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Next steps advice for clearing nettles and turning into veg bed

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by charliew50, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. charliew50

    charliew50 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,

    Moved to a new place and want to get a veg patch ready for next spring.


    The pic attached shows the location of the proposed veg patch. It’s been overgrown with nettles for as long as I can recall, 10+ years at least. The space is approx 45sqm.


    A couple of weeks ago I took a scythe to them which is shown in the difference between Pic 1 and Pic 2.


    This weekend I went and sprayed off any regrowth and now not 100% sure on next best course of action.


    There’s a million little woody stems, 5-15mm across or so from the nettles and other weeds, protruding a foot or so from the ground.


    I’m a little bit concerned that the best way to remove these is by hand, and hope someone has a better idea…


    Basically looking to be able to plant and grow some nice veg from this patch in around 5-6 months time.
     

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  2. lolimac

    lolimac Super Gardener

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    Hiya Charliew50...If you're going to grow veg I really wouldn't be using any chemicals to get rid of the nettles or weeds.The only really best option is to dig them out I'm afraid or you could cover the area with either black plastic or old carpet but now they are dying back you won't be sure you've got rid of them by next spring when the ground warms up .
    On the up side now the ground is getting wetter they should be a piece of cake to dig up and it'll be worth it.:thumbsup:
     
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    • charliew50

      charliew50 Apprentice Gardener

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      Cheers for reply. Sounds like a bit of hard work but should be worth it in the end hopefully.
       
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      • lolimac

        lolimac Super Gardener

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        Once you get stuck in you'll be surprised how quick they come out Charlie.:thumbsup:
         
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        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          welcome to GC... Dig dig and dig again @charliew50 :biggrin: Yes a bit of hard work now will save you a constant battle for years to come.. Once all nettles and couch or anything else that dares to live in there are dug out, getvsome lovely manure spread on top for a few weeks then dig in ready to plant in Spring.. That gives you p,entry of time over the winter to plan what to grow..
          My Grandfather always reckoned the best way to keep ground clear was to plant early spuds.! Good luck and most of all have hard work and fun..! :SUNsmile::thumbsup:
           
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          • Graham B

            Graham B Gardener

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            Nettle roots can go quite a way, and you do end up with quite a tangle of them. I'm afraid it's best digging over and removing anything that isn't soil.
             
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            • Cassie

              Cassie Gardener

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              I like a fork for a job like this, helps you get the roots with the minimum of bending and pawing through the dirt.

              Do it bit by bit, a small square each time you're out in the garden, and you will be finished in no time.

              I like to cover the fresh earth with some munch or straw to stop new weeds popping up before I'm ready to plant.
               
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              • charliew50

                charliew50 Apprentice Gardener

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                Took 5 hours on Saturday morning, but removed all of the visible roots and everything that was easily accessible. Think there's still loads under the surface, and next weekend a lot to rake up and remove. But making progress. I also can't move my legs today due to doing things my cyclist hamstrings are not used to doing at all!
                 

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                • lolimac

                  lolimac Super Gardener

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                  Now that's progress Charlie:love30:..Great job:dbgrtmb:

                  Oh and make sure you bend your knees or kneel down:pathd:..it doesn't half hurt doesn't it..
                   
                • Cassie

                  Cassie Gardener

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                  HUGE difference Charlie!

                  And think of the new muscles you are building. Better than the gym? ;)
                   
                • Mike Allen

                  Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                  Simply cut them down, compost the the vegitation. Now simply dig out the roots and burn.
                   
                • Graham B

                  Graham B Gardener

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                  This must be a meaning of "simply" which assumes an awful lot of free time!
                   
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                  • Mike Allen

                    Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                    Graham. Perhaps I watch too many of tha TV ads featuring the the little animals, where everything is simples. Compare the market etc. wink.
                    Seriously whatever we do in life obviously takes time.

                    Reagarding nettles in the garden. YES they sting you. However despite most folk consider them to be weeds, they are so valuable in the garden. To both man and wildlife.
                    Removal is easy as said. OK it means a bit of effort on our part. Doesn't that come with most aspects of life? I could, as always go on, but. Take time out and make yourself a brew of nettle tea. Best wishes. Mike.
                     
                  • Graham B

                    Graham B Gardener

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                    Yeah, nothing basically complicated about it, the same as any weeding. It just takes a fair old time to dig over a patch of ground that size and extract roots.
                     
                  • charliew50

                    charliew50 Apprentice Gardener

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                    Ok, as you guys seem to know what you're talking about I'll continue to post my idiotic questions on here for as long as you'll humour me.

                    Popped over yesterday and the whole area now has a layer of tiny green weeds which have germinated, what's best thing to do with these?
                     
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