Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Starting from scratch

by Diane - June 25th, 2012.
Filed under: allotment.

Different approaches to starting a new allotment site.

Breaking new ground is hard. If you’ve got problem weeds like couch grass
then you have several different options.

Weedkiller isn’t everyone’s first thought. It’s often thought
of as dangerous and unnecessary. However it can be an effective way of killing
weeds on a new plot. Follow instructions carefully.

Cover in weed fabric for a year. You’d have to plant above ground though
in raised beds. This is an expensive option.

Dig and rotavate: Weed as you go along. The couch grass will still be there
and it’ll be hard work.

Dig, weed and rotavate. Painstaking work. But in theory brings better results.
Unless of course weeds keep growing in from the edges and any paths you leave.

The no dig method has been used in a couple of places by people for potatoes
so it’ll be interesting to see what crops they get.

We’ve had all these options and more used on our allotment site.

My personal method is to break the soil by digging, remove some of the couch
grass, rotavate – or get someone else to do it for me – and then
re-dig and remove more couch grass. It’s not foolproof but by removing
as much couch grass as possible you start off better. I have got a huge compost
pile though of weeds removed from my plot. It’s breaking down nicely though
so I should have tons of top soil to return to my beds. Which method do i think
was least effort for best results? Almost certainly the weedkilling!

We’re planning a big riddle to make it easier to riddle out way through

I’ve also been reading about solarising weeds in black plastic bags.
Things like dandelions which I’d normally throw away!