Killing weeds

Alps

Well-known Member
Guys, I'm no gardener at all so need some advice please.

When I bought my house 6 years ago, I had a garden which had a relatively healthy lawn. By far and away from perfect, but it wasn't altogether terrible. See picture below




Six years later and this is what I have. 90% of it is now weeds and stuff that I have no idea what it is! At the back of the garden I have these purply blue flower type things growing. I know they aren't flowers and they absolutely stink!

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My question to you guys is, for an area of this size, what's the best way to rid myself of all the weeds? Ive tried weed killer, but it's absolutely useless. Propane burners will be useless for a garden this size. At the back of the garden where there is no greenery at all, I'm thinking about laying out and covering the area with black plastic.

Relaying the lawn is not an option as I just can not justify that kind of expenditure right now.
 

JimmyMac

Distinguished Member
hard graft and grass seeds!

Ive had a similar issue with my garden, not so much weeds but overgrown shrubs and such from when we moved in. Over the years I have spent time digging it all up, sifting through the soil to clear as much of the rubbish as I can. I now have a soil patch which I just need to get round to putting some seed down on and look after it so it grows.

Total cost so far is the price of two garden forks (destroyed two over time) and eventually some grass seed
 

Alps

Well-known Member
hard graft and grass seeds!
... and a broken body!!

I've dug up an area that somehow just lost all the grass and was a bald patch of nothingness. I then laid down some grass seeds. Slight problem though was I forgot to lay down netting, so last week I've been shouting at pigeons to '[email protected]@k off'! It's started to grow a little in patches. Will post a pic later.

I'm also considering a controlled fire at the rear of the garden as that is just baron land, devoid of anything good!
 

ruffage

Distinguished Member
Yeah double dig it all over. Tread it down. Rake it level, and sow more seed. Water nightly and reap the rewards... in about 3 weeks.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Powered Rotovator will save you a lot of time and effort and pain ;)

Do one run over and rake off any loose surface weeds dislodged then repeat at 90 degrees

Jim
 
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Garrett

Moderator
Guys, I'm no gardener at all so need some advice please.

When I bought my house 6 years ago, I had a garden which had a relatively healthy lawn. By far and away from perfect, but it wasn't altogether terrible. See picture below




Six years later and this is what I have. 90% of it is now weeds and stuff that I have no idea what it is! At the back of the garden I have these purply blue flower type things growing. I know they aren't flowers and they absolutely stink!

View attachment 1167027 View attachment 1167028 View attachment 1167029 View attachment 1167030 View attachment 1167031 View attachment 1167032 View attachment 1167033 View attachment 1167034
View attachment 1167035 View attachment 1167036

My question to you guys is, for an area of this size, what's the best way to rid myself of all the weeds? Ive tried weed killer, but it's absolutely useless. Propane burners will be useless for a garden this size. At the back of the garden where there is no greenery at all, I'm thinking about laying out and covering the area with black plastic.

Relaying the lawn is not an option as I just can not justify that kind of expenditure right now.
When you say they stink ere they coming from bulbs? As there is a pink garlic.

Also you say weed killer won't kill them have you tried glyphosate? It's not an instant killer and needs time for for it to get to the root and sometimes needs a second spraying but works on lots of stuff and believe works on the Japanese Knotweed but there talk of banning it as it said they found its can be carcinogenic after decades of it being recommended to be used.
 

LX200GPS

Member
Buy yourself a book called The Lawn Expert. All the advice you will ever need will be found in that book. What weedkiller did you use that was "useless"? And tell us what you have been doing, or not doiing, to your lawn during the last 6 years for it to get into such a state.
 

saintie1

Active Member
I have a similar problem but only in half of the lawn, the other half has more grass than weeds. Is there an alternative to turning the soil over and reseeding? There seems to be a mixture of grass so don't want to just put one grass seed down on the bad side to transform the lawn into a 50/50 area change caused by different types of grass.
 

