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Not sure if this is in the right place (many apologies if it's not - I am new to this). Basically, myself and my other half have agreed to sort out the garden for his mum. If I had the money, I'd have hired in a professional. However, I don't have the money - but I do have the time to fix it. Trouble is, we have no idea on how to do any of this stuff. We can mow the lawn. And I can dig stuff up. But we have no clue on planting things, getting them to actually grow, removing tricky evil weeds or any of that stuff.
Can anyone point us to any threads that might be of use to us in this endeavour? We're very enthusiastic, but we simply don't have a clue! (We're 20, they don't teach this stuff at school. =( )
Thank you in advance!
Hi Eri At this time of the year I would just tidy it up. No point in trying to move anything or do anything major as it is too warm now. Weeding would be a good place to start. Evil weeds....which aren't?! lol. The worst bindweed, horsetail and ground elder. Google to see if you have to deal with any of these. After that dandelions, dock and thistle. These all have long roots and you need to dig right down to remove all the root or they will just come back again. If you don't have time to dig them all out at least remove any flowers so they cannot seed. Remove weeds round plants and shrubs first then worry about other areas.
Now would also be a good time to remove spent flowers from plants. Posting any pictures would be helpful so we know what you have growing. Good luck and get stuck in! ....Oh and water!!!!!!
most of us on this forum are self taught...learned...still learning...as we went along. wish I had a forum like this though when I started cos it would have helped me avoid some expensive mistakes.
Sorting out a garden is not really complicated...if you have time that is the most important requirement
Firstly, can you say something about the garden? its size, the type of soil...does it get boggy in the winter or is it sandy and dry out quickly in the summer?. Next to decide what is already there, what you want to keep, what you cant move.
At some stage before you actually plant things you will need to do a PH test...its a simple thing to do. go to a garden centre and get a PH tester, very cheap, and the instructions will tell you what sort of soil you have as far as growing plants is concerned. This bit is when you have cleared your garden etc.so not something to consider right now
Clearing weeds? What state are the weeds in? are they huge, totally covering the garden? are they perennial weeds....like bramble, etc? Perennial weeds can be sprayed to kill them and then the ground can be dug over. All roots binned to discard, big stones removed. The ground needs to be cleared and clean and levelled. I actually enjoy this process as you can see the great progress you are making.
So, the size of the garden and the state it is in please Eri, and then concentrate on clearing it out. Once your garden is clean you can decide what you want to use it for, a lawn at all? plants etc and a place to sit?
When it comes to the design ask us again. you will get loads of conflicting advice but mine will be the best.....ha ha
Hi Eri, you've already been given some excellent advice on this so all I'll add is to remember to take a digital camera with you and take and upload pictures of anything you aren't sure about. Folk on this forum love identifying mystery plants, shrubs and weeds and are very good at it! Once you have a positive ID, it is very easy to google for more information, although folk here will usually provide that "in spades".
Hello again everyone!
Thank you very much for all the advice, you are very kind. It has been really helpful. =) We did some work on it today (removed some stinging nettles, mowed the lawn, amazed at the difference that lawn mowing can make!) and it was really rather fun.
Definitely happy to just tidy it up for the time being. Will keep you all posted if I find anything odd (and believe me, this is VERY likely!). Thank you very much for being so welcoming.
I found a long-lost Ford Sierra and a Mark 2 Escort when clearing my garden. That's how bad the brambles were!! Now just waiting for OH to take off the bits he wants to keep for fixing his 'classic' (banger) Escort, then I can get the local scrap man to take the rest away.
Do it a bit at a time, and it will all come good in time. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew, and the tip about the photos is a good one. Wish I'd taken one before I started, to remind me just how far I've come.
Eri- taking pix is a great way of 'seeing' the plot and you also get a lot of satisfaction from the changes you make which keeps you motivated for the next stage. Sometimes you feel you've slogged your guts out and not made much of a difference, but if you have a before and after you'll see the changes.
Great tips guys, will whack out the digital camera! I shall probably have a few things that need identifying, so I shall post more in different threads. =D Thanking you for all your help.
I'd go with all the advice given above, the most important of which is "Do it a bit at a time". That way, not only does the work keep your interest hooked on but also plays well with your body / spine (which are well put to the test). I recently revamped quite a bit in my garden (lopping trees, fence replacement, shed removal, summerhouse roof fixing, rotovating.. the list goes on - not all by myself I hasten to add). The following pointers helped me
1. Make a list of top 10 things to do + bits and bobs.
2. Sequence them : This identifies the top priority job so that there is minimal re-work (e.g. it'd be heartening to see your new lawn rampaged by builders / tree surgeons clearing up). The bits and bobs can be "plugged in" when you don't have the luxury of a lot of time or energy
3. Youtube it : Plenty of stuff around for inspiration
4. Planting : browse through some good GardMags + Books for inspiration.
Most importantly, work WITH the area and not Against it. Best not to start from a blank canvas just yet
And when you reach the logical end (say Sep / Oct) make a note of what worked, what didn't, what you really liked doing, what you hated.