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Well, it's not a garden yet. I put many hours in last summer to clear the landfill site that came with the house. I cleared it back to plan soil, but then it was Winter.

Now it's a jungle out there. I want to kill everything quickly. I haven't the time to dig everythign up root by roots again. Once it's all gone - and won't come back - I want to create a lawn. I can wait while chemicals kill everything if I have to.

Can anyone advise? The only thing that sounds viable so far is salt. But I don't have the means to transport or spread salt everywhere. I'd be happy to employ someone, but so far everyone who's looked doesn't seem to know anything about anything. "Rotivator" comes up every time, which is obviously not going to work.

Thanks in advance.


Salt sounds like a bad idea, it will stay in the soil and kill anything you plant subsequently.  Glyphosphate is probably your best bet - or exclude light with old carpet or black plastic for a season.


I certainly would rotivate as that will more than likely spread all the stuff you don't want further round the garden. I'd go with the old carpet, cut out the light which will make most things die off and then you can dig up anything leftover. Look round all the local skips where building work is going on and you can often pick up old carpet for free.

I appreciate you want the whole job done quickly but you might find it better to do a part of the garden, get that sorted and just keep knocking back the rest of the jungle until you can get that done


Don't rotivate! I personally wouldn't use carpet but plastic is readily available if you don't want to use weedkiller. Carpet often contains lots of chemicals which apparently leach into the soil but if you're not planting edibles I dare say it's fine.

Morning david

NO....don't use salt.  

NO to rotovator

Glyphosate is best and easiest solution.  Can you hack down the worst of the weeds etc.....maybe level enough to,hack and then run a lawn mower over it?  Then wait week or so for new weed regrowth and spray with glyphosate.  Come September I would dig and turn in....trench in.....the top dead and dying folIage putting it in upside down.  

When everything is clean and buried just level. Walk....heel....and rake, walk and rake and walk and rake again. Mid  September is good time to sow seed so,if you started the whole process soon your lawn will be germinating in late September.  

Lawn preparation and sowing is very therapeutic and satisfying.  I love doing it


David. Slow down dear. I feel a hernia coming on. Gardening is not about getting to the finish line. There never is one. It's about enjoying yourself and thinking about an ongoing challenge. Best wishes.


No to rotovator while weeds are alive. It will chop up roots which will grow into more weeds. I would do as Verdun says and spray with Glyphosate. Then when weeds are well dead (may need spraying twice for persitant perennial weeds) it depends how much energy you have and how big the area is. If you can manage it then dig and rake etc, but if it's too much then rotovate and rake etc.

No salt.

i had a similar issue down the allotment i strimmed down , burnt the tops with a flame burner then covered over with old carpet , i then dug over in small stages....good luck


Don't go to war, you'll lose the war and you'll lose interest. Work with it, a bit at a time, as suggested above

Fairygirl wrote (see)

Don't rotivate! I personally wouldn't use carpet but plastic is readily available if you don't want to use weedkiller. Carpet often contains lots of chemicals which apparently leach into the soil but if you're not planting edibles I dare say it's fine.

Sorry Fairy but I am sure there are far less chemicals in a synthetic carpet than there is in glyphosate. Its the cocktail of ingredients needed to make the glyphosate stick to the weeds that is awful affecting humans as well as wildlife.

David stick to the carpet/plastic idea. Do not use poison on a large area please.

So how do I cover the jungle in weed killer? The area is about 6m x 7m. What about the trimmed stems which have no leaves. Will Glyphosphate work on those? Wouldn't I want something that does leak into the soil to increase the exposure to the roots - even if it's bad for the soil?

I like the black plastic idea too. 


Simple answer has already been given-spray with glyphosate twice if needed-let it all die back and rot down-which it will- then prepare for lawn sowing or turf September/October

6x7 is not that big an area-black plastic look awful-where is the water going to go anyway?

It gets a bit tiresome having to defend the use of chemicals-that is personal decision-there is a lot of unjustified scare -mongering-not all a bad-boys and have their uses.



Everyone has their opinion on the poisons subject and everyone is entitled to that opinion. If it's tiresome to defend one's own opinion then don't do it.


There is also the fact that glyphosate may kill what is there but it won't stop more weed seeds turning up and germinating. Covering really is the best bet tho not necessarily the quickest way to deal with it. As others have said take your time 


Sorry..just hate the Carpet idea.  It looks damn awful, encourages pests and just stops time.  Or even plastic cover.

Get in there. Dig. Clean.  Feel the soil.  Understand your soil......see if its heavy, light, etc. etc.  glyphosate won't work on stems or works on green leaves which absorb the chemical.  The idea is to use it just to clear your garden then you can be as organic as you like.  Mowing too keeps further weeds at bay.

I agree that 6 x 7 is not a huge area.  And creating a lawn is great fun with a little hard work to keep you fit!

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