LX200GPS

Member
If there's enough grass on the bad side then yes it will be possible to eradicate the weeds and allow the grass to thicken up and spread. Seeding the bare areas will quicken up the process. It isn't difficult to rejuvenate a lawn but there are no overnight miracle cures. It will take time and patience but in most cases weed-infested lawns can be renovated. If weeds in a lawn are not dealt with then the grass will disappear over time and the weeds will take over. That's nature. Get yourself a bottle of lawn weedkiller and apply with a spray. Water your lawn regularly to strengthen the grass. The grass will be competing with the weeds for moisture and nutrients until the grass becomes strong and begins to spread. Cutting the grass regularly will also help as the grass will send out side shoots and spread quickly. Cutting grass once a fortnight and then scalping it will weaken grass and help the weeds.
General purpose grass seed will be fine - don't use "Luxury grass seed". Have fun!
 
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Alps

Well-known Member
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Wow guys, thanks so much for the detailed replies. I think I'll need a few readings to understand everything. In the mean time, I've attached a couple more pics - including the grass seeds I've sown so far.

When you say they stink ere they coming from bulbs? As there is a pink garlic.
Pink garlic??? Which pic is the one with it? Do I also have Japanese knotweed?
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
View attachment 1167373 View attachment 1167374 View attachment 1167375 View attachment 1167376 Wow guys, thanks so much for the detailed replies. I think I'll need a few readings to understand everything. In the mean time, I've attached a couple more pics - including the grass seeds I've sown so far.



Pink garlic??? Which pic is the one with it? Do I also have Japanese knotweed?
I think he may have meant that the pink garlic plant exists and not necessarily that he saw it in your shots :)

Identifying Japanese Knotweed - Japanese Knotweed Ltd
Jim
 

Garrett

Moderator
View attachment 1167373 View attachment 1167374 View attachment 1167375 View attachment 1167376 Wow guys, thanks so much for the detailed replies. I think I'll need a few readings to understand everything. In the mean time, I've attached a couple more pics - including the grass seeds I've sown so far.



Pink garlic??? Which pic is the one with it? Do I also have Japanese knotweed?
You totally misinterpreted my reply, as you said the plants smelt I was asking if the flowers originated from bulbs in the ground, but as IG says they been identified on an other thread i.e. Geranium robertianum - Wikipedia, so its not pink galic.

Secondly I was saying glyphosate is that strong it will kill Japanese knotweed, not you had Japanese knotweed.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I think I have Japanese Knotweed
I don't see anything that looks like it in any of your photos. And unless you are sure you have it I wouldn't mention it to any of your neighbours ;) It used to seriously devalue your property and need professional removal. Although I believe it's now thought that it's dangers were overestimated and policy may have changed. I'd certainly let those chopped down weeds in the 5th and 6th photos, (which I assume are the ones you are worried about) grow a few leaves before doing anything.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Thanks Jim. Yup. After reading through your link, I think I have Japanese Knotweed :eek:
If you think it is, Glyphosate as I understand it works by being taken in by the leaves and then gets taken down to the root whereas some weed killer just kills above ground and leaves the roots alive and then the weeds re grow.
This the sort of stuff >or< if you do get it use rubber gloves.
 

