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Mulch as you go!

If you have to clear a large area of weeds like an allotment, and you haven't got space in your compost bin, you can pull the weeds up and spread them between the beds to make paths, as you might do with straw. Gradually the weeds will rot down and add their goodness to the soil. It's true you may get a few weed seeds, but it's time-saving and the weeds can be easily be forked into a compost bin when they have reduced some of their bulk. With the bare soil, it's a good idea to cover it with cardboard or mulch sheet weighed down against the wind with rocks or other heavy objects to save your hard work! Or, if you've already removed the perennial weeds and you are returning to the plot within a week to two weeks, you can leave it bare and hand-weed or hoe it again just before you sow. This is what some gardeners call a 'stale seed bed'.

Comments (2)

  1. Grower

    Geoff Hodge

    Great idea - but I would be careful about perennial weeds, as they can easily re-establish, undoing all your hard work!
    An excellent organic gardener I used to know, would make what he called 'pernicious compost'. When he dug up the roots of perennials he would leave them on a concrete hard-standing for several weeks until they had completely died and then add them to the soil or dig them in.

  2. Grower

    Good Earth Gardens

    That sounds like a great idea! Yes it's more of a temporary measure before making proper paths and I tend to use cardboard as well for beds I want to keep weed-free before planting. I have also heard of people putting their couch grass/bindweed roots in water butts to rot and then use the liquid, a little like a less nutritious form of comfrey juice. Cool eh?!

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