10th June 2019 at 1:12 pm #70401
Hello from the other side, down in Tasmania, Australia winter has begun.
Yesterday I roughly cleared a 5x4m patch of knee high weeds, sprinkled a layer of goat manure and alpaca poo, wet newspaper around the edge for paths. I then decided to put thick old wool carpet to cover – the couch grass is relentless – thick Ropey roots matted in the top layer which I pulled some of… I then put 4 bed frames on top of the carpet and 3/4 filled them with bought green compost. Top layer home compost then have planted in garlic 2 beds, potatoes, and broad beans. I couldn’t wait you see, bc this is soooo exciting!!! Do you think this sounds ok? Will the manure under the carpet help to start to kill weeds and nourish the soil and attract worms?11th June 2019 at 6:07 pm #70417
So you are leaving the carpet in situ under the compost? As long as it is biodegradable I guess that will be ok but may take a long time to rot down so my only concern would be whether there is enough depth of compost on top of the carpet to allow adequate rooting. Should get rid of the couch grass effectively though. That’s my main enemy too! You could always do a trial and use carpet on half and cardboard on the other half. Good luck
Alastair11th June 2019 at 10:15 pm #70418
Thanks Alastair, a comparison trial is a good idea. Yes compost is deep enough but as you said carpet will take a long time to break down – it’s old woollen axminster, and therefore bed not in contact with earth organisms which isnt ideal but I’m doing this as well in another section of garden less weedy so I don’t feel so bad 🙂14th June 2019 at 12:38 pm #70429
My other concern is what has the carpet been treated with? Many, many moons ago I did some tests on tadpoles for the Environment Agency so see the effect on them of a then carpet insecticide dieldrin. It has since been found to be highly toxic to aquatic life and been banned as carcinogenic! Maybe anything in your old carpet has degraded by now but I would always hesitate to use them myself.
I’m also astonished that you can grow potatoes over winter as we have to start in the spring here. Maybe you have a milder climate or are growing them under cover.
Good luck with everything and have bountiful harvests.
Jan15th June 2019 at 1:31 pm #70432
Thankyou Jan. I’ve googled dieldren and its nasty stuff, doesnt breakdown easily so i’ll use polythene and cardboard for my other beds instead, is that what you’d do?, most carpet has been treated somehow..
Yes we can plant early potatoes here, from May-Dec..little frost, not much rain, averages 5-16C in the winter – crisp sunny days.
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