How to Tame a Wild Garden

There are a variety of reasons why your garden grows out of control. Certain species can take over your lawn, with the overgrowth of weeds. If you neglect your garden for a while, you may find that some plants grow faster than you can maintain them.

Further, you may have introduced certain plants to your garden not native to your location. These invasive and aggressive species may not be ideal for your lawn and will need constant pruning and management to prevent them from taking over the garden.

Such a wild garden can be hard to manage, but if you have the time and the right tools you can tame it efficiently. 

You can take the following steps to tame your garden.

Identify the problem

Scan your garden visually to identify the extent of weed growth and the plants that dominate your landscape. You do not need to start tearing up weeds or uprooting certain plants before you determine how they are affecting your garden space.

overgrown wild garden

A wild garden is likely to harbor a lot of debris, trash, dead trees, and animal waste. These can be a safety hazard for children and any pets that play in your backyard. Make it a priority to clean up extensively, clearing up dead trees and other debris that can reduce the visual quality of your backyard.

Assess the plants that are growing too fast and decide on what to do with them. It is best to view your garden with an objective eye. Look for shrubby areas that can be clipped or imaginatively pruned.

Examine whether it is possible to transform your overgrown plants to fit the landscape without making too many changes to your garden. With small changes, you can find it easy to adapt the overgrowth to your garden.

Isolate sections of the landscape with edging materials such as stone to keep overgrown plants and shrubs in place. This gives you a better view to analyze your garden, to identify the plants that are growing too fast, those plants with high demands for nutrients and water, and those being choked by weeds.

Depending on the age of your garden, there are likely plant diseases that hinder certain species from flourishing, which leave an opportunity for weeds and other species to take over the garden. Uproot any sickly drooping plants or ones with unusually pale leaves.

Find the right weather and tools

Do your gardening in the right weather. It might be frustrating to do your weeding and trimming during the rainy season. It may be more appropriate to do your gardening on a bright sunny day. Ensure that you have the right tools for maintaining your garden. Wheelbarrows, rakes, clippers, and spades are essential to catering to your landscape.

The tools you have determine the kind of work you do on your garden and the difficulty of your job. Invest in the best gardening tools, and maintain those that need regular care.

Uproot weeds

Start by uprooting the weeds that have invaded your garden and disrupted the nutrient uptake for your plants. You need to research the harmful weeds and those that may do well in your garden.

uprooting overgrown plants in wild garden

You need to be careful when dealing with overgrowth. Identify the exact extent of the overgrowth and its impact on the plants in your garden. If you intend to keep your garden intact, do not simply uproot overgrowing plants. Some may be beneficial wildflowers you may wish to grow. This will affect your root system and hamper the growth of the plants you want to remain.

Carefully dig around the plants you like and apply a cover of mulch to limit the growth of weeds. Remove smaller plants and place them in temporary containers, with soil and enough water.

You can uproot the overgrown plants and move them to another part of your garden. Find a more convenient spot, for example at the boundary of your backyard to replant the aggressively growing plants.

You may also find that some plants are easier to control if you grow them in containers as opposed to the ground. Fill containers with soil and place them at strategic locations on your lawn. This is good for controlling overgrowth and can also be a solution to improve the aesthetic of the landscape.

It’s also important to clean up perennial plants annually.

Uproot your entire garden

If the problem is too severe, and it will be too much work to uproot an out-of-control species, you may consider uprooting your entire garden and starting anew. For example, you may find that the grass is growing at a faster rate than you can manage. Mowing every couple of weeks may not be enough to keep it under control. In this case, you can uproot everything and replace it with a slow-growing species.

There are various ornamental grasses, or alternative groundcover that may be more appropriate for your lawn. However, you have to ensure that the new species can grow in your location. You can use the USDA hardiness zone map to identify your growing zone and this will help you know if it fits a certain plant species.

If you plan on introducing new plants to your garden, you have to make sure the soil is appropriate. Till the ground carefully to restore plant matter back to the soil. Identify your soil type and choose whether to change it to fit your plant choices. Apply fertilizer carefully and weed control solutions to ensure that the weeds do not come back.

Before adding new plants to your garden make sure to research their growing patterns and requirements for care. Ensure that you can take care of them and that they are suited to the climate of your location. Planting non-native species can reduce your soil quality and make it difficult for new plants to thrive. Research is key to ensuring that you find the right soil for your plants.

Hire a Professional Landscaper

You may find that you do not have the time to work on your garden. You can hire professional gardeners to work on your land and make the necessary changes to clean up your backyard and maintain overgrowing plants.

They offer comprehensive landscaping services, depending on your specific needs. This method is less time-consuming but may be expensive. You may also lose some control over your garden, as the landscaper imparts their creativity and vision to the appearance of your lawn.


To tame your wild garden, you need to commit your time and resources to the task. Know your garden well and have a plan on how to control weeds and overgrowth. You can make creative changes to your landscape that will make it easy to maintain in the future.

Alternatively, you can uproot your entire garden and replant species that respond better to the soil and have more manageable growing patterns. Professional landscapers are available to help out with tasks that may be too complicated or time-consuming.

Generally, your passion for gardening, the extent of overgrowth, and the availability of time and money will determine the best option for taming your wild garden.