Cleaning neglected garden areas
Any gardener will sooner or later face the problem of neglected, overgrown, weed-affected areas. The task of clearing is connected not only with the situation when you acquire a suburban area in a deplorable state. Old flower beds or “forgotten” lawns, overgrown massifs or weeds that have not spread uncontrollably, which they did not start to fight in time, are not a rare situation. And the main guarantee of success in solving the problem is patience and endurance.
- One strategy for every situation
- Save all the plants you can
- Removing unwanted vegetation
- Processing and soil improvement
One strategy for every situation
In determining how to cope with neglected landings and the task of cleaning the territory, neither the area, nor the severity of this problem, nor the fact how many years the site stood without concern, does not matter. The cleaning task is always and everywhere solved equally. The only difference is how much time you have to spend to achieve the goal and what means to use.
Conventionally, all situations when clearing of territories is necessary are divided into three categories of complexity:
- Cleaning up weedy cultivated areas.
- Cleaning of old objects that overgrown in the years in impassable chaotic massifs.
- Cleaning the entire plot or part of the neglected plot, on which, in addition to weeds and old plants, there are also bushes, trees and their shoots.
The third type of clearing is the most complex, time-consuming and time-consuming. Usually it is typical for situations when buying plots in a state of neglect and forced to create what they inherited before creating their dream garden.
The first two types of clearing may even be necessary in ordinary gardens, which are regularly looked after and often visited. After all, you just have to miss a little time, not start to fight weeds on time, or not notice that the flower bed is overgrown, as well as well-groomed objects will turn into neglected territories next year. Emergency trips to work, lack of time, force majeure often lead to areas and objects appearing in the garden that need not just regular maintenance, but also clearing.
There are many means to combat unwanted vegetation and neglect in gardens. But still, machining, considerable effort and time spent can not be dispensed with. After all, even modern herbicides, preparations, may be significantly improved, but still not magical. And in any situation, you will have to make a lot of efforts. But you always need to act on the same plan.
It is always better to start clearing with the removal of garbage - branches, stones, old building materials. This will allow us to assess the real state of affairs and greatly simplify further actions.
The strategy for cleaning up neglected territories includes five main steps:
- Identification and preservation of cultivated plants that can be used and restored.
- Identification of bushes and trees that cannot be saved and will have to be uprooted, as well as areas requiring root work that require complex work.
- Cleaning the soil from vegetation, removing weed rhizomes from the soil.
- Mechanical tillage.
- Improving the soil on the site and preparing for new plantings.
For heavily neglected sites, you can always resort to the services of professionals. But if you want to cope with the task on your own, the first thing you should not do is to be scared. Step by step, gradually, you yourself will cope with any problem. The main thing is to sort things out and not to try to immediately cover the whole problem.
Save all the plants you can
Regardless of what degree of neglect we are talking about - a simple weed damage that crowds out perennials and favorite flowers, or more serious problems - the first thing to think about is plants that have suffered from a lack of care, but still have not lost vitality.
Even the most neglected bushes and trees should be cut only when there really is no other way out: if they are severely affected by pests and diseases, they give a huge amount of overgrowth, they have shown that they can no longer bear fruit. Of course, continuous thickets of willow or sea buckthorn, overgrown cherries on the site to anything. But give cultivated plants a chance, first of all, fruit and berry bushes and trees: prune and process from diseases, rejuvenate the crowns, see for several years how they will bear fruit and if they have a prospect. Yes, and decorative bushes or tree species after quality pruning can surprise you with unprecedented beauty.
Of course, the easiest option is not to wait and replace the plants with new ones. But, if you do not have a huge budget to buy large-sized plants, then you will have to wait much longer than to restore old plants. Therefore, in the issue of the largest crops, it is better to uproot, cut and remove only those plants that really have no chance to fit into the new project.
With perennials, grassy crops, groundcover, everything is much simpler and more complex at the same time. It is grassy crops that are the first to suffer from the spread of wild grasses, it is them that are replaced by weeds, and competitors without proper care. Losing their compactness and neat appearance, grassy perennials themselves are able to create neglected objects, quickly turning from almost familiar and favorite flowers into almost weeds.
