overgrown allotment overrun with tall grass

How to Clear an Overgrown Allotment?

Carrying out an annual garden clean-up is one of the easiest ways to keep your allotment looking good. But if you’re keen to keep your allotment well-manicured, it’s worth doing some research and planning ahead to make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re going to do before you start.

So, if you’ve got an allotment, chances are it’s covered in weeds. What do you do? It seems easy enough to clear away the tall grass and nettles – but how do you get rid of the brambles, thistles, and woody plants?

For 10 tips on how to clear away your allotment jungle, see this article.

10 Tips to clear an overgrown allotment


Clearing an allotment is a major job, and you will need to plan carefully to avoid any damage to your plot. We are going to discuss some of the main tips that should be considered while clearing an overgrown allotment. Let’s take a look at the following instructions to make the whole process easy.

1. Plan your attack

Before you start, work out where you’re going to work and draw a map of your plot and a route plan. This will help you keep an eye on how much of the plot you’ve covered and make sure you’ve not missed anything.

2. Pull out weeds

Use your hands to pull out the weeds; don’t let them go to seed if you can help it. Continue to pull out the weeds throughout the growing season. You don’t want to leave any weeds to grow and seed themselves because you will be faced with them all over again next year.

3. Cut long grass

Cut back the long grass so that you can tackle the hardier weeds later on. Cut back the grass if possible to the woody stems and use a strimmer to cut them flush to the ground. This will make them easier to remove and is better for the soil structure.

4. When to tackle different types of weeds

Winter is the best time to tackle woody plants, such as blackberry, and hawthorn. They have very few food reserves, which means they will have to draw on their roots for survival.

Just be careful where you tread, as brambles can still cause damage. It’s best to tackle perennial weeds, such as brambles, in late winter, when the ground is moist and the plants are full of leaves.

5. Use a combination of old-fashioned elbow grease and modern tools

Old-fashioned tools like a scythe or billhook are capable of tackling tough woody growth (like brambles). But you will also need to use a variety of other tools, such as loppers, shears, and a long-handled hedge-cutter.

You can also employ the help of a strimmer/weed wacker, leaf blower, and a good hoe. Choose one tool that suits your needs and budget, and learn how to use it safely.

6. Wear the right clothing for the job and protect your skin

Gloves, a hat, and long trousers will help protect you from dirt and small cuts. If you are clearing a wooded area or an overgrown orchard, you may want to wear long sleeves as well as gloves.

7. Use herbicides to kill off unwanted plants

Many gardeners use herbicides to kill plants they can’t bear to have on their land. This is particularly useful if you’ve got a lot of ground you need to clear. However, be sure to do your research beforehand. The same herbicide might be effective on one plant but completely ineffective on another, so you need to make sure you’re buying the right product for the job.

You can buy herbicides in concentrated form to use in a sprayer, or buy them ready to use as a weedkiller in a can, or dust-free granules.

8. Remove unwanted plants by digging

Digging out plants from an allotment is the most effective way to get rid of them. Use a shovel, spade, or fork to cut out weeds and remove them from your allotment. Anyone can dig a hole, but it takes skill to clear an overgrown allotment with the minimum of damage. After that, remove any roots that you can see with a garden fork.

9. Don’t spread weeds or pests

Make sure you don’t spread weeds or pests around your allotment after clearing it. When you’ve cleared your plot, you need to get rid of all that unwanted vegetation to avoid attracting unwanted pests and weeds. Some allotment holders use a wood chipper to do this since it is cheap and will get rid of all the waste for you.

10. Plant the right things

When you are planning to clear an allotment, it’s important to plant the right things. Make sure you choose plants that will grow well in the soil and are suitable for the space you have. Some plants need to be grown in a greenhouse or in a cold frame to be hardy. Others, such as trees, will need a different environment.

Final Thoughts

Allotment clearing is a great way to get your garden into shape. The most important thing to remember when clearing an allotment is to take your time. If you’re taking on a large project, you may need to take a break to recover and make sure you have enough energy to get the job done.

Overall, the sooner you start clearing your plot, the sooner you can start enjoying your allotment. After you have cleared your plot, you will be left with a big space that you can use to grow more vegetables. You’ll have to get the soil back into good condition and amend it with compost and fertilizer, but you can grow anything you want in your plot.

We hope that all the tips and instructions mentioned above are going to be useful to achieve an excellent gardening experience. If you have any questions regarding this guide then feel free to ask, we will be happy to help you out with your confusion.