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Overgrown Everything

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Overgrown Everything

Postby shiny » Apr 27, 2008 11:11 am

I am completely new to this whole process as I have lived in Condo's my whole adult life so I could definitely use some guidance.

I moved into my new house in March. Once the snow melted, I had the fortune of discovering a unkept, weed infested garden and lawn. I found advice on this board regarding lawn care and called in the professionals. CHECK!

The garden beds however, are another story. I am using this opportunity to practice patience but honestly what a mess! The beds basically run into the lawn. In some areas it's difficult to tell where the lawn/weeds/crabgrass start and the garden bed begins.

I am looking for something I can do to give these beds a new fresh face so that i can rest assured that come next year I will have seen a lifecycle and get into it with some experience. The soil that is there is actually really good! The Dandelions are enjoying it too much! So I turned it and pulled out the dandelions.

A big part of me wants to just throw copious amounts of soil over the whole thing and start over. I also read about Sheridan Nurseries consultation service. I plan on using this as well.

Just thought your experience might give me hope!

Thanks All
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Postby Scrapinthehat » Apr 27, 2008 2:26 pm

I would dig out anything you like and plant up somewhere else in the yard or even in a pot.

I was shocked when a greenhouse here advised me to use "round up" on anything that I didn't want. Leave it for a couple of weeks to make sure it has gone through to the roots, then dig all the old, dead stuff out.

I tried digging it all out myself without chemicals and it worked for the most part, but not a couple of real invasive things. So I tried the round up. It worked like a charm and I was able to plant in the beds shortly thereafter.

I don't typically advocate chemicals as I am trying to be more environmental responsible, but I won't deny that I loved the results and no more crazy perennials with runners and shoots everywhere.

Be careful when replanting...if you want stuff neat and tidy you may want to avoid plants that self-seed. There was a thread recently that was about the plants that people least like in their might want to take a look at that too.

Hopefully you'll get lots of good advice. Good luck.
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Postby shiny » Apr 28, 2008 10:45 am

Thanks Guys!

I'd take pictures but there really are not any plants in the beds. Only weeds. There are a few Spring Bulbs coming up at that is about it. I weeded most of Sunday and I now have 2 beds that are nice and ready for some fresh soil and some plants. I'm definitely going to look up the most hated post.

The round up idea sounds like it will work! I understand the environmental concern however, I'm also 6 months pregnant and frankly - I just can't keep up with the weeding. I'm sure my partner would much rather apply round up rather than the listening to me moan about back pain!

Thanks very much for your advice and I'm sure I'll be back for more soon!
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Postby Venice » Apr 28, 2008 11:51 am

Once you have the beds how you like it I'd recomend some landscape fabric and mulch to keep the weeds at bay. This would depend of course on the look you want.

If you like a few plants with the mulch around it works great, no weeding and always looks fresh.

If you want to fill the whole thing with plants and flowers, and ground covers, then the landscape fabric wouldn't be so great, you'd end up cutting it up like swiss cheese ehehhe. (yes I learned this the hard way)

I do recomend some kind of mulch in any kind of bed though, it helps keep the weeds down, and retains water for the plants.

Good luck, and we love pictures you know.

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Postby GardenGeek » Apr 28, 2008 5:49 pm

shiny wrote:I'd take pictures but there really are not any plants in the beds. Only weeds. There are a few Spring Bulbs coming up at that is about it.

Just to touch on this. You said you moved into your place in March, you probably won't know what perennials you have growing in your yard until it comes up and if it is a perennial, they might not start showing until late May or Early June.

You are seeing the bulbs first because they always come up first in the spring, then as they are dying off, the perennials are usually making their appearances.

Just an FYI as you may want to try to get rid of definite weeds and crab/quack grass ahead of time but you may be throwing out a lot of money worth of actual plants that haven't even started yet.

My advice would be to wait until June to see what comes up and post pictures here for ID if you are unsure. When we moved into our house we had the same thing, but we found as summer started, we had some wonderful plants among the weeds and we were able to save $$ by weeding and/or moving them to a better location.

Also, in my first house, the lady that had owned it was an amazing gardener, but her old age had her bed ridden for the last couple of years of her life and the weeds took over.

Can you talk to a neighbour and ask if they ever recall anything growing there?

Also, if you dig something out and it looks dead, it may not be as different plants have different times at which they come out of dormancy.

Hope this helps.

"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view." ~H. Fred Ale
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Postby murphy » Apr 28, 2008 6:37 pm

Do you have a friend or a neighbor who likes to garden...invite them over for tea or coffee and ask nicely if they would mind touring your garden and help you identify what is coming up. At this stage in the season you may find it hard to distinguish between a "weed" or a perennial...unless you have a lot of experience..which you admit you don't. I have done this for many and most avid gardeners will also happily throw in ideas for plantings and design. Please don't pull things until you are sure what they are..or us round up. My husband planted a very nice perennial bed at the group home he used to work of the new staff thought she would surprise him and "weed" the bed one early spring day. He came in for his shift to be greeted by this proud smiling woman announcing what she had glance from my husband found she had managed to eliminate almost every one of his prized perennials...he was devastated.
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Postby shiny » Apr 28, 2008 7:03 pm

Great suggestions! I weaseled my mother into helping me when she's back from her trip. She misses her garden since she moved into a condo and loves giving advice :wink:

I heard patience is a virtue and I'm doing my best not to mess with most of it. It's hard when you just want it to look at a beautiful garden! I've never seen a Dandelion with a foot long root before! The root looks like a baby parsnip!

One thing at a time and hopefully we'll have something to enjoy in a year or two!

Definitely heading towards the mulch. I'll take pictures as soon as the rain stops!

Great help all! Thanks!
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Postby Venice » Apr 28, 2008 10:30 pm

I would also recomend waiting till the end of the season before buying any Perennials, shrubs or trees, as the prices really go down. You can get lots of good deals.

That is unless you have your heart set on something in particular, then you should grab it when you see it.

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Postby Sheikea » Apr 29, 2008 10:49 am

I totally agree with everyone,unless you kno wwhat plants you are lookin gat definately get some help.What ?I would do is pull out what I know is there and keep to replant(stick in pails of dirt or pots for now )And then I would completly redig my beds and either move some and put lawn there or ponds or rock beds.give it a whole new look put the flower beds where you think they should be and get rid of the old ones.As my mother would say in doubt ..start over and keep what you know.Huge hugs I am sure you will do just find..Neighbours are always handy. :)
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