Handel
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Location: Woodinville, WA

Need Lots of Tips/Ideas on Field Clearing and Replacement

Sooo, I am in the NW (Woodinville, WA) and have an approximately 1 acre back lot that is completely unusable, overgrown with weeds, saplings, and blackberry bushes. The blackberries have taken over about 85% of the field.

I know very little about gardening, landscaping etc, but I had an idea to have the field completely cleared and replaced with zero to very low maintenance natural grasses that would not need to be mowed and would act as a weed barrier/deterrent.

I had one landscaping service come and take a look, and they gave me a quote of something like $18,000.00 to completely Bobcat the field, removing all blackberry crowns/roots, hauling away the plants, light grading, and planting native grasses.

My first question is, is $18K too high? I'm in the process of getting other bids, but that really seems extremely high to me... I just need a field clearing and hydroseeding, basically...

My second question is, does anybody have any other recommendations or ideas on what to do with my field? Ideas on what to plant, design ideas, etc? I want something that will look nice and natural, that the dogs could go play in, and that will require very little maintenance. I don't want to mow it - ever - if I can get away with it. I already have a large fenced backyard with a lawn that is mowed regularly.

Please note that it's important to me that the blackberries are completely removed, which means the crowns will have to be dug up... so goats, bush hogs, etc, won't do the trick. Because of my dogs, I also would like to avoid chemicals, like RoundUp, etc.

Just kind of lost and looking for any ideas, thoughts, observations. Thanks in advance!

bullthistle
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First of all dogs will not allow you to have a beautiful spot no matter what anyone says unless you keep them away until the site has matured. Second there is no way to guarantee if you hire someone that they will remove everything that is underground unless they dig down and turn everything over. What I beleive you need is farm equipment to turn everything over, a couple of times, going in different directions, because roots can go on forever and then hire some kids to grab all the plants and then dispose.

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rainbowgardener
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I don't have advice about clearing the land or how much that should cost, never having done such a thing.

Re design ideas - If you want a basically wild/natural looking area, it will look much more like an intentional meadow (rather than a weed patch), if it has some defined edges and a path or two through it. Put a water feature, gazebo, picnic table, fire pit, or something near the back with a path to it. (Meander the path a bit, there are no straight lines in nature.)

You don't need to mow it like a lawn, but you will probably need to mow it a couple times a year. Otherwise trees and shrubs will take over.

Prairie Moon sells native plant seeds in bulk. They have various seed mixes, including meadow/ prairie mixes with wildflowers and grasses. Something like that would be very nice.

If I had an acre, I would want to plant some trees and fruit/berry bearing shrubs at least in some of the corners/edges.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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PS https://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

WildcatNurseryman
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18,000 sounds like a pretty good deal if they actually get all the berry plants out. The problem is, that is virtually impossible to achieve the first try. I like the suggestion of grubbing the berries out mechanically or manually as much as possible first, turning the field as mentioned, and then waiting for a period to remove those unavoidable stragglers that resprout. Mind you that if your field is full of Black-berries the surrounding area is likely to be as well, and their return is very likely with-out mowing.

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tomf
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18K is crazy I could do it in a day or so. Rent a tractor. If you want PM me with a phone number and a good time to talk and I will tell you every thing you need to know. it should cost less about $500 ish when done.

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tomf
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There will be some follow up work after the tractor but you will not need the tractor again. I have done this to many acres with excellent results.

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tomf
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tomf wrote:18K is crazy I could do it in a day or so. Rent a tractor. If you want PM me with a phone number and a good time to talk and I will tell you every thing you need to know. it should cost less about $500 ish when done.
It may run up to $1k but no where near $18. As wildcat said you will most likly need some grass you can mow. The Black berry roots left in the ground will die of after a few years of mowing.

Yellowsnow
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Not sure about your area but, that is crazy high in price.

I'd go in and spray everything, then push the dead into a pile a couple weeks later, then burn it. Pull a stump or two, charge you less than 3k.

If it were my property I would leave it as is. Pick the berries and make homemade wine, pies, and jelly's. :D

Maybe mow walking trails through the property and take walks through it. This would cost you nothing.



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