lowmans100

Well-known Member
If you are prepared to put the time in you can rescue that lawn.
First step will be to deal with the weeds, spray with Weedol, Vitax or other liquid lawn weed killer, better to spray rather than using a watering can ( 5 ltr sprayer with lance will be more than big enough)
After 3 or 4 days, cut whatever lawn you have keeping the blades high.
Cut weekly, keeping blades high.
In autumn, cut lawn lower than normal then scarify and aerate, in my area getting someone in to do this is about the same price as hiring a scarifier and hollow tine aerator and a lot less work!
Overseed after scarifying and aerating, put down more seed than recommeneded, some for the lawn some for the birds! (you can top dress first if you choose but this can be pricey if you have a large lawn, and to keep the lawn level making a lute out of timber, some rope and a couple of heavy blocks or paving slabs will make even spreading easier).
Keep the lawn watered (hopefully we have a wet autum)
Put down some granular autumn/winter lawn fertiliser and leave over winter.
In the spring, cut lawn with blades high.
If there are weeds then spray again, and fertilise first with a autum/winter feed to strengthen the roots, then 3 or 4 months later with spring/summer feed. (I feed and spray lawn weedkiller every 3 months)
When you cut the lawn keep the blades higher than you normally would, you will have to cut every week and sometimes twice a week but high grass will out compete the weeds and strengthen the roots so if we have a dry spell the lawn will survive better.
I bought mulching blades for my mower so clippings stay on the lawn and rot down providing nitrogen, this is what the robot mowers do.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Thanks guys for the replies. And apologies to all those whose replies I misunderstood - pink garlic, weed killers etc :blush::facepalm: I've re-read this thread and things are starting to make a little more sense now :laugh:

I'm going to take on board the advice given above and get to work as of today. Kind of wish I hadn't spent the best part of late yesterday evening trying unsuccessfully to dig up this weird, odd, weed / plant looking thingy (picture to follow) :facepalm::facepalm:
 

Alps

Well-known Member
If there's enough grass on the bad side then yes it will be possible to eradicate the weeds and allow the grass to thicken up and spread. Seeding the bare areas will quicken up the process. It isn't difficult to rejuvenate a lawn but there are no overnight miracle cures. It will take time and patience but in most cases weed-infested lawns can be renovated. If weeds in a lawn are not dealt with then the grass will disappear over time and the weeds will take over. That's nature. Get yourself a bottle of lawn weedkiller and apply with a spray. Water your lawn regularly to strengthen the grass. The grass will be competing with the weeds for moisture and nutrients until the grass becomes strong and begins to spread. Cutting the grass regularly will also help as the grass will send out side shoots and spread quickly. Cutting grass once a fortnight and then scalping it will weaken grass and help the weeds.
General purpose grass seed will be fine - don't use "Luxury grass seed". Have fun!
If you are prepared to put the time in you can rescue that lawn.
First step will be to deal with the weeds, spray with Weedol, Vitax or other liquid lawn weed killer, better to spray rather than using a watering can ( 5 ltr sprayer with lance will be more than big enough)
After 3 or 4 days, cut whatever lawn you have keeping the blades high.
Cut weekly, keeping blades high.
In autumn, cut lawn lower than normal then scarify and aerate, in my area getting someone in to do this is about the same price as hiring a scarifier and hollow tine aerator and a lot less work!
Overseed after scarifying and aerating, put down more seed than recommeneded, some for the lawn some for the birds! (you can top dress first if you choose but this can be pricey if you have a large lawn, and to keep the lawn level making a lute out of timber, some rope and a couple of heavy blocks or paving slabs will make even spreading easier).
Keep the lawn watered (hopefully we have a wet autum)
Put down some granular autumn/winter lawn fertiliser and leave over winter.
In the spring, cut lawn with blades high.
If there are weeds then spray again, and fertilise first with a autum/winter feed to strengthen the roots, then 3 or 4 months later with spring/summer feed. (I feed and spray lawn weedkiller every 3 months)
When you cut the lawn keep the blades higher than you normally would, you will have to cut every week and sometimes twice a week but high grass will out compete the weeds and strengthen the roots so if we have a dry spell the lawn will survive better.
I bought mulching blades for my mower so clippings stay on the lawn and rot down providing nitrogen, this is what the robot mowers do.
Guys, I love these 2 replies :thumbsup: If I can pull it off, your methods will save me a lot of money and hard graft.

I'm going to draw up a step-by-step plan later today to make sure I stick to the process. I will no doubt whatsoever also have a few more questions for all of you.

