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We've been given a grant to turn some wasteland into a wildflower area. Unfortunately this has to be done by July 2014, so we don't have time to dig etc. The area is covered with nettles (well, the ground's fertile), bindweed and twitch as well as other choice specimens. The wildflowers aren't strong enough to compete with these bullies, so the have to go.
Good strong glyphosphate seems the best bet, it should get rid of most things at the moment, I don't know how many times we'll have to apply it to get rid of the deep rooted nettles, and I don't think I'll even try with the horseradish (I know when I'm facing impossible odds- or do I?).
The problem I see are the seeds, the nettles are full of seed, and I hate to think what the bindweed has to offer us. Will the glyphospate kill seeds that are still on the plant? Or should I try to cut down and bag all the stems with seeds before using glyphospate? Or perhaps glyphospate then use une of those flamethrower weeders to kill the seeds. Or both. I really don't relish wading in with secateurs!
Difficult when you have a time limit. If you can get the weedkiller on right away you might be ok but if the nettles are already starting to seed it might be better to cut the seed heads off and then apply weedkiller, which works better when there's a decent amount of growth to put it on. You probably won't get everything on one application anyway.
Yes, I'm afraid it'll be more than one application of glyphospate. I'm very inclined to glyphosphate then use the flamethrower. And then glyphospate again when the new growth appears.
I'm a bit worried about the bindweed, it's going right up the nearby hedge like a sheet, covering completely up to about 12ft. Cut as low down as possible and glyphosphate? I can't see what else to do.
I have sprayed bindweed with glyphosate when it's completely coverd plants and got away with it. Don't use so much spray it drips through onto the hedge. The more growth you have to spray with glyphosate the better.
Use the glyphosate now and it should kill most of the top growth but still leave time for new growth to come from surviving roots and any seeds that germinate in the warmth and damp of September. You can then apply glyphosate again to kill the new growth. It takes two weeks for the prodcut to do its job and get to the roots and then another couple of weeks will be needed for germination and regrowth to show through so you need to get at it asap.
You will probably need to do another spraying, or even two, in spring as some roots will inevitably survive or creep through from next door or arrive by seeds on the wind or birds so make sure you sow your wild flower seeds in trays in plugs so they get a head start and are good, sturdy little plants by thetime the gorund is ready to put them in. This will give better results than just sowing seed if you can't clear the ground completely by digging and raking.