Have i done something wrong? (springy compost/cardboard)

Community Community No dig gardening Preparing the ground Have i done something wrong? (springy compost/cardboard)

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Merbs 5 years ago.

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    I tried to follow the method of cardboard, compost and polythene to cover up my allotment plot to try to subdue some of the perennial weeds that were a bit rampant when i took the plot on (bindweed and couch grass). I only put this down in the middle of January, but had hoped that i might be able to try to plant in some of it in Spring this year, and just weed out anything that grew through (whilst keeping some of the plot left under cover for a few more months). However, i just peeked under the polythene this morning and although there were only a few dandelions poking through, the ground seemed very springy, like the cardboard had lifted up and was in full connection with the soil below and the copmost just resting on top.

    Have i done something wrong, and is there anything i can do to sort this out so that i can plant this year?

    Sorry, i’m a bit of a novice so any tips no matter how simple would be greatly appreciated.





    also, i have just used mulipurpose compost from B&Q as i don’t have any compost made by myself yet. Is that a problem?



    Sounds ok to me! Not too sure what your problem is really, and B&Q should be fine.
    Keep it simple, just go for it and keep pulling any perennial weeds as you said.



    I could be wrong but it sounds like the cardboard is dry and possibly the compost as well.Not wanting to disagree with Charles advice but it just sounded like some no dig beds I made years ago where I didn’t wet the cardboard and compost before I covered them.Like I said..could be wrong



    Andy you could be right. It’s hard to know sometimes without seeing what is happening.



    Thanks for the replies! So if that is the case that the cardboard wasnt wet enough, if i water the ground now and recover, do you think it would work? And if so, assuming it hasnt broken down yet, will it not be ok to use yet until the cardboard breaks down? (i would think there is roughly 4 inches of compost on top of the cardboard, so not that deep.



    Depending on your location, this winter/spring has been relatively dry. The watertable is lower than average and your plot has been covered in polythene. Watch for the next rain episode,(https://www.windy.com/-Rain-thunder-rain?rain,56.122,-3.159,4,i:pressure) remove the polythene. It should be OK to plant established plants straitaway. If critically dry , water them in thoroughly and consolidate.



    Thanks so much, i will try that.


    amy lynn

    thank you



    I had beds that the cardboard was still fir on and planted potatoes, radish and beetroot anyhow. All seem fine. I did water them in well and I also forced the dibber down to burst through card to help roots
    i kind of felt i’d rather get as much planted this year as I could and accept its a learning year and havest may be limited. Charles always says the 1st year is hardest with weeds etc anyway



    Hi, Ben. I do something pretty similar – I put down cardboard, water it and put my own soil mix on the top. I don’t use any plastic. But I also do it on paths and cover it with bark. I often get cardboard springing up when I first put it down- especially when I don’t wet it enough or put a lot down. I weigh the edges down with rocks. I do live in a wet climate, so the dampness and the weight of the rock settle it down pretty quickly. You might want to try that, just on the edges. Hope it works for you! I don’t find that I solves everything, but it certain cuts down on the problems.

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