Setting up no dig – planting through cardboard?

Community Community No dig gardening Preparing the ground Setting up no dig – planting through cardboard?


This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Mummitajane 4 years, 11 months ago.

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    Hi everyone,
    I have read a lot of information here and on Charles’s website content about setting up my new no dig system on the allotment. Thanks for that.
    Just to clarify, when I lift my potatoes soon can I lay cardboard and topsoil/ compost to 6in as advised and then.just plant my leeks intothat – any need to cut into the cardboard?

    There is masses of mares tail on our allotment site and I am keen to reduce its strength over time.



    If it were not for the marestail Nicola, I would say no need for cardboard.
    However it will reduce its rise until next year.
    If you are as dry as here, I would wet the cardboard before putting compost on top. Your leeks will pass through it by about end September.
    I wish you well with that.



    many thanks Charles, I look forward to getting going. I am in the North East so we usually have around 60-70 mm rsinfall per annum I believe. I shall wet the cardboard I think cos it can be dry for weeks at a time.
    Your time is appreciated. Nicola



    We have got a new allotment of about 100 sqm. It was strimmed but is covered in weeds. To try and kill the weeds we have completely covered in cardboard. This is working quite well. I am trying the first planting of pumpkins and squash in small gaps in the coverage but they are getting eaten. I fear that I have created a haven for slugs and snails. Any suggestions on how I can keep the cardboard but deter the slugs. I want to create a network of narrow paths and gradually create rectangular borders by putting well rotted horse manure on top of the cardboard. I had though of upside down hessian backed carpet for paths or perhaps gravel is better? Thank you



    For the slug population, beer traps and/or twilight patrols -with scissors!
    Personal preference for paths will be wood chip- a local tree surgeon may be delighted to deliver his waste for a beer or two-(not from the traps!)
    Leave the carpet on your floors.



    I too would suggest wood chip for your paths. When we took over our allotment last year, we pulled up absolutely loads of carpet which might have been put there as a temp measure but it had almost become part of the soil structure because weeds were growing on/through/around it.

    I also used beer traps to start with for the slugs.

    Good luck.



    Thank you for your help.

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