Hardcore weeding advice needed

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by strago, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. strago

    strago Member

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    Hi all! First post by a newbie gardener. I've owned a house for a couple years now and have had fun weeding and mulching most corners of my yard, but one part I've slightly neglected. And by slightly I mean it's completely and hopelessly overgrown, see first photo.

    This used to be Lilies of the Valley with a statue in the middle (now completely swallowed). Some lilies remain, which I'd be happy with if I can get them back, but they are 75% dead now. The main offender is photo #2. I plucked all the large ones last year but they came back even harder. Had trouble hand weeding as they keep snapping at the base of the stem.

    Looking for advice... am I fighting a losing battle to save the lily's or should I just mow/weedkill the whole thing and start over? Is week killer nuke a long term bad thing for the soil or can I plant new things right away?

    Thanks,
    Jaime
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Probably Robinia hispida.
     
  3. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a similar problem myself. The previous owners of my house were not gardeners. At all.

    Have you tried watering the planting bed to lubricate the soil then using a garden fork further loosen the soil? The weed trees that you have probably aren't phased at all by breaking them off. As long as they have roots, they'll likely keep growing. Try to get the whole weed - root and all. Mentally, could you weed hard to clean up the planting bed and then weed hard again as soon as possible. It will likely take many tries to knock the weeds back, but once you do it will be more manageble.

    My next task after the hard weeding (after sanding the lawn) will be to get the clover and buttercup in the lawn under control. I have chemicals but don't like them and have been afraid to use them so far. I will though, if I have to. The tree pruning will have to wait. I hope this helps.

    If afterall, you just can't stand the thought of weeding anymore....you can mow the bed down repeatedly. And buy a few lily of the valley to place some where else :)
     
  4. strago

    strago Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Well I removed the Robinia hispida. Pretty much took everything with it, see pic.

    Is it possible the lilies of valley can grow back in or should I transplant in something?

    When I dig up some sod I'll see a thick root system that does look to be the lilies.
     

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  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Lilies of the Valley grow pretty much like weeds themselves. Any roots that are left will grow and spread. After you see where they come up, you can transplant root sections to bare patches to fill the area up. Of course you will have to keep competing weeds out of the area.
     
  6. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    I agree with Vitog. Your lily of the valley should be fine but if you have compost or manure, I would think it would help. I think Lily of the Valley's like organic material.
     
  7. Insectivore

    Insectivore Active Member

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    Also, if you have a hard time keeping the weeds out, I would dig some of the lily up and keep it so that if you have to resort to mowing or chemicals you can just replant it later. I really don't like buying plants when I can avoid it though. Maybe it's just me, but they are so expensive and the little things just make me fall in love with them, so it doesn't seem the same when I get new ones. lol. I know that's silly, of course, but in addition, you know that the plant you have lives well in your space and sometimes when we buy new plants they are different enough that they do not grow as well as our originals. :D
     
  8. strago

    strago Member

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    Thanks fellas, I will hopefully post a pretty picture of when it all comes back in spring.
     

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