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Jessica052012
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How to eliminate lilies and honeysuckles to plant a garden?

I am new to gardening. I have always had houseplants and started a small container garden last year. Finally we bought a house with a suitable plot for a decent veggie garden. Im not sure where to start though.

We bought the house from an elderly woman that once had a flower bed in the back. It was neglected for years and someone put cardboard over it to control the weeds. We removed the cardboard last fall to see what we were working with and, lo and behold, it is a mess! There were lillies coming though the cardboard, literally hundreds. We removed as many as we could but there were still more. There are saplings coming up, some with 3" trunks. There was also honeysuckle that had taken over the forsythia(sp?) bushes that line one edge. I just don't know what I need to do to get this under control. I was told I needed to till it all but I have read that isnt always best and I am afraid of further spreading those remaining Lillies.

I really want to start my garden this year but Im not sure that will happen. TIA :)
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jal_ut
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How large of a bed are you talking about? Also is it in a spot where there is full sun? How far is it removed from tree roots? The reason I ask, garden veggies do much better in full sunshine, and tree roots can and do rob the plants of nutrients and water.

From what you say about the saplings, I assume it is near trees.

I might ask, is there another spot on your lot that is away from trees and that will have full sunshine? It may be better to till up a new plot for veggies, and just remove the saplings from the other plot and level it up and plant grass seed, then mow it.

If you decide to use the plot where the lilies are, I would get a digging fork and dig them up and remove them as much as possible. Also remove the saplings. Then, it will be OK to till it.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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I usually avoid poisons, but this might be one time where judicious use of Round-Up is the only reasonable way to deal with it. Dig up any of the lilies you want to save-- they could be moved to a different part of the yard. As soon as they start growing in the spring, cut off the tree saplings close to the ground with a lopper, then paint the stumps with round up directly on the cut surface. Then spray everything else you don't want with it, being sure you do it on a wind-less day, so as not to kill everything else in the yard. It won't work to do the R-U until things start growing again. In the dormant state, they won't take it up.

Don't plant anything for a couple months after you do the R-U.

Is what is taking over the forsythia vine honeysuckle or bush?

The organic alternative, if the area isn't too big, is just to dig everything out. For the saplings, dig down until you can see the main roots and then cut all those below ground level. Once you have all the main roots cut, you can pull the sapling out. It will leave roots in the soil, which may try to start sprouting again, but if you just keep cutting off all the sprouts as soon as you see them, eventually they will give up.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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hendi_alex
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My daughter has a spot like that in her yard. I cut all of the small trees down very close to the ground with a chain saw. Now the area is being cut with a mower. After a season or two, we will till the area, and will replant with vegetation that is more suitable to the area and which will allow for easy management. If planning a vegetable bed or flower bed in that location, I would probably cover the area with dark plastic and solarize it for a season. The next season, after most of the large and aggressive plants were dead, would probably allow for fairly easy transition to a garden spot.
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Jessica052012
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The plot is full sun. It is directly behind our house. There is only grass on two sides of the plot and a row of forsythia on one side and pines and a very large Bradford pear on the far side.

You are right about the saplings being for like full fledged trees! The biggest one is a poplar and there are other small ones that I think would be fairly easy to remove.

The Honeysuckle is a vine that is growing up from the bank. It has created a "net" over the other bushes, trying to kill them out.

I live in the mountains and most of our yard is VERY uneven so this plot is about our only option.

Last year we took hundreds of Lilies to a couple of greenhouses and exchanged them for plants. There are still more, they just took over the property!
jal_ut wrote:How large of a bed are you talking about? Also is it in a spot where there is full sun? How far is it removed from tree roots? The reason I ask, garden veggies do much better in full sunshine, and tree roots can and do rob the plants of nutrients and water.

From what you say about the saplings, I assume it is near trees.

I might ask, is there another spot on your lot that is away from trees and that will have full sunshine? It may be better to till up a new plot for veggies, and just remove the saplings from the other plot and level it up and plant grass seed, then mow it.

If you decide to use the plot where the lilies are, I would get a digging fork and dig them up and remove them as much as possible. Also remove the saplings. Then, it will be OK to till it.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.â€

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jal_ut
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I live in the mountains and most of our yard is VERY uneven so this plot is about our only option.
OK, It should make a great garden if the lilies and saplings are removed. I would not hesitate to till it once you have removed the lilies and saplings as much as possible. Have a great garden.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

estorms
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You really need to dig those roots out. They will be a constant aggravation until you do. I have been trying to get rid of a trumpet vine for three years. This year, I am going to wait until it leafs out, pot up a couple of small ones, and the use roundup on it. Supposedly, the poison will be absorbed by the leaves and travel to the roots, killing the whole thing. Roundup isn't as potent as it used to be; I intend to spray it once a week until it is dead. Then I will plant the little one in a place where it won't take over the deck railing and steps. There is some ivy and some giant coreopsis I can get rid of at the same time.

sepeters
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Sounds like it's going to work out just fine! Dig it all out, but I agree, watch out for those roots. The tree roots may be quite extensive. If you have trouble digging them out you can always have the stumps ground out. I had to do that to get rid of an oleander a while back.

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