A tenant/previous owner of my property dumped a commercial quantity of old plants which had been tied to overhead beams with a non biodegradable string. The area is very messy with high grass and weeds. When mowing over the edge of this area with a ride-on lawnmower, the mower caught the strings which tangled around the blades and caused them to stop spinning.

After many hours I managed to fix the mower, but I'm still left with the problem of how to get control of the area (which I want to turn back to turf). I can still see string deeply embedded in the ground even in the cut area (indeed its such a vast net, that I am unable to pull much of it out by hand).

Any ideas how I can get this area under control?

  • 2
    If it's partially buried then removing it is going to be heavy work and make a right mess. Depending on the size of the area a chain harrow might be a good start. At a smaller scale, a scarifier might work but would need regular unclogging. Not the nicest of solutions, in that it simply hides the problem, but you could spread a thin layer of topsoil over the area and re-seed - with the net properly buried it shouldn't cause any problems to mowers or the turf. Nov 26, 2018 at 13:03
  • Have you tried mowing higher to begin with, to avoid catching the string? Or, although you said pulling it out by hand isn't working, have you tried raking the string out?
    – cr0
    Nov 26, 2018 at 19:55
  • @cr0 As the grass is knee high, I'm mowing on the highest setting. I even tried using a weed wacker yesterday which clogged up pretty quickly. I'm trying to come up with a solution where I can use (as per george of all trades) idea a harrow or rake or similar and see what that does - but I need to solve getting some kind of quad bike/tractor to pull it, as its to muddy to drive a car, and my still-under-warranty ride-on lawn mower is not supposed to be used to pull any significant weight!
    – davidgo
    Nov 26, 2018 at 20:24
  • Renting a quad or tractor to help does sound like it might be the answer. Or a much lower tech solution if the space isn't too big - what about cutting the tall grass with a scythe?
    – cr0
    Nov 26, 2018 at 20:32
  • Sharpen the blades on the mower. If an electric mower, sharpen the blade all the way in, then the string will get cut. Apr 12, 2020 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


They make saw blades for weed wackers (google saw blade for weed eater), and this will allow you to cut through tall grass like magic. If you don't care about how your soil looks after you're done, you can use an edger to go across your entire lawn to rip up everything into small pieces, or if you're near a farm hire a farmer to till your entire lawn, or rent a tiller in order to till up the entire yard yourself, then let the rental place worry about the equipment later on >:D

I just realized due to grass coming up through my wood chips if you let the grass go wild, then throw a thin layer of wood chips on top of it it will push through the layer of arborist wood chips, increase water holding capacity (organic matter), and as it breaks down it will thicken up due to more organic matter. You would also want to get some sort of decomposing mushroom like wine caps (stropharia rugosoannulata) down to to get some tasty mushrooms to pick.

  • 1
    The idea of using a saw blade attachment on a weed eater is novel, and I might try it (but im pessimistic as, other then having a larger center I dont see how it can prevent string wrapping arround the center). Thank you for your thoughts.
    – davidgo
    Mar 19, 2019 at 17:43
  • 1
    I have managed to reclaim a little land by using a wooden block with a couple of screws to act as a lever - but its very slow and arduous. Ive also grown to suspect that if I can reduce the string do it does not protrude above grpund level I can mow the lawn without it tangling.
    – davidgo
    Mar 19, 2019 at 17:46
  • @davidgo answer your own question then Mar 20, 2019 at 4:06
  • @black_thumb - I did say " a little" - ive managed to remove maybe 5% - there musy be a better way. Im mulling over your blade idea as its probably worth the $20.
    – davidgo
    Mar 20, 2019 at 4:19
  • @davidgo are you willing to sacrifice your lawn for a while, because a tiller can work. youtu.be/en9mX1fiwX0?t=223 Mar 20, 2019 at 5:33

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