Should I plant my garlic through a ground cover membrane? Thoughts please

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Annie get your trowel

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  • Location: Guiseley near Leeds
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I have grown autumn planted garlic for several years, simply preparing the bed and spacing out the cloves. This spring I bought some biodegradable membrane on a roll to reduce the need for weeding. For example, I put the membrane down the centre of my bean trench and planted my beans to grow up wigwams on either side. I was wondering if I covered the garlic bed with membrane first and planted the garlic through it, whether I would protect the soil from the winter rains more and retain more nutrients for the garlic to benefit from or is there a disadvantage I havenít thought of. The membrane does let water through. Does anyone have an experience to share please?



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Hi all. Sorry for my long absence. Many reasons but I can assure you I have been lurking with good intent. The garlic question pricked up my ears and prompted me to respond.
I have grown garlic for many years, and have tried the membrane method once. I planted through membrane and found that the weeds still pushed through and smothered it. So Iím back to the old fashioned kneeling down weeding method.



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For the past 2 or 3 years I've grown my garlic, and some of my onions, through a piece of membrane I bought from, I think, Quickcrop, over the internet. It has pre-burnt holes, each a couple of inches across, in rows about 7 across by (guessing from memory) about 25 length-wise.
I've always been a poor weeder  -  clumsy, reluctant, with dodgy joints, letting out howls of anguish whenever I accidentally kill a plant I was trying to grow. So my onion and garlic beds were always a weedy mess, and the crops suffered. Now I find things much more satisfactory. Yes, the occasional weed appears alongside an onion or garlic through the hole in the membrane, but it's easier to pull out, and at least you can now see where the crop is growing...
I tend nowadays just to grow over-winter garlic and onions. As I write this (early November) we are just finishing the onions harvested in early summer this year  -  they were good - and we have about a month left of the garlic. Meanwhile, the over-winter 1918-19 garlic and onions have started to sprout, in the patch vacated by squash and sweetcorn a month or so ago....

Any thoughts on Ground Cover??

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Best membrane to cover allotment.

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