Re: Resurrecting and overgrown garden bed

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Posted by Newt on February 01, 2003 at 13:55:37:

In Reply to: Resurrecting and overgrown garden bed posted by Amy on January 29, 2003 at 18:49:56:

: I moved into a house last winter and inherited a very overgrown garden bed. It is "L" shaped and each side is about 15' x 8'. After seeing what came up over a year, I found it was filled with asters, daylily, golden rod, very overgrown tea roses, bindweed, bittersweet, milkweed and other assorted gone wild flowers and weeds. I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle this mess. Part of the bed will be turned into lawn and the other part will go to a flower garden.

: I should note that I am trying to stay organic with everything I do. I also have a baby who will be just over one this summer, so I'm not sure the time I can devote to the project.

: Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

: Thanks,
: Amy

Hi Amy,

Wow, sounds like a great project, though I'm saddened to hear that part will become lawn. :( Anyway, there are a couple of ways to handle this.

I would suggest that you dig out everything you don't want before you start. Either trade it away for some things you might like to have (contact me on how to do this), give it away or dispose of it (preferably by composting it except the bindweed). You definately want to destroy the bindweed, but you probably already know that.

If you are going to do the entire project at one time, I would dig out everything that is in the way of the lawn you'll be adding and anything you want to move. If you have to hold them over, you could either pot them up and keep in a shady area while the work is being done or sink the pots into the ground in another area. If the work will only last a weekend or a week, you could even put the plants in those plastic grocery bags for that short a time and store in a shady area. Check daily for moisture. Just make sure you have a decent sized root ball. Also, make sure that the garden isn't dry before you start. If you haven't had any rain and the garden is dry, water well a day or two before so the plants won't be too stressed.

Then add about 3" or 4" of compost to the bed and mix in well. Now you can replant.

If you are going to do this in stages, I would suggest that you find a place to keep the plants while you work on the project. Still first dig out everything you don't want first to make room for those that you do want. Maybe you could determine where the lawn will be, dig out that stuff that's in the way and then replant in the areas you want them to be, doing one part of the 'L' at a time.

If it were my project, I would plan to do it all at once, even if it takes a week or so. That way the beds will be empty and you can add the compost and mix in to the entire bed. Don't forget to mulch when you're done.

Hope this is helpful.
Newt

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