Messages posted to thread:

Danica27-Jun-07 06:17 AM EST 4   
Rocks28-Jun-07 10:40 PM EST 6b   

Subject: Help! Dealing with landscapers gone bad...
From: Danica
Zone: 4
Date: 27-Jun-07 06:17 AM EST

The people that owned our house before us were landscapers and said they had done $35,000 worth of work to the property. We bought in the winter, (2002) they had pics so the yard did look nice on paper. Well, they also had a crew that weeded every week. They also knew they were leaving so they didn't take into account how big things would get as they wanted it to look nice only for a few years. Hence we are now in quite a pickle! Our yard is about 2.5 acres and very overgrown and weed ridden. I am tackling one part at a time as I have been trying to do it all in one summer but with babies now in the mix, who has that much time? The bed I need help with is the shape of half an oval, about 120ft long and 25 ft wide at the biggest point. There are a few shrubs and trees in there but a lot are too close together. The fall before we bought the house, the owners had hundreds of bulbs left over from their business and decided to till this huge area and plant about 350 of them and a few trees. Well, about a dozen came up and there was no mulch so you can imagine what it looks like now. I have tried to puyll weeds and plant a few perrenials each year but it is now just a thorn in my side. I need some advice on how to get it under control. I was thinking of putting a few paths through it as the kids are making paths anyway. I have it divided into four sections on paper and each section has a tree/shrub or two and some surviving perrenials and grasses. Do I tackle one section at a time, weed and then plant some new things then mulch? Do I weed and put in the paths first? I can't afford to mulch all of that every year. How can I downsize the area a bit? I really want it to be an area that I love and I hate to see those plants being slowly choked out by those weeds. Any help would be great. When I ask the gardeners I know, they just shake their heads and say I could hire a gardener for the whole summer and they'd still not have everything done by fall. Well, I didn't make that bed but it is mine now so I have to try to save it. :0)

Subject: RE: Help! Dealing with landscapers gone bad...
From: Rocks
Zone: 6b
Date: 28-Jun-07 10:40 PM EST

I just finished helping a friend with a similar problem as yours tho not on such a large scale as you. Her gardens were not so much overgrown but very weedy you couldn't see some of the plants. We decided to take one section at a time, weed it, move any perennials that needed to be moved and then mulched. Now her maintenance is manageable. In one of the worst areas, we moved some surviving hostas and we cleaned the whole area out to the bare ground and she planted wildflowers. In your case, you could downsize it if the garden's too big for you to maintain by moving some perennials, such as ones that are near the edges, create a new smaller shape to the garden,then weed the area and plant lawn grass there to make the garden smaller and more manageable. Then weed the rest and mulch. Depending on the trees and shrubs that are there, they can be pruned back to a more manageable size. Just be sure that you know what they are so you can find how they should be pruned and when is the best time for them to be pruned back. It can be done. If you want to keep the garden it's original size,do like you said and tackle one section at a time, weed and mulch. As for putting in a path, it could be any kind of path, from grass, gravel, stones or even mulch. Weed the path area first, make your path then continue on to the rest of the garden. If you don't weed the path area before creating it the weeds will come up through whatever you put there as a pathway. I myself have had success laying down pieces of flagstone for the path and with the amount of walking I do on it, not much pops up in the way of weeds between the stones. If they do I pluck them as soon as I see them. I know it seems daunting (as it did for my friend)but if you take one day at a time and one area at a time, next thing you know you'll be done and you'll be standing there, feeling proud for a job well done. Good luck!

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