This is my first winter with an allotment, so I was wondering how do people tackle the weeds at this time of year.
Does anyone use the weed membrane or plastic? Are there pros and cons to leaving the ground uncovered or to covering it?
Thank you. Kamila.
I did cover up when I first got my lottie Kamila. Used black plastic and big cardboard boxes. Anything except carpet that rots and produces some horrible man-made fibres (the webbing) that you will struggle to get rid of. Suppose it depends how bad your new lottie is. My approach was to dig out as much as possible and then cover with black plastic and cardboard. I grew through the cardboard. Why not try that? Some of the big electrical superstores have massive boxes that you can get for nothing - just ask first!! When the weds were under control, then off came the plastic and out came my hoe!!!
Hello Southbourne Gardens and Dave. Thank you for your replies. I will try your suggestions soon.
Depends what state your plot is in? It might benefit from a good dig and manure, then cover. The soil will warm quicker for an earlier start next spring.
Hello Andrew. Thank you for the advice. My plot had been left empty for a year when I received it. I dug the plot over where I wanted to plant crops, but I have noticed that the weeds are growing back especially on the pathways and on quite a few areas of the empty beds. I have covered a few pathways with cardboard (I only had a bit of cardboard at the time) and I hope to cover the rest soon and I have manured a few of the beds (with nothing in them). I am trying to overwinter a lot of crops so I didn't want to cover up those beds. I just hope this keeps suppresses the weeds. Kamila.
One thing for sure, weeds will always grow back. You just have to keep on weeding.
Old carpet is good for covering up if you know of anyone who is throwing it out. If you see any in a skip it is always worth knocking on the door and asking if you can take it.
Hello Andrew. Thank you for the carpet idea. I will look into it. Kamila.
Cover as much as you can with sheeting,membrane.You won't regret it later in the season.
My plot is completely cleared now,the area where next years potatoes will grow has a 3inch layer off manure over it then covered with old carpet,in the new year the cover will come off to give me time to deal with any slug problems.The rest of my plot is left uncovered so any weeds that appear are quickly hoed off and nowhere for slugs to hide
This is the first year that i haven't put black plastic down or something similar. I'm not sure why i haven't really but I gave all the beds a really good weeding in Winter and so far nothing else has come up.
I always found that although the plastic kept the weeds at bay for a while and obviously helped warm the soil up, as soon as I took the stuff off the weed seeds just romped away - plastic gives me a false sense of security lol.
Next year I may do what I did a couple of years ago and that's just add a few inches of manure when the beds are empty and just leave it. I'm a complete newbie at this so I don't know if it's the right thing to do or not but it seemed to work.
Good luck with whatever you decide and let us know how it goes, I'm always wanting to learn from others.
I weeded and mucked by raised beds, just covered the one I planted Garlic into last week. It is easier to keep raised beds weed free anyway, I always find.
I used to cover my plot with black 'weedex' or carpet. This suppressed the weeds but they just grew rapidly once I uncovered it in the spring and it was hard work. Now I simply dig it over and leave it in loose chunks before the frosts and let the winter do its work. Leaving the ground exposed means that the frost gets in and kills off any slug eggs etc.. It's also really easy to dig over again and start planting in for spring. I tend to weed it at the start of spring, leave it two weeks so new 'weedlings' appear then hoe those over before planting. I never cover over my beds anymore, it's more beneficial to me not to. Hope this helps! Anna :)