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Hi This is my first post so please bear with me. I have recently moved house and now have the pleasure of owning a large polytunnel already set up with beds and filtration system. Outside of this are two beds with some sort of wood and wire structure and plants growing up them.

You may have guessed I am a total beginner and do not have a clue where to start. Both areas are quite overgrown with nettles as well. Do I dig it all out and start from scratch or do I try and salvage what is there? If I did everything out is it best to weed kill due to the nettles and does this affect future growing in the beds if I have used weedkiller??

I hope someone can give me advice on where to start




Hi Louise and welcome 

We love trying to help - can you take some photos and post them on here to give us a few more clues?  If you save the photos to your pc then click on the picture of a tree that appears in the toolbar when you start to write a reply, it's fairly simple - even I can do it - but if it all goes wrong someone on here will help 

Thanks dovefromabove I will see what I can do much appreciated


You will find that nettles are probably all connected. They spread by runners, thick yellow roots running under the surface. When you start to dig them out you will be able to trace these runners and remive the worst of the problem. It may take a year to remove the weed problem though. I would suggest trying potatoes in the outside beds as these can out compete a lot of weeds. Inside the tunnel I would go for glyphosate then dig over the soil.

These are pictures of inside of the polytunnel and the beds outside hope this helps.









sorry googled and now know its a weedkiller, how long after using glyphosate do you need to wait before you can grow things again?


Glyphosate inactivates when it touches the soil - you only spray it on the weed leaves, which absorb it.  It then kills the whole plants, roots and all.  As soon as the weeds have died and gone brown you can remove them and plant immediately.

What a wonderful resource you have in that large polytunnel, Louise - I'd love one that size!


Glyphosate takes about 3 weeks for the weeds to die. The weeds absorb it through the leaves and then it kills the roots. It doesn't rest in the soil so when the weeds are gone you can grow things straight away.

That all looks almost professional and a lot for a beginner. Don't try to do it all at once. Nettles may take more than one go to get rid of. If you want to grow something straight away you could grow some tomatoes in the tunnel and clear a raised bed or two for growing something you like.

I think it would be a good idea to buy a good book on gardening. Amazon would have some at reasonable prices. It's a big subject and confusing at first. Also think wht you would like to grow and "Google" it for advice.

Thanks for that Bob sounds like I have a starting point. I am totally not green fingered so I having to learn fast. It does seem that it could be a great resource in the right hands hopefully if I spend some time on it and learn as I go I can do it justice

Thanks busy-lizzie, books were my next port of call but there has been quite a bit of growth over the last few days and the research and advice I had already received was very mixed. So I thought this would be a great place for advice


Gardening Grandma

What a fabulous problem to have, Louise! It does look a lot, and you might find it best to cultivate part of it. But what a wonderful retreat when the weather is not great, with plenty of room to create a place to sit and maybe somewhere to study the gardening books and lake notes, plant seeds and pot on, as well as storage. A gardener's heaven, in fact! I wish you the best with it. If you get the gardening bug, you'll have a lovely time in there. I'm so jealous! With all that space, too, you might find a neighbouring gardener who would be only too glad to help in exchange for the use of some of that space. Sadly, I'm too far away!

wow what a fantastic poly tunnel your so lucky! i would start to clear it a bit at a time by just digging over and removing weeds.Or you could use weedkiller on it all.Once cleared you could maybe concentrate on a small area and cover the rest with black plastic or old carpet to stop weeds growing.As its so big it may be too much to use all the space this first year if your new to gardening. Salad crops are easy for a beginer Lettuce and raddish ect.The ouside beds look like they could be rasberrys,but cant realy tell a close up photo might show then better.Once you start you will get the bug  good luck and keep us up to date .




Lo5; what a great garden, it will be so much fun getting it up and running

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