Overgrown garden HELP!!!!!!!! (kinda long)

monarae_gw(z4 IOWA)April 11, 2006

Not looking for sympathy here, but really need advice on a totally out of control overgrown garden. Its really not that big, but its really packed with perenials. (and lots of grass, creeping charly, crownvetch.....UGH!) I know where the crownvetch and grass came from but the creeping charley - I have NO idea. lol!

Anyway, it has not been tended for about 2 years. What is the best way, short of digging everything up and starting over, to get rid of the grass and crownvetch and such? I plan on dividing up alot of the plants and bulbs asap, but really need advice on the rest. Painting Roundup could be an option I guess. Anything that would take care of the grass and creeping charley without damaging the rest?

Health problems and a death in the family kinda took over my life for a couple of years, but I have decided to "join the living" again!!!

Any advice (and anyone that would like some plants) would be appreciated!!!!


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Where abouts in IOwa are you located? I'll come and help you dig and get rid of some plants, smiles!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 8:43PM
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Yes! Where are you? I just moved here and have NO plants and I'd love to take some off of your hands come the end of May when I think I'll have the garden hardscape done. *sigh* If you can't wait that long then you can always take them to the annual plant exchange that I've seen talked about. Or maybe even offer them on something like Freecycle. Or compost them :(

As for your weeds. Ick! Creeping charley is very hard to get rid of from what I've heard. If it's anything like creeping jenny then Round-up is just gonna make it look sick. My dad who in the last 5 years has switched to organic farming mixed up a concoction of water, vinegar and some other things. It didn't kill it but it worked just about as good as the chemicals you'd buy. But maybe someone here knows more than me (which is most definitely the case).

Take your time in figuring out how to clean-up. Do you want the plants in the same area? If you're digging things up this would be a good time to assess what you want to achieve. Are there plants you just didn't care for? Was there an area that just didn't have as much color as you wanted? Is everything getting the right amount of sun? Once you have a plan, then comes the back-breaking work ;)

Anyway, HTH! and Have Fun!

Tanna B.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 9:39AM
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You're going to hate this answer, but I've had my best success hand-pulling creeping charlie. Use a spade to loosen the dirt, and it pulls out easily. Completely remove it from the garden, don't throw it down to die.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 11:30PM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

For the creeping charlie. I mixed up round up-and "painted" it on CC. I used cheap throw away brush. And wore heavy rubber gloves. It took some time but got rid of it. And now is the best time first thing in the spring. Can also use sprayer-on VERY calm day. And put foam cup on sprayer head. So not to get on flowers. And set spray to just drizzel.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 9:56AM
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monarae_gw(z4 IOWA)

Thanks everone for your words of wisdom! hehe!
I have decided today to try the paining method. I am going to dig up bunches of everything also, and donate them. Hummingbird - I have traded and mailed before. Would love to get you some plants!!! Just let me know!
I just got overwhelmed when I started in.(sigh) My son has been doing the mowing the last couple of years, and he has not followed my instructions on mowing away from the garden. But I cant be upset with him, he has done so much for me! It felt GREAT to be out in the sunshine today!!!
And as for that dang creeping charley!!!! AGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will succeed!!!!!!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 6:28PM
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dirtdoctortoo(z4b/5a IA)

Borax sprinkled on the creeping charlie does seem to kill it. I tried mixing a very strong solution of it and spraying it but that didn't work as well. Lawn grass tolerates the borax. It may yellow temporarily. I don't know how well this will work in the flowers. I pull and pull and pull the CC out of the borders and while I am not CC free it is much improved.

Isn't it great to be, as my mother puts it, "scratchin' around in the dirt" again?!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 6:57PM
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The speaker at our last Garden Club meeting was from Earl May. He said that their "chickweek, clover and oxalis" killer would take care of Creeping Charlie, but 2 applications are necessary. It is not supposed to hurt the lawn. But I sure wouldn't want to get any on my good plants.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:12PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Hi, maybe too late for what MonaRae is up to, but what I would do is this. Dig up some of each kind of perennial that you want to keep, put in pots for a while. Freecycle others, warning people to be SURE to pull off all the weeds attached to the plants that get dug up. Then cover the garden with any sort of compost material you have handy like manure, leaves, grass clipping, coffee grounds, etc. over the garden, and put cardboard over the top of that. Weigh down with stones or bricks or whathaveyou. By the fall, everything should be dead underneath, and you can remove the cardboard and plant your potted perennials back into the now improved garden soil. You can skip the compost material part but might as well kill two birds with one stone . . .

Marcia, neighbor in WI

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 5:37PM
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