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Overgrown allotment

I'm helping an elderly gentleman with an allotment as it's become too much for him to manage as he has been ill,a large part of his plot has become covered with long wild grass (18 inches) I wonder if anyone could tell me a way of removing this so we are back to just bare soil,he thought about setting it on fire,I don't know if this would be possible or if you would have to use an accelerant for this the grassy area is only surrounded by soil and no fences or sheds and he has a hose so I suppose this may be possible,does anyone have any ideas


  • gazza975526570
    gazza975526570 Posts: 3,275 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 31 March 2012 at 7:41PM
    Well you could strim it with a petrol strimmer and then dig it out little by little,

    Depends on how large the plot is and how much help you have to do this.

    Or you could spray with weedkiller and wait a while and then you would find it should come much easier.

    EDIT - Oh and personally i wouldnt consider the burning option
  • valk_scot
    valk_scot Posts: 5,290 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Strim and dig. You're going to have to dig out the roots anyway so you might as well avoid the potential dangers involved with burning it off. Green grass won't burn without the copious application of something flammable, and that really IS dangerous.
  • wilson1973
    wilson1973 Posts: 420 Forumite
    Thanks Val I suppose it would be best to strim but leave a few inches to make it more easy to handle when you dig out then pull by hand to flick of soil,if you see what I mean
  • poppysarah
    poppysarah Posts: 11,522 Forumite
    If you're going to strim and dig then get something to cover the whole area after you've strimmed it. If you don't then it'll all need strimming again by the time you get back to it.

    You could look at lasagna gardening if you have access to lots of materials.
    (grass cuttings, muck, compost, straw etc)
  • davehills
    davehills Posts: 404 Forumite
    To clear mine I sprayed with a decent weedkiller, strimmed and dug/rotovated.

    I *know* that weedkiller is frowned upon, but my plot was really too bad to do anything else with.

    Just take care to spray on a windless day; if any plants subsequently die on neighbouring plots you'll get the blame regardless of the real reason!
  • ukbill69
    ukbill69 Posts: 2,789 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Cut down, get rid of everything and then use roundup all over. Then its down to digging im afraid and a lot of pains lol
    Kind Regards
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,831 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    If he is an elderly gent, can you do the weedkiller bit, then rope in some kind (as kind as yourself) neighbours to dig it out.

    Will he be able to manage it in the fullness of time.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • davehills
    davehills Posts: 404 Forumite
    The weedkiller will probably only work on weeds with leaves, so I'd spray 'em first. (Chop the weeds down, spray the remaining stems and the weedkiller will have no leaves to soak into.)

    It'll be OK to dig the dead weeds into the plot-they'll soon rot down. I'd remove any big ones though and bung 'em on the compost heap.

    It'd also be worth spraying the plot in a few weeks if and when any more weeds decide to show their ugly heads.

    Some people swear by covering the plot with a layer of carpet or black polythene-the lack of light kills the weeks but it can take a good 6 months to work. (OK if you aren't using the plot in a while.
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