Monday, July 10, 2017

Overgrowth Armageddon: Reclaiming Your Garden

Maybe it’s not your fault.

Maybe you moved into a house that already had a back yard that looked like it hadn’t been touched in decades. Perhaps it literally hadn’t been touched in decades, who knows? Nevertheless, it’s nothing to do with you - though, of course, you’re going to be the one responsible for bringing it back to life.

Maybe it is your fault. Maybe life got on top of you and what was once a usable and enjoyable outdoor space is now resembling a section of forest that has gone undisturbed for centuries. No judgement here; it happens, and there’s plenty of good reasons why regular garden upkeep sometimes has to fall by the wayside.

Either way, you’re now faced with the task of grabbing back your outside space from the weeds and general debris that have made it their own. You want to be able to glance out over your backward-facing windows without wincing at the mess that’s out there. You want to be able to go and sit outdoors when the weather is nice, or let your pets out to play without fear of what they will bring back in with them. So how do you go about dragging your garden back from the control of nature?

Step 1: Kill The Weeds

By far the most effective way to kick off the process is to kill all of the weeds and overgrowth in one go. Grab yourself a pump weedkiller spray dispenser, don some protective clothing, then get out there and spray everything in sight. Leave it for a week to sink in, and soon you should become to see all of the bad, unsightly growth die off.

Of course, you need to remember with this tactic that there’s a good chance it’s going to kill off everything else in the garden too. This might not be a problem if you want to start from scratch. If, however, there are some plants you want to protect, you might want to wrap them in trash bags and be very careful about spraying the ground anywhere near them.

Step 2: Remove The Weeds

When the weeds are dead, you can leave them to mulch down - but it’s a long process that will take at least a couple of summers. By far your best bet will be to hire affordable skip bins and wade into the now-extinct weeds, disposing of them in one afternoon of hard labor. It’s not going to be a pleasant experience and you need to wear protective clothing, but it’s going to get the job done and leave you with a blank canvas.

Step 1: Weed Kill

“Huh?” you might be thinking, with some justification. “I did that!”

You did; well, you killed the topmost layer of weeds anyway. As you go in and clean off the bulk growth, you will doubtless find plenty of smaller weeds that escaped your wrath the first time. You have a few options for dealing with these. The first is simple; more weed killer and another cleaning job. The second is simpler but just as effective; use a weed burner to get rid of the last survivors.

Just remember, using chemical weedkillers is by far the most efficient method, but it might taint the soil for future growth. When it comes to creating your new garden, you will find raised beds a far better option than anything planted directly into the ground.

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