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I have just inherited a plot of land that is completely overgrown with nettles and brambles, and the old breeze block shed on the site is covered in Ivy. I have read the articles on getting rid of the Ivy which have been very useful. Does any one out there know how how to get rid of half an acre of stinging nettles and brambles

Thanks, do I need to reduce the jungle prior to spraying or should I spray as it is now?

I try to be organic but do think there is a place in some situations, when non organic methods are called for and clearing half an acre of brambles and nettles is one of those situations in my book. Half an acre sounds alot of land to dig over

There is a weedkiller which farmers use to clear fields but I'm sorry I don't know what it's called. It can be purchased in farm supply stores in small quantities. I don't think you'd find it at your local GC. It's apparently very effective and starts taking effect within days.   

I'm probably wrong but don't think it can be purchased for domestic use but if your plot is agricultural land that would be different.

Sorry, not very helpful, but I'm sure someone will be long shortly to give a better answer.    

Looks like we posted at the same time Buddyboy

Thanks for the advice now going to take a look at eBay I guess the product description will give me amounts to use etc so if I can get the rest of the prickles out of my fingers by the time it arrives I should be able to get to work


Not got half an acre let alone an acre like Smokin has but his post is exactly how I clear ground.  Cleared large areas on a friend's 6 acre plot.  It had brambles, ivy, nettles, bindweed, Coltsfoot , plus varieties of planted mint, comfrey etc  etc. (I actually removed large Leylandii,,sycamores and the like by hand ...where I got the strength  from I don't  know ....but the swearing, cursing and threats helped )

There is nothing like physically digging over land ...if you can.  Weedkillers are far more effective when the foliage is hacked back first.  

Yes, a regular bonfire on site and persistence.  I found a heavy duty lawn mower with blades set high very effective too.  Hacking back tall woody stuff first, raking back, adding to bon fire pile and usIng the mower.  Very, very satisfying to see the clearing ground 

So far an orchard, a veg plot, an ornamental garden, a greenhouse, pond, arches, seats, patio, shrubbery, etc have replaced the wilderness.  To come is the "quarry", an area that is huge, overgrown but totally sheltered from all winds.  Frost possibly a prob but I don't think so as the site overlooks St. Michael's Mount and the bay.  Exciting possibilities. 


No wonder you need lots of donuts Verdun  


Pros don't have much time to faff around, that's true

Some of them don't even have time to think about what they're doing before they act.



Pushkin, I'd cut everything right back with a strimmer or whatever you have available that does a similar job, clear that away, and then apply heavy duty weedkiller when the new growth is around a couple of feet so that it takes it up thoroughly. Nettles aren't so bad to deal with, but trying to use it on huge amounts of  woody brambles will just mean using a lot more than necessary. Don't give yourself more work than you need to  - it'll be hard enough! What you do after that depends largely on what you intend using the area for. 

How very true nut - like the ones who decimated every shrub and tree on my sister's boundary.....

Thanks every one you have all been most helpful. This is the first time I have ever used a computer for something like this, I went to school with a slide rule and a book of tables, it's amazing how we can share an interest and help each other. I will let you know how I get on.

once again thanks to all.


ps any further advice and ideas welcome


Did you use a chalk on a piece of slate too Pushkin? That's a running joke in my family! 

I remember slide rules and tables - kids would laugh at that now ...

Good luck with your brambles - perhaps you could get the best of them and pick them first


Being a mere woman, I'm not allowed to use the chain saw, brushcutter, and various other mechanised implements we have. I'm dangerous with a wheelbarrow.   The wood next door is permanently threatening to encroach. I find a good pair of loppers invaluable, along with leather gauntlets. I would cut as much as possible with loppers, rake it off and burn.  I have a neverbend root breaker, that is good for root extraction on brambles.  To get rid of perennial weeds I would then spray everything that regrows with glyphosate. . Then fork over the land, keeping anything you havn't got time for under black plastic or layers of cardboard, or even old carpets.

No quick solutions, but it will give you a blank canvas to start from.


I think we have to assume a certain degree of common sense, competence and the ability of a poster to fully acquaint themselves with a site and employ professional help if they decide the job is beyond them after they've researched the necessary techniques. After all, a careless prod with a crowbar could hit an unexploded bomb.


Ha,  assume makes an ass  of u and me.  LOL.

Where the general public are at large, I never assume anything. I once got asked for hydrochloric acid for washing lettuce to get rid of the bugs.!!!!!

Buddyboy thanks for your concerns I fully appreciate them. The brambles and bushes are as you guessed almost head height. I had taken advice from my brush utter supplier at the weekend and I can assure you that I lost a pound on two in perspiration today wearing all if the safety kit he sold me. We are doing "surveys" of narrow strips of the land figuring out what's in each strip before we attack it with the brush cutter on a couple of occasions we have had to remove an old gate and a fence post before we went in. 

As I stated earlier the advice given has been marvellous and I thank you for your concerns. I do hope other members have found this useful as well .

i would urge any one else using this advice to make sure that they use the correct footwear,eye protection and gloves before taking on a task like this.

one small tip from me " the old brambles are horrendous all the gloves I tried were rubbish then I found a pair of welder gloves in a friend shed, thick leather/suede that come halfway up your forearm,used them on tuesday and wend out and bought a pair this morning best £19 I've spent so far on this project


You have obviously got it sussed, pushkin.

Lots of hard work ahead, but I hope you reap the rewards, and wish you good luck .

If the land grows good weeds, at least you know it is fertile.


don't use carpets, they have chemical that leach into the ground.

What I've done in the past is cut everything down to the ground -  don't bother raking up - cover  everything with a double layer of corrugated cardboard and then bury in at least 4 inches of organic matter - compost, manure, grass cuttings - anything to hold the cardboard down (the more the better, I once buried a plot under 14 inches of half rotted manure, the planting in the spring was brilliant!) then in the spring you can deal with the few pernicious weeds that force their way thru! 

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