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  • FIRST POST
    • Gers
    • By Gers 24th Jul 17, 5:07 PM
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    Gers
    Clearing an neglected garden
    • #1
    • 24th Jul 17, 5:07 PM
    Clearing an neglected garden 24th Jul 17 at 5:07 PM
    In front of my house, across the track and in a field, is an area of fenced off used-to-be-a-garden. I reckon about 10m by 15m.

    In the past (pre-me) this garden was very well tended and had a great variety of fruit and vegetables in it. Amongst all the overgrown weeds and rubbish there are two redcurrant bushes and some lovely rambling rose plants.

    Until the herd of cows broke in to the other week it was very difficult to walk around it, however they munched through a load of juicy thistles and dandelions and assorted other stuff.

    Now I want to have it cleared, turned over, refenced and brought back into use. It's south facing so could make not only a productive space but a lovely place for an open air sitooterie. Could be great for gatherings, raised beds and even (perhaps) a poly tunnel. My ideas are overlapping and rushing around.

    I need some advice about the order of early processes. I wouldn't think that having a digger brought in and the earth turned over should be the first task as it won't get rid of the overgrowth, just give it new life. Of course, I am nowhere near expert on this.

    So... do I have it all the weeds and so on cleared out and removed before having it all dug over? Or will having it dug over first be best to have the weeds act as fertiliser? It's a question of order so please help with this first part.

    Thanks
Page 3
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 5th Oct 17, 2:18 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    Lovely. Agree with Dave - a bench for the view!

    Note where the water pools. You could do worse than improve the drainage there while there's little to grow, either by putting in some drains or, and it would probably be enough, just loosening the soil to a good depth.

    If there is standing water, bark chippings will tend to hold it rather....
    • Gers
    • By Gers 5th Oct 17, 2:41 PM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 34,198 Thanks
    Gers
    Lovely. Agree with Dave - a bench for the view!

    Note where the water pools. You could do worse than improve the drainage there while there's little to grow, either by putting in some drains or, and it would probably be enough, just loosening the soil to a good depth.

    If there is standing water, bark chippings will tend to hold it rather....
    Originally posted by DaftyDuck
    Thanks. Drainage has been tried in the past and not been successful. Come the spring I'll have the ground all turned over and levelled.

    Bark chippings seems to be the way to go for the raised beds. It's both exciting and challenging for this non-gardener.

    And yes, a locally made bench is already on 'order'. The local landowner makes them from his own trees. Chunky things rather than delicate but we're on the west coast here, delicate would get blown away very soon.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 5th Oct 17, 3:10 PM
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    DaftyDuck
    Then, bog garden it is there! There are some spiffing sundews and butterwort. Keep the midges at bay!

    For a self-professed non-gardener...... You do rather well
    • Gers
    • By Gers 5th Oct 17, 5:10 PM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 34,198 Thanks
    Gers
    Then, bog garden it is there! There are some spiffing sundews and butterwort. Keep the midges at bay!

    For a self-professed non-gardener...... You do rather well
    Originally posted by DaftyDuck

    Oh, boggy plants, thanks.

    I really am a non-gardener. Moving here in 2014 brought me face to face with my own garden since being a primary aged child. After that we have always lived in flats. I can see what needs doing but have no ideas about plants / caring for them or choosing the correct ones.

    This patch once was highly cultivated and cared for. As far as I can make out it’ll have been at least ten or more years ago. My back garden is north facing and this one is south facing - perfect for sitting out in. Raised beds will be for a friend to grow veggies etc mostly.
    • melb
    • By melb 12th Oct 17, 8:20 AM
    • 2,507 Posts
    • 950 Thanks
    melb
    Never quite got an answer as to whether the poster owns this land
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 13th Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 910 Posts
    • 703 Thanks
    Apodemus
    Never quite got an answer as to whether the poster owns this land
    Originally posted by melb
    Is that important?

    Just catching up on this thread, and love the “summer in Argyll” pictures!

    That land will never drain, so I would go for raised beds for next year’s veg plots. They probably don’t need to be too high, just enough to raise the plants off the wetter layers - possibly a simple frame of 6x1 timber would be sufficient. Dig over the soil, lay the frame down, then fill to the top with compost. For your first year you might have to get creative to source the compost, but after next year you should be making enough of your own to refresh the beds.

    To get the timber for the frame, see if there is a local estate sawmill that will let you have some wide boards. You will get decent local timber that will last much longer than anything you can get from B&Q at a lower cost. While there, sound them out about bark for your mulched areas.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 17th Oct 17, 1:27 PM
    • 5,826 Posts
    • 34,198 Thanks
    Gers
    Is that important?

    Just catching up on this thread, and love the “summer in Argyll” pictures!

    That land will never drain, so I would go for raised beds for next year’s veg plots. They probably don’t need to be too high, just enough to raise the plants off the wetter layers - possibly a simple frame of 6x1 timber would be sufficient. Dig over the soil, lay the frame down, then fill to the top with compost. For your first year you might have to get creative to source the compost, but after next year you should be making enough of your own to refresh the beds.

    To get the timber for the frame, see if there is a local estate sawmill that will let you have some wide boards. You will get decent local timber that will last much longer than anything you can get from B&Q at a lower cost. While there, sound them out about bark for your mulched areas.
    Originally posted by Apodemus
    Pictures are not much different from 'autumn in Argyll'! Even wetter today after ex-Ophelia has rampaged through overnight.

    I've got a local source of wood all around. There's no estate sawmill but an estate owner with a whacking great slab maker who has made his wife lovely raised beds last year. He'll also make a bench and table for it, nothing too delicate, he's more able to make substantial than delicate!

    Bark will be more difficult to source though I can't imagine any real problems. Just I'll have to buy that from a commercial retail source rather than give a local a few quid. Same with compost, there is no usable soil here so it'll have to be bought in. Matters not in the scheme of things as I'm not going to producing too much which needs rotation.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Oct 17, 2:55 PM
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    Davesnave
    I'm not a fan of small sawmills. We gave ours the custom when we first arrived here in Devon 8 years ago, because that's where the locals went, but I wasn't overly impressed with the product. Now I know I was right, because many of their fencing posts are failing, never having had adequate treatment.

    Fortunately, that's only the internal chicken run & orchard. By the time we got onto the perimeter fencing I'd sourced some better, 'big company' posts with a 15 year guarantee against rot. Not one of those has broken or shows any sign of decay.

    I'd guess slabs will have an even longer life. I'm still using some that were made back in the 1970s by a concrete fetishist who owned our previous house. I don't know if he had a vibrating table or just the moulds, but they are wonderfully strong.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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