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I've just inherited a large patch of space behind my existing garden. String clearing the vast amount of weeds. This includes mass's of nettles and thorns, long grass and just general weeds. What can I do to eradicate all of the weeds and thorns to turn into a veg plot? 


Depends if you want to use weedkillers or not. I would spray the lot with glyphosate. It takes a little time to work as the plants absorb it through the leaves into the roots, but you can plant afterwards as it doesn't stay in the soil. Then rake the dead weeds off, then dig or rotovate the plot. But  there are weeds like bindweed, if you rotovate be careful that the roots are removed beause if they are chopped up it will make more plants.

Hiya mrgreengiant

If you don't mind using a,weedkiller, I would cut off,all the top growth of weeds.....if level you can push a mower over it.  Then wait a week or so for new growth and spray with glyphosate.  Give it 3 weeks and start,digging your ground.....remove perennial roots but turn in....trench and bury....the grass, annual weeds etc face down.  Then level by firming and raking.  Scatter fertilizer, rake it in and plant up few days later.  Simples!  Good luck

Morning busy lizzie....similar advice I think ....not a great advocate of the rotovator though! 


Hello Verdun, It depends how much time and energy you have. I love my rotovater as my garden is too big and it saves me so much work, it's so easy to use. But I will admit that digging is best.


You just love your garden tools busy.  I guess if I had one I would use it....maybe!

That's great guys and gals. Thank you...its an on going project, but will be worth it in the end. X



We lost the use of an allotment because we had it rotovated - it was a mass - we were not aware - of mares tail.  All got chopped up, with the docks and other perennials, then each and eery piece grew a new plant in an amazingly short time - it became a write off as the mares tail meshed, the ground elder went over that mass and then the brambles came through - enough was enough & we stopped. 


Oh dear Bookertoo, sounds horrendous. But that's why you use glyphosate first. When I rotovate now I weed first and I pick up any stray weeds it throws up. The professional firm who made my main lawn didn't spray and they rotavated without removing any weeds and all the couch grass, creeping buttercup and cinquefoil crept back into the flowerbeds.


Depends on how fast you want the land cleared.

Quickest method but back breaking. Hand fork out all roots, and then plant. Check regularly for any bits of weed left which will grow and hand pull.

Quick method.  spray everything with glyphosate. Fork out anything left after a month. you need a calm day to spray, and dry weather for 24 hours after.

Slow easy method.  Cover everything with as much organic matter as you can get hold of. Farm yard manure, grass clippings, compost, sheets of cardboard, cover with thick black plastic or old  synthetic carpet, and leave for a year and the worms will do it all for you. This method was used a lot at Ryton gardens when they first opened.


It is all a matter of time and effort, easiest is to cover the whole lot, cut the light for 12 months will see off just about everything. If I was in your position I'd prob do what fidgetbones said for the slow easy method. Once it's all covered up, buy a load of grow bags and recycle containers or buy large pots, and grow stuff on top of the covering. Can grow salad crops etc in grow bags no problem. Then next spring, take the cover off, dig plot over and you are ready to start. Good luck.

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