Feeling defeated

dian57(M-H Valley NY-5)July 31, 2013

For 33 years I've been trying to tame my backyard slope. It covers 87 x 23 feet and rises at about a 45 degrees to a row of lilacs and Siberian elms.

For about 10 years it was covered with grass. Then we dug it all up and installed steps to an arbor and planted the rest with pachysandra with a few hostas here and there. Granted, I've been very lax in maintaining it, mostly weeding once in the spring and again late in summer.

This year it has just gotten out of control. Tall weeds, tree saplings, wild strawberries, bindweed. I don't have the energy to tackle it. Last year I cut the saplings at ground level and now they're like superplants.

Should I pay a company to dig it all up and start over? Is there a way to get rid of the weeds permanently? Opinions?

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Well, by your own admission, you've been "very lax" about maintenance. So, you can't blame Mother Nature for taking-back what was hers...I would suggest starting with a smaller portion of the hillside, and building from there as time and your experience grows. A beginner mistake is to try to tackle too much when one is just starting/learning. I would spray Round-up or Clean Sweep. Wait a few days, then hit the weeds you missed again. Then, plant a smaller area with perennials that don't require a lot of maintenance (peonies, day lilies, daffodils, all love hillsides). Then spread a good three inches of mulch around the plants as you have seeds in your soil from your "lax" efforts this year...This will greatly reduce the need to weed and water. Add composted soil, if needed (likely), In a year or two, you could perhaps expand if you find the effort worth your time. Otherwise, go back to watching TV. It takes real effort to maintain a decent garden. Not all of us are willing to actually do physical work (note American obesity rates). Or, just write the checks and have someone else do the work for you. (Heavy sigh, here).

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Turn it into a rock garden with just a few plants here and there.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 1:40PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

If the poster has had this hill for 33 years, I would hardly consider him/her a beginner. Also, those years likely put the poster in an advanced age category. It doesn't seem fair to lump this person in with "lazy Americans" with absolutely no knowledge of their personal situation. If you can't say something nice......


    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:05PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I like to cut down the saplings and then dab 1/2 roundup and 1/2 water on the cut edges immediately with a foam paintbrush. It doesn't take too many times to get rid of them. I'm fighting bindweed myself, its hard to get rid of. If you take a rake and pull it down before it goes to seed and trace it down to the stump where it comes out of the ground and paint that with the roundup, it really helps. Once it goes to seed, you'll have zillions of seedlings, but if you get them with the rake when they're little it helps. You might have to hire someone to come and do this for you once a month if you're having issues with your health, etc. but it will happen eventually for you. Hang in there!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:13PM
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