I moved into a new house recently and the garden at the front is overgrown with ivy, etc. I have dug up some of the plants I want to save and will leave in the established large shrubs. I have scraped the top of the ground to clear area, but there is still a lot of ivy roots, etc. in the ground and it is heavy clay soil. As I have limited time, can I put down a membrane across the top of the ground (will it stop the ivy and weeds from engulfing everything)? Can I then cut holes in the membrane and replant the shrubs I have saved with better soil? Also, I was going to put wood chippings on the surface.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, this sounds like a good plan. It is a common way to tackle large overgrown areas. Just make sure that you use cloth covering so that the water can get down into the soil. You may also want to lay down a few inches of compost or composted manure under the covering so that it works its way into the clay soil over time and helps improve it for your other plants.