As the weather is great right now, out of nothing but pure and utter curiosity, would it be worth trying just sowing seed in a small area to trial if they'd flourish without any fertiliser etc?

What lawn weedkiller would you guys recommend? I bought a bottle of Weedol but after 3 weeks the lawn weeds are still there? Do they disappear by themselves? Or do I need to pull them out? I hope the former, as I have a LARGE lawn and A LOT of weeds :(
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Right, this is what I was trying to dig out last night. No idea what it is, all I know is that it does not look like it should belong in the middle of a lawn, and it was not there last year - along with all of the other stuff that has just appeared all of a sudden!

My plan is to pull this thing out, dig out the surrounding area then plant new lawn seed.
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These leaves have also appeared all over the lawn (along with a plethora of all else mentioned).

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This is what I thought was the Japanese Knotweed as it looks a lot like the pictures in the links above and a lot like asparagus.

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But to end this post on a slightly positive note, here's what that little trial patch I started 2 weeks ago looks like. Not great, as it is quite patchy, but it's a start. I did use more than the recommended amount on this patch, but next time round, I might double the recommended per square metre weight. Currently they say 35grams. I might use 60-70 grams. And also use netting to keep the birds away.

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lowmans100

Well-known Member
I use Verdone (an old bottle) which is now called Weedol, the others readily available are Vitax and Resolva but these are more expensive by volume. I use concentrate as is cheaper in the long run than ready mixed.

I have found that spraying is more effective and uses less than using a watering can with spray bar BUT when spraying you have to get the mix right. If you get a 5ltr lance spray bottle fill with water to 5ltr mark then holding the lance at knee height spray your lawn at a normal walking pace walking up and down the garden. When you have covered the whole lawn you will know how much liquid you need to cover the whole lawn area (round this up to the nearest litre). You now know how much to mix up for a full treatment, mix the lawn weedkiller at the rate on the bottle. The weeds will start to wilt within a week or two. Any spray mix left can be used for spot spraying on the lawn and in the borders. If you have any weeds that are resistant to Weedol or whatever you are using, you may have to dig these up if there are only a few of them, or identify what they are and find a readymix spray bottle lawn weedkiller that can deal with them. Verdone (Weedol) has pretty much cleared everything in my lawn, but doesn't touch couch grass, I tend to keep couch grass cut so it doesn't go to seed then let the frost of winter kill it off.

You haven't said if you have a moss problem, if you do this will need to be sprayed with iron sulfate solution to kill it off but this can wait if you plan to scarify in autumn.

Personally I wouldn't overseed at the moment, as in dry weather you would have to be watering daily. I would wait until the weather can do a lot of the watering for you and the ground stays damp. If you want to overseed now go for it, and keep the seed damp. Cutting what grass you have high helps retain moisture in the soil during the dry months.

As far a fertiliser goes I stopped using those small boxes of feed and weed from garden centres as I found they worked out expensive and were good at greening up the lawn because of the iron that is in them (give you a sense that it is working) but the fertiliser and weed killer part was not so great. I bought 2 x 25kg bags of lawn fertiliser (1 x autumn/winter, 1 x spring/summer) and use that, they have lasted 3 years so far! The brand of fertiliser is not as important as the active ingredients. I use a 4-12-12 autumn/winter (root strength) (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) and a 9-7-7 spring/summer fertiliser and have a clay soil. There is no need to have two types of fertiliser just a good balanced one. Too much fertiliser may damage or kill the grass so less is more and be patient.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Fertilizer For Lawns – What Type Of Lawn Fertilizer To Use Fertilizer For Lawns – What Type Of Lawn Fertilizer To Use

For overseeding I use a general purpose seed, not those high maintenance fine premium grass varieties.

All this sounds complicated but it isn't really
treat weeds
fertilise sparingly (minimum once in spring and once late autumn)
cut high and regular
repeat
treat moss
scarify to remove thatch and moss and to allow water to get through to soil
aerate if required to aid compaction and improve drainage in heavy soils
 
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