to cover the area with plastic and maybe some chip wood on top of that but I hear brambles can also grow through things like that and chip wood isn't exactly ideal for my clumsy 4 yr old boy as he'd be in an out every 5 minutes with a new cut I'd imagine but I may be wrong.
My other idea was to lay some plastics down in 2 or 3 layers to make a little harder for it to come through maybe get some top soil on top of that and turf it.
I'm at a dead end with the garden as digging seems to be impossible due to the stones, is there anything I can do and will the above work?
P.S I'm not keen on the idea of using weed killer either as these brambles are coming all the way through next doors garden and I am worried if I use a strong enough weed killer it will effect her garden too.
Help please!! CluessWilson
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CluelessWilson

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On 4/26/2011 7:29 AM, CluelessWilson wrote:

How serious are you? Serious enough to part with a bit of money? If so, equipment exists which will neatly remove brush and brambles and and heather and gorse and almost anything else up to the size of small trees. There also exist 'power rakes' which specialize in breaking up soil and plucking out stones. Both of these items are usually seen as attachments to skid-steer loaders (we would generically call these Bobcat loaders in the US since that is the most prevalent maker). I know that the loaders are popular in the UK since I've seen them at various construction sites and farms in the northern counties and I suspect that a bit of searching will turn up a contractor who either owns or can temporarily rent the proper attachments to clear your problem.
Of course, what you will end up with after the machine is done is tilled soil and this will need to be graded and rolled a bit and then seeded with grass and then tended to make sure that the grass germinates and grows well before weeds can take over the bare soil.
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Not a pro, but if these are just brambles, a lawn mower will do the job. It will at least let you get into the area.
I've done it many times.
Then if you want a garden or lawn there, you will have to dig.
If you just want the kids to play there, just mow it. Obviously, before the bramble shoots die off, wear shoes.
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CluelessWilson wrote:

The whole 22sqm !!! I thought you had a problem, this is a handkerchief.

Why cover up your problem, this is like sweeping dirt under the rug, those thorns and stones will come back to get you.

Cut down the brambles and rake up the stones, if there is a lot hire a skip to take it away. You don't mention being disabled so you can do it in a weekend or two. I fail to see how this is such a problem.
You don't mention what the soil is like if there is no real topsoil it would be worth importing some to spread after you clean up. You also don't mention what plans you have for this postage stamp, I mean garden. Before you start work decide what you are going to grow.
You cannot leave bare earth or it will revert to weeds. One alternative is durable mulches such as wood chips. With a small child I am guessing grass will be on the list. Does the area get any sunlight? What is your climate?
David
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On 4/26/2011 6:01 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Good catch. My quick read of the post told me that it was 220sqm. For that my mechanized solution might be practical but for one-tenth that something simpler is called for. I did a garden patch of about that size in Alaska and it was full of the seriously knotted heavy roots of a long-established bramble/berry patch. My solution involved the inexpensive half-day rental of a power tiller which, with some indignities to my body, managed to rip up the roots quite effectively. After that a simple raking took care of what roots hadn't tangled themselves around the tiller's tines and been removed as needed. A final pass with the tiller to stir in the required limestone and organic fertilizer left everything perfect.
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On Wed, 27 Apr 2011 08:01:18 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"

I didn't comment previously because I didn't feel like being harrangued for being an ogre, but my living room is 28' X 16' = 50 sq yds... my Dyson vacuums it spotless in about 15 minutes, and I have cats. My vegetable garden is 280 sq yds... took my first survey for this year today... I'll soon have it all cleaned of winter debris, Mantis-tilled and planted, all in one weekend... middle of next month, still too wet. That 22 sq yd picnic patch would take me no more than 6 hours to clear of brush and stones, till, rake, and have a lawn seeded... even have a few shrubs in and some planters about and ready to sprout. I'm an old man, but I'd be embarrassed to whine over some project that requires little more effort than making my bed.
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I know 22sqm isn't a lot but this isn't my whole garden this is just a patch I want to turn into a little play area for my kids. The brambles have clawed their way into the rest of the garden as well but my main priority is to get that little patch ready for the kids within days at a minimal price hence the "sweeping it under the carpet" As far as I was aware blocking sunlight killed weeds including brambles but I seem to be wrong.
I'm not disabled and I ain't lazy but I am on a tight budget and this would probably only be a temporary solution for the summer, this is the kids first time in a house with a garden of their own to play in and I want it to be a good experience for them. as for the soil that's here already its OK but it does need some topsoil if I am to turf it all or possibly re-seed.
I'm mainly here to seek advice cos i have never done anything like this before and don't really have anyone to ask apart from some experts that's why I came to this website I did not however come here to be ridiculed for my inexperience and lack of knowledge on gardening so from now on can I have some help without sarcastic comments, thanks!!
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CluelessWilson

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Probably not, but maybe you'll get lucky.
Get a winch called a "Come Along" <http://www.google.com/search?q=come+along&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prm d=ivns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=TFK4Td2qHpKqsAOb06ipAQ&ved Ek QrQQ> and pull the brambles out. That will be most of the work. The brmbles will try to come back, but then the problem should be more shovel size. Afterwards, pull new plants out by hand as you find them (You'll want leather gloves). -
Bush's 3rd term: Obama plus another elective war
Bush's 4th term: we can't afford it
America is not broke. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. <http://theuptake.org/2011/03/05/michael-moore-the-big-lie-wisconsin-is-b roke/>
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Products like this are readily available and might be the easiest route for you to accomplish what you need and likely over time cost significantly less than a live lawn. http://www.sofsurfaces.com /
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You'll get a lot of overall good advice. I just want to make one IMPORTANT point: If you end up developing a lawn, DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN to play on the lawn if you use certain pesticides and fertilizers. Far too many parents do not realize how much **** the children crawling and tumbling on the grass pick up on their hands and transfer to their mouths. Not to mention entering through the skin.
HTH
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