how to get rid of border hedge/jungle
I'm not sure if this is the best forum, but a weed is a plant that is out of place, right? Well, I need advice on how to (cheaply) get rid of out-of-place plants.
I have a little rental house, and the renters would like to garden in the backyard. But, about 35 years ago, the original owner put in privet hedges on 3 sides of the lot. Well, today the privets are trees that shade the backyard, and they are growing together in a jungly mess with maples, elms, briars, poison ivy, and several other unidentified woody plants.
I'd like to have all these "bushes" taken out so they can garden. If I do it little by little, can I cut everything at ground level, cover it with plastic? cardboard? mulch? and a year from now haul in some soil/compost?
Of course I'd like to try it without covering all the stumps with Agent Orange, if possible.