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1 8th November 03:23
mike tickle
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (morning)

I have just moved to the new house and there is a 7m x 9m plot at the back
of the garden that belongs to us. Sadly for years this has been left and is
filled with rubble, weeds, nettles, brambles and blackberry bushes (and
something else with red tubers/roots.
I have managed to stack the rubble in a corner (awaiting mini skip) and
remove all the surface weeds (happily burning away in an incinerator I
borrowed from my new neighbour).
So now for the questions...
Is it worth getting a weed lance/flame gun/blow torch on a long pole type
thing to burn of what's left on the surface?
I have started double digging the plot (very hard work) and taking out the
weed roots as I go. There are lots of bits of root left - 2" bits of them
that have been cut while I have been digging. Is it OK to leave them in the
ground or will these bits of root turn in to next years weeds? If so will
renting a rotovator/cultivator help or make things worse? Does the fact it
has been dry of late help as it will dry out the exposed bits of root, or is
the rain that's coming going to kick start the weed growing process.

At the moment I am double digging as the roots go that deep and a rotovator
does not (16cm for the one I have seen). Are there any simpler options? I
am avoiding chemicals as in spring this will be my veg plot (if I get it
ready in time) - but is this just my lack of knowledge - are there
weedkillers that will kills the nettles and brambles but allow me to plan in

On the prevention side - we back out on to a bit of land that has brambles
on it so I was going to line under the back fence with a damp proof liner to
stop the weed roots form coming through. Is there any thing more I can do?
Is there any way to stop the weeds I have disturbed coming back with a
vengeance next year?
I am considering raised beds (since the soil is mostly clay and the plot is
on a slope) if the roots are buried deep enough will that stop them, or will
it just take longer?

And looking forward - if you had a 9x7m veg plot that faces east (with a
chain link fence at the east end so it is not in the shade in the morning
and a lattice fence on the west side so it can catch the evening sun until
it goes behind the house) what would you plant (remembering the problem with
the clay)?


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2 8th November 03:25
franz heymann
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (little)

I doubt it. It is the roots of the perennial weeds you have to get at.

You will not get them all out in one go, try though you may.
Wait for the next growing season and then give the reborn weeds a birthday
treat of glyphosate. When correctly applied, that will kill the roots off
without doing any known permanent harm to the soil.

That would simply help distribute bits and pieces of viable weed remnants
like stems and roots.

Yes. Any glyphosate-based weedkiller like Roundup. It attacks *only* via
the leaves and you can use it amongst growing plants, as long as you
studiously avoid wetting the leaves of desirable plants.


Good luck with getting your new plot going.

By the way, any little areas which you do not intend using immediately will
clear themselves of weeds if you cover them with black polythene for a whole
season, provided that you attend immediately to any weed roots which might
find themselves reaching the edges in their search for light. Very few
plants can stay alive for a whole growing season without any light.

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3 8th November 03:47
jaques daltrades
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Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (black)

The message <UMPeb.6499$>
from "Mike Tickle" <> contains these words:


It depends on how soon you *MUST* get started. Or to put it another way,
how impatient you are.

My advice would be to put on it all your weedings, lawnmowings etc, with
as much vegetable matter as you can cadge from greengrocers, etc.

Interleave with newspaper, cardboard, fresh horse, cow or whatever
manure, sprinkle some sharp sand amongst it and cap with bales of straw.

Give the straw as much urine as you can reasonably provide, and come the
end of *NEXT* summer, lay old woollen carpet over it, and cover the lot
with builders' black polythene membrane.

Weight this down round the edges, make a few holes in the top and place
some of that rubble you were going to throw away by the holes so a
funnel is formed and some rainwater can get in, andleave the hard work
to the earthworms.

This will delay your plot by a year, but you'll have good workable
ground the following one, and the bed will be raised.

What more could you want? Yes, all right, but that doesn't grow in the garden.

Rusty Hinge
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4 8th November 04:19
dave painter
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (black)


Not really, it is the roots you want to get at.

The bits may/will regrow depending on what they are so a rotovator will make the problem worse.

SBK/Roundup and a couple of brushwood killers will work on the more woody nettles and brambles.

Yes cover the ground with old carpet.
Or thick layer of newspaper/cardboard (no glossy magazines)
Black polythene
'Mulch mat'

Keep the light out. Lift it weekly and pull the weeds out.
They will be weak sickly things, the ground will be moist and crumbly,
easy job.

Plant lots of spuds through in holes in the cover, breaks the ground up nicely.

Depends, nettles should stay buried,
brambles tend to come up regardless, (In my neck of the woods anyway)

Start with a mix of different potatoes.
Some nice sald earlies, a maincrop, couple of the 'exotics' (Pink fir apple
f'r instance)

Uses a lot of ground,
helps to break the soil up.
Gives you time to see what works for you

PS ask your local seedsman/allotment holders what spuds grow well in your
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5 8th November 04:20
martin brown
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (flowers)

In message <UMPeb.6499$>, Mike
Tickle <> writes

You can generally clear that sort of patch in a season. But I'd suggest
you concentrate your firepower on the parts nearest the house and get
some parts perfect so that you can plant a crop or flowers next year.