In the mass of plants in crowded areas, it always seems that there is nothing to save. But it’s better to take a closer look at the thickets: if you free the plants from weedy neighbors, clean and separate the curtains, plant young growth, in clean soil and in a new place with suitable conditions, grassy crops will again appear in all its splendor. And even where you see one dream or dandelions, look at the plants that have suffered from them, but are still fighting for their lives.
All cultivated plants should be dug up, carefully inspected, removed by extraneous grass surrounding their root system, if necessary, divided and cut. And save for future landings and new facilities. Before dealing with all excess vegetation, be sure to dig out all the crops that you can use. Even if it is a mild neglect or overgrown flowerbed, clearing should be complete. To achieve the result, cultivated plants, with the exception of bushes or trees that cannot be transplanted, must be completely removed from the territory being cleared, without leaving a single island of old plantings.
Removing unwanted vegetation
Before getting rid of weeds and shoots and proceeding with a complete cleaning of the soil, evaluate the characteristics and condition of the soil by the presence of aggressors who captured it. After all, weeds are the simplest “pointers” to the reaction and characteristics of the soil. So, poppy seeds and coltsfoot indicate alkaline soils, and violet tricolor and sorrel indicate acidic. Dandelion and creeping buttercup settle in areas where there are problems with dampness, and nitrogen-rich soils are adored by invaders such as creeping wheatgrass, dung and nettle.
Weeds should be identified for one more purpose: you will have to fight different wild herbs in different ways. Seed weeds spread due to the active scattering of seeds, but root weeds have almost indestructible roots, which are not so easy to cope with. The type of weed directly determines the chemical means of control, since herbicides are selected according to the type of unwanted vegetation.
First of all, you need to take care of the shrubs and trees intended for removal, their root shoots. This is a job that just can't be dealt with. And she is the most time-consuming of all the procedures on the site, often requiring the use of technology. Only after you deal with the most significant problem in all senses can we start weeds and clean the soil.
Three weed control methods:
If we are talking about a small area, then you can remove all weeds and roots from the soil manually. Where weeds are spread moderately, in clean areas it is enough to loosen and not dig the soil, in large neglected areas, sometimes for complete restoration, the rhizomes will have to be sampled after cultivation of the soil with equipment. But if there is an opportunity to cope without deep digging and with less turning of the soil, destruction of soil layers, then it must be used. Clear small areas and break up the entire problem area into fragments. At first, it is better to mow high grass, at a less neglected area you can do without mowing.
The use of systemic and highly specialized herbicides and biological products against weeds allows you to cover large areas and reduce the amount of effort. The drugs are selected, taking into account environmental factors, side effects, the desired result, the timing and number of treatments and apply them, strictly following the manufacturer's instructions. But still, plant debris and roots from the soil will need to be removed manually.
Instead of several treatments with herbicides, you can do just one to stop the growth of weeds, simplify the process of mechanical processing of the soil, or choose another method of suppressing the growth of grasses that precedes mechanical “cleaning” - covering it with a thick film, a high layer of mulch with further cleaning the soil from roots and debris manually.
Together with weeds, stones and other debris must be removed from the soil.
Even the highest quality selection of plant roots and residues from the soil will still not save you from work in the future. But regular and timely removal of young weeds in subsequent years will help to forget about their invasion forever.
Processing and soil improvement
After weeds, debris, residual roots are removed, and the soil is cleared, it's time to start preparing for future plantings and improving its composition. If the soil is loose, not compacted, it is better not to dig again. Simple loosening will better preserve the biological environment, protect microorganisms, and allow faster restoration of soil fertility.
The composition, characteristics and nutritional value of the soil must be evaluated, and then improved by various methods:
- Organic fertilizers (1 bucket per square meter) must be added to the soil in the cleared areas using compost or any other fertilizer available to you.
- Also, a portion of mineral fertilizers is usually added to the soil intended for decorative planting.
- If the site was launched long ago, then before planning new objects it is better to sow green manure, which will help restore soil quality.
- Sand, clay, peat, leaf soil, compost and biological products are introduced to correct the soil reaction.
- At high levels of groundwater occurrence, in places with increased dampness, drainage is laid or the type of soil is taken into account when planning garden objects.
Cleared soil, if the state of the garden, weather, or other factors do not immediately allow you to plan and break down new objects, it is better to mulch. This simple procedure will help suppress weed growth, retain moisture and improve soil characteristics, and accelerate the development of beneficial insects and microorganisms.