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Mystery roots all over my garden!

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I have recently started digging up the garden at my new home (a lawn which has been horribly neglected by the previous owner) and have found many sprawling roots the thickness of your thumb a couple of inches under the surface. Should I just leave them and dig them up as and when I need the space, or should I try to remove all of them (which will involve digging up the whole garden)?



Do you know where the roots are coming from? What I mean is - can you trace them back to a tree or shrubs? If so, you can judge how much of the root system you can remove without killing the tree/shrub they are possibly coming from.

I suppose the answer really is to take a section at a time, depending on how big your garden is, and dig OUT the roots, dig IN lots of compost and some sort of nutrients (e.g. chicken manure pellets) and carry on until you've removed all the roots possible. So start where you want to begin planting, and move on from there.

Good luck - it's going to be a long job.

15 Feb, 2009


I can trace them back to the far fence, and the only thing beyond that is masses of blackberry bushes. I'm pretty sure I could get rid of most of the roots I find without the plant being effected; it's bigger than my garden! And the garden is about 12ft square!

15 Feb, 2009


Hi Anna, welcome to GOY, get someone to double dig the whole plot, which should take no longer than 4 hours.

15 Feb, 2009


If they are coming from the Blackberries then you definitely need to dig them out. They will grow!
Dig, dig and dig some more. If you are planning to do it youself, then the best advice is to do a little at a time. There is nothing more off putting to a new gardener (or owner of a new garden) than doing too much and ending up in pain.

15 Feb, 2009


Yay...digging. Hehe.

Well, it shouldn't be too bad; most of the roots are under this thick and heavy turf mat that the last family put down, so unless I take that up, I don't think I'll have to worry about them, and the ohter part (the vegetable patch) Is where I'll be worrying most, and that's not *too* bad to dig over, I suppose; I have to do it anyways in preparation for the stuff I'll be planting, right?

15 Feb, 2009


Basically, Anni, YES! And don't forget to add nutrients - the blackberry bushes will have used them up and the soil is likely to be 'starved'.

Good luck - out with that fork!

15 Feb, 2009


Also, if you dig over the whole garden, keep an eye out and remove any dandelion roots. These are such a nightmare to remove once the lawn is down - it is well worth the effort. I hand dug over my entire lawn area twice last year before laying turf in April. It is 14m x 10m so I did a little each day. It was a lot of work but I had two dandelions come up in the whole lawn all year!

Good luck!

15 Feb, 2009


Yeah, I thought as much. See, the last people here obviously lay down a turf mat all over the garden, and the grass has almost died completely; I figure that means the soil's depleted. I've taken the mat up all together now, and dug over a foot or two over the entire garden, blizting it of stones and roots.


17 Feb, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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