Spuds can cope with pretty ropey conditions on newly reclaimed land.

Not really. Noisy polluting things that add dioxins to your land.

Depends what the weeds are. If you have any of the annoying perennial
weeds that will regrow from tiny pieces of root it could be a disaster
to rotovate too soon. Know your enemy.

Difficult one. Dry clay is far too hard and tough, wet clay is almost
unworkable and sticks to everything. There is a narrow band where it is
just hard work.

Yes. Glyphosate. It is relatively short lived and kills anything green
it touches. The only problem is that to work the plants must be actively
growing. Its a bit late in the season now to use it effectively.

You can even spot weed with it in between growing plants if you are

Brambles are fairly shallow rooted. I wouldn't bother. I train mine
along the fence. Bramble pie isn't too bad by way of compensation for
the thorns.

Depends what they are. I prefer to use a combined method of weaken them
all with glyphosate and then dig out the deep rooted stuff.

Clay is good fertile soil. On a slope drainage should be OK.

You can more or less grow what you like, but spuds, onions, beans,
lettuce and courgettes are all fairly easy and rewarding to grow. Spud,
courgette and marrow will out compete most weeds once they get going.

Cane fruit and apples do very well on my clay soil.

Martin Brown
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6 8th November 04:34
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (three)

SNIPmeister strikes again.

You know the old saying about There being only two things certain in life,
ie death and taxes?

Well for gardeners these are immediately followed by three others.

Weeds, catcrap, and slugs/snails.

The weeds will come back as the perennial ones will root from the tiny bits
you've left in the ground as you've already discovered. Also the seeds that
you've turned over with the soil will germinate, providing you with a new
batch of annual weeds. And don't forget that whilst the weather may be too
hot too cold too windy or too wet or too dry for whatever you're trying to
grow, there is no weather that is unsuitable for weeds.

When you do clear the ground and it's nice and friable, here come the cats.
they love it when you dig.

And finally, when whatever you plant/sow does come up, here come the s&s.

We must be gluttons for punishment. :-((

Keep at it, the end results are worth it. :-))

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7 8th November 04:52
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden

I've certainly not seen them go down more than a couple of feet.

Steve Harris - Cheltenham - Real address steve AT netservs DOT com
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8 8th November 05:13
mike tickle
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (apple)

Thr front garden (mostly laid to grass but with boarders and a bit of soil
in the middle) is OK - just needs some plants in there.
The back garden up to the veg plot is all grass (asside from a small patio
area outside the back door). In spring I intend to edge the grass with
I am guessing to make these nice should not take too much effort as they
have had plants in them before.

I grew spuds the year before last and was dissapointed - they took up a huge
area (copared to say the carrots) and did not crop much. It was ahrd work
digging them out of solid clay and I managed to get my fork stuck in to
nearly every spud :-(

The weeds are mainly brambes and nettles. Some bits of grass that I am not
too worried about and something with a red root/tuber.

I think that is the state it is in. Hard work but do-able. My old house
the clay was so bad it was eiter baked like a rock or it just stuck to
everythign - there was no in between.

The plan is to carry on double digging (if my back, legs and arms don't give
up). Then depending on the finished texture I might borrow a rotovator from
a friend (whois borowwing it form a friend...) and get a nice crumbly
Then in early spring I will use Glyphosate on anything that has come back
up. Then I will give a light digging over before planting. Anything that
then pops up can be attacked with a how until this time next year when I can
re-assess the situation.

I might give that a try.

This year I grew carrots (in a box), lettuce (in a box), courgettes,
tomatoes, peppers. Last year I grew corn, but was not impressed. I also
grew spuds (as mentioned above).
The tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and courgetts grew really well and will be on
the menu again next season. I think I might grow some beans and/or peas as
well. Also plan to speak to the neighbours and see what they think grows

I might consider an apple tree in the man bit of the garden. Any particular


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9 8th November 05:22
dave painter
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (three)


Whole new thread opens up here! LOL

Choose a root stock with care, they come in different varieties to give
sized and strength trees. You can get a selection of different apples
grafted to your basic rootstock
AFAIK the limit is three different, so you can have an early cropper a late
cropper and possibly
a cooker too. Check one of the fruit tree producers in the gardening
You need to consider pollination and what your neighbours have (if anything)
to get a sensible

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10 8th November 05:22
dave painter
External User
Posts: 1
Default clearing waste land to plant new veg garden (apple)


Again, look at your varieties.
I grow on clay and some work others don't
Pink fir apple grew like a weed in Hampshire for me. Here in Shropshire it
a lot more restrained but still worth growing.

Ask around what works for others.

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