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clearing overgrown land
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culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 04 1:07 pm    Post subject: clearing overgrown land  Reply with quote    

not sure if this is the place to post this but...
We have a biggish garden and about a 35sq ft area at the bottom is massively overgrown with brambles etc.
We hack it down every spring but it is always overgrown again before you know it.
What is the best method of getting it under control and keeping it that way? We'd like to grow veg on it at some point.
Beyond that brambley bit is a litlle woody bit which we'd leave for the birds etc about 20 by 20 on 2 sides but triangular and quite dark people often chuck their rubbish over into it and into the poor lady next doors garden too.
Ant suggestions gratefully received

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44142
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 04 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Depends how organic you are, if you don't mind using glyphosate then hack it all down and a couple of applications should do it, and it breaks down in the soil.

culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 04 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks will give that a go!
Would like to be organic but would rather start with a patch of mud which is a lot less daunting.
Did have it all vegetables when we first moved in as the last owner left his rotovator for us but it got stolen and we never managed to dig the whole lot with spades (hubby worked nights and I had two toddlers) so the mud got smaller and the weeds got bigger.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44142
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 04 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Once you've got it cleared make beds, 4 foot beds with 1 foot paths (of anything, slabs, bark, grass etc) will make it a lot easier to manage rotation and you won't compact the soil in normal management either.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 04 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds a bit like our garden when we moved in. I cut down most of the brambles, keeping a few good plants for blackberries. As the soil is light and chalky the rest were quite easy to dig out. If you don't have a shredder then a hacked pile of brambles will rot down if you have a spare corner. I wouldn't add them to a compost heap if there are woody.

On the other hand nettle tops make excellent compost, any roots will need to be left out or dried very well. I've done my best to encourage nettles into our garden, just goes to show how poor the soil is as it's taken three years to get any.

culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 04 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have plenty of Nettles
Also deadly nightshade ,vetch,fingers and thumbs and lords and ladies. There are a few trees at the bottom in the wild bit ,mostly bird cherry and hawthorn and loads of Ivy under the trees.
Would love to get back to the veggies though,it used to give such a feeling of satisfaction to go down the garden and get most of the dinner

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 04 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

culpepper wrote:
We have plenty of Nettles
Also deadly nightshade ,vetch,fingers and thumbs and lords and ladies.


Nettles make a good liquid feed I'm told. Have you got deadly nightshade (plump black fruits about the size of a small grape) or a nightshade which has smaller fruits? Deadly nightshade is one of the few plants I would be careful of with children as the fruits look very appetising.

culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 04 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The nightshade berries are about as big as a cherry stone and black.Flowers are white.Luckily we had flower books including the flower fairies books when the children were young so they knew not to touch fairly early on.They're both teens now and we dont have any little realtives who might wander down there. Too many head high nettles and brambles to make it inviting anyway.

deerstalker



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 589

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 04 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you intend to destroy the nightshade, please keep some seeds for me. I am involved in a number of local conservation projects where belladonna used to grow.

Due to persecution the plant is now very rare around here indeed, and we need a source for reintroduction.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 04 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Deerstalker wrote:
If you intend to destroy the nightshade, please keep some seeds for me. I am involved in a number of local conservation projects where belladonna used to grow.

Due to persecution the plant is now very rare around here indeed, and we need a source for reintroduction.


I bet you are trying to use it as make-up.

I certainly don't mean remove it, just for people to be careful with it if children who are not that aware of wild plants see it. It's a lovely plant but the berries can look nice but are very poisonous.

I have seen a few plants about in the last couple of years.

culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 04 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Deerstalker wrote:
If you intend to destroy the nightshade, please keep some seeds for me. I am involved in a number of local conservation projects where belladonna used to grow.

Due to persecution the plant is now very rare around here indeed, and we need a source for reintroduction.


Any idea when seeds are gatherable?
will send some on when they are

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44142
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 04 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Look at that, signed up 4 days and a conservation volunteer already

deerstalker



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 589

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 04 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

culpepper wrote:

Any idea when seeds are gatherable?
will send some on when they are


Atropa belladonna flowers from June to August, so it may well still have fruit.

If this is the case collect up as many of the fruit as you can and store them in a dry warm place until they can be posted.

PM me for my address, and I will of course, cover all your postage charges (wear gloves when picking ).

An interesting point is rabbits are immune to atropine and will eat the plant. It is said however, that the flesh from rabbits that have fed on belladonna has poisoned its consumer.

culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 04 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

well went down there yesterday and couldnt find any berries at all.We've had a few frosts So may all have been destroyed.
Will have to wait for the next lot.
If we dont find any in ours,Im sure my neighbour will let us look in hers as it is just as overgrown.
Im not sure if thet were white now as looking at pictures on the net, they are purple with a yellow centre which looks very familiar.
Thought it might be too late this year.

culpepper



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Kent
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 05 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've been clearing away now for 3 weeks.Mostly me but OH and kids have been helping,now and again.
I chopped the brambles,nettles etc down with a grass hook and some shears and have been digging away to get the roots out .
Im mostly using a pick axe for the digging as im much more an arms person than a leg person.We've now got an area 15 by 25 dug over and will carry on till its done.
Cant find a single deadly nightshade plant though so doesnt look like I'll be able to save any berries after all.

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