grass, nettles, brambles

Coming back from a week away theres 3feet of grass in the garden, and stinging nettles and brambles.
If I leave the grass long, but cut back the nettles and brambles will the grass smother them so that next summer i can have a grass lawn?
(Most of my energy this summer will go on clearing the cellar and attic and drainage and roofs, not digging.)
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[george]

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George (dicegeorge) coughed up some electrons that declared:

From personal experience, probably not.

Evil chemicals such as a foliage applied weedkiller may be the answer, but the brambles will be harder. I noticed somethign in the garden centre the other day aimed as killing brambles but I cannot recall its name, sorry.
Cheers
Tim
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Too much phosphorus, hence the nettles and brambles. I'd try cutting them back and getting rid of the cuttings, same for the grass. Over time you'll eventually reduce the nutrient levels and you should have less trouble.
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Mixed or separate?

Cut the grass long to start with. As it thickens out, cut it progressively shorter. If the underlying grass is very thin (by which I mean large areas of bare soil with few actual grass shoots), here's a technique where you can leave some areas long (typically an uncut line) to go to seed, and it will help replant the thinned out areas. I was told about this probably ~30 years ago, but actually saw it being done in a field for the first time this year. Of course, you could explicitly reseed too; last couple of months have been perfect weather for this, but mid summer could be too dry without extra watering.
If the brambles and nettles are in the grass, they'll die out as you cut the lawn.
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Andrew Gabriel
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If you were away for a week, and the grass is now three feet long, it must have been 2 feet 11 inches long before you went. Maybe a regular (i.e. once a week) mowing plan would solve the problem. With regard to the nettles and brambles; they will die if you mow them regularly.
John
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John E wrote:

At this time of year 2" a week is not uncommon. As you say only grass and low lying weeds (dandelion,daisy, clover) survive regular mowing.
If you want really nice grass and not meadow grass, spray EVERYTHING with HEAVY OVERDOSE of glyphosate and then plant decent seed. You will have a sort of lawn by late summer. And a good one next year.
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There are selective sprays which are safe to use on grass. Grazon 90 MAPP no 13117? A mix of Clopyralid and Triclopyr manufactured by Dow. Not likely to be found at the DIY store.
regards

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Tim Lamb

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From personal experience, be extremely careful about using any killer with Clopyralid in it - it has an extremely long (relatively) decaying period and the cuttings from treated areas should be handled with great care. The guidance of 2 cuttings to be removed and further cuts to be composted for a minimum of 6-9 months is probably insufficient. There are areas in the US where its use on gardens is prohibited to avoid problems of cuttings entering the commercial composting/recycling chain. I could go one but suffice it to say that we lost a full year of potato, tomato and some bean crops in spite of following guidance rigorously.
Regards, Colin
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Colin Brook - Winchester (UK)
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Yes. I suppose the answer is to mulch the cuttings in situ rather than compost for use on potentially delicate plants.
I think this product is aimed at derelict areas where brambles and other woody plants are invading. Triclopyr on its own might not do the job (Starane) specifically Cleavers and then only when it is warm but read the labels:-)
Large numbers of farm chemicals have been withdrawn recently. Largely due to the cost of meeting the licence requirements and better products coming forward.
Ten years ago, I had to worry about whether cereal straw, incorporated in farmyard manure, was safe to supply to allotment holders.
regards
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Tim Lamb wrote:

One wonders whatever happened to that useful 50's tool, the flame gun.
Not only did it kill the plants, it killed annual seeds as well.
And gave you a years grace once the soil had been rotovated
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I still have one. Made the eyes water rather as does buying paraffin:-)
regards
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Tim Lamb

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George (dicegeorge) wrote:

No.
Just mow the lot. The nettles and brambles cant take it. The grass can and will.

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Absolutely amazed in this day and age to see anyone advocating the use of any garden chemicals. Especially for such routine use where normal hand methods and or mowing would suffice. Does nobody use a scythe or hand held sickle these days? I presume we are not talking about a big area (Maybe a quarter acre or less?) and the OP is not 80+ and infirm? And if chemicals used where does that polluted water go? Into ground water and eventually drinking water supplies! God knows what allergies and diseases our great grandchildren will have! Even rain-water these days is polluted! By note: We have to clear several acres of some 20+ years regrowth of alders and small coniferous trees, previously used for field crops and are thinking of renting or buying a rotary 'chain' 'Brush Cutter' driven by smallish (10 to 15HP) gasoline engine. Probably take a couple of weeks and involve some hand cutting and burning of the slash. But chemicals; no way the quality of the water available below our 6 to 7 acres and 'down the slope' to our neighbours some of whom use wells, would be impaired. There is a natural well near the top of the property shown to me by a now deceased relative, where they used to fill up to 'boil the kettle' back in the old days! Some 30-40 years ago, the land used to be a good place to pick blackberry, blueberry and partridge berries! Hoping that some have survived; and will regrow. Another reason not to pollute.
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