31st May 2018 at 1:17 pm #47068
I created a new 2 acre kitchen garden 5 years ago following Charles’ No Dig principles to mostly great success. I now have a growing list of customers buying a Veg basket from me each week through the summer and into winter. This time of year is always a struggle to keep on top of the weeds – they grow so quickly in Spring/early Summer and it is taking ages to hand weed around the emerging seedlings. We usually get on top of everything by around June so maybe I’m panicking too soon but we just can’t seem to keep up. Why do I get so many weeds? I use my own compost made up of general garden waste and weeds and animal manure. Is it the compost that is bringing in the weeds? I just pile it up in bays for about a year before using it. Maybe I should go back to buying in the council compost by the lorry load – expensive but it is weed-free I think due to the high temperatures it gets up to.
Any suggestions?!!31st May 2018 at 3:02 pm #47069
I have to keep at it in the beds, but the weeds are small and easily dealt with – I have top dressed with green waste over my own compost.
The huge problem for me is the main allotment paths. They are full of weeds and grass at the edges and I am losing the battle to keep clean edges to my plot.
The slugs have me beat, too. Despite slug hunts dawn and dusk, they have had all my climbing French beans and decimated my kohlrabi seedlings after I lifted the night cloches, thinking they were big enough. Curiously, the lettuce have no damage at all and I have them inter planted in several locations. Am now trying a product called ‘slug gone’. It is organic, wool fibre and breaks down slowly. Supposed to form an abrasive mulch when the pellets are watered which deters the slugs and feeds the soil. A fellow allotmenteer is using it. We shall see.
Am going on holiday in a weeks time – expecting mayhem when I return☹️31st May 2018 at 9:01 pm #47075
Interesting comments – Sylvie I wonder two things:
1 Do a first hoeing earlier. Before you see the weeds, notliterally but in late March often when their seeds are germinating, then on a dry day they are disturbed by light hoeing or raking, then die in situ.
This year we had a lot of fathen germinating in old cow manure but two or three hoeings of tiny seedlings and beds are now clean.
2 Be more efficient with composting, plus in time your weed seeds going into the heap will be less. Thorough composting saves time in the end.1st June 2018 at 7:59 pm #47086
Thank you Charles.
I try to get on with weeding as early as possible but the weather usually sets me back. This year it was so wet in March we couldn’t hoe. We did hand weed as much as we could and it wasn’t looking bad but as soon as the weather warmed up the weeds went mad!
Yes, I agree that I need to concentrate on the beds I’ve already weeded and keep hoeing as soon as small weeds appear. I think I’ve made the mistake of leaving the beds I’ve weeded for too long while I try to get round all the beds but it’s probably better to just ignore the overgrown beds until I get time to deal with them one at a time – hopefully before they turn into a forest! Today I whizzed round some of the beds that only had small weeds – doesn’t take long at all so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself and a little more optimistic of my chances of beating those darned weeds.
Re composting – I’m confused! Can you direct me to information on how to compost thoroughly?
Thanks so much.
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