clearing the plot and digging over

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gunner

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clearing the plot and digging over
« on: November 18, 2020, 10:38 »
due to the lock down this year I got round to growing some veg at home. Things went pretty well with a couple of exceptions so i want to give it a more serious go next year. As crops have finished or been used up I have left each bed and they have got a bit weedy, is it best to dig over the ground now and remove the weeds or can I cover with black plastic and kill the weeds that way and then dig over at a later date? Is there a best time for digging over the soil or will be ok at any time through the winter as long as the ground is ready for the spring?

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Goosegirl

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2020, 13:07 »
Personally I'm a bit of a no-digger, not only as it does my back in but also you bring latent weed seeds to the surface. If you remove or cover the surface weeds with weed suppressant membrane or mulch it will reduce the number of weeds germinating next year. Plastic is a possibility but it won't let the air or rain get to the soil.
Spring always comes when we sow the seeds of life.

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Christine

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2020, 17:19 »
I'm a remover of weeds now as I dig over - something to compost and also it lets in the rain/frost/weather to break down the clay type soil we have up here.

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Alank

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2020, 17:56 »
I would remove all the weeds then break up the top few inches of the bed with a rake or garden claw and cover with a mulch. I'm not a fan of covering with plastic as I think it's better covering with a suitable mulch and leaving it to nature.

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rowlandwells

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2020, 18:02 »
I'm in your club Christine nearly finished digging over the raised beds and generally tidying up both plots I'm glad i ploughed the ground that's not got raised beds on  before the wet weather set in i think a few days next week will see us finished for this year

its my opinion for what its worth  if you dig or plough the ground before winter sets in I've found its better for cultivation come spring  ;)

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sunnywillow

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2020, 19:27 »
I'm with you Gg. My back has now prevented much physical activity! and now I just cover the beds with chopped leaves from neighbour's beech tree, and cover those with compost from my bin or old stuff from the pots in the garden. Don't like the idea of black plastic - surely the slugs would find this a nice cosy haven. Haven't dug my plot for three years now and never have many weeds; I believe that rotavating and too much digging brings all the weed seeds to the top to germinate as soon as the sun comes out 8). Thats my thoughts anyway :mellow:

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juvenal

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2020, 21:18 »
When I lifted the black plastic in the last Spring I found a large toad had spent the winter beneath it. I found him a new home nearby. The only weed that survived was Horsetail - clumps of bleached white tendrils which I dug out.

I sometimes think that if a nuclear holocaust ever struck, the sole survivors would be Horsetail and Keith Richards....

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mumofstig

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2020, 21:25 »
Quote
I sometimes think that if a nuclear holocaust ever struck, the sole survivors would be Horsetail and Keith Richards....
Tbh Keith Richards has always looked like he survived a nuclear holocaust  ::) :lol: :lol:
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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snowdrops

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2020, 22:02 »
I moved to the no dig approach 3 years ago & havenít looked back. I enjoyed making compost before but have ramped it up big time since to cover the ground, but Iím finding now 3 years in that I only need to put about 1Ē or 2 all over not the original 5/6 ďrecommended.
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mumofstig

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2020, 09:39 »
I always find it somewhat strange, when someone specifically asks 
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is it best to dig over the ground now, or ..... dig over at a later date?
They get told "I don't dig"  :wacko:

IMO It's rather like being told to eat cake when you've just run out of bread  :lol:  :lol: It doesn't answer their question, does it?  :wacko:

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New shoot

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2020, 10:37 »
It is a bit  :lol:

I think when you dig depends largely on the state of the soil.  Mine is clay, so at the moment I am staying off it as it is sodden.

Most of my digging is done and although I agree with Roland that digging now makes spring cultivation easier, it is not worth damaging the soil structure because it is too wet to work, but you insist on going ahead.

It is also worth bearing in mind if you intend to cover it or put a no-dig mulch on.  If it is soggy wet soil, try and stay off it  :)

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al78

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2020, 11:40 »
I try to minimise digging, and put manure down at this time of year, with cardboard if there is a significant weed problem. I have been fortunate the very dry weather in Spring has knocked the creeping buttercup right down. Unfortunately we seem to have switched into an anti-office worker weather bias because every weekend over the last month or so has been wet at least half the time and often the whole time, so with clay soil, I will have to wait until March to do any clearing up at this rate. The UK and its' pendulum weather  ::).

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snowdrops

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2020, 12:01 »
I always find it somewhat strange, when someone specifically asks 
Quote
is it best to dig over the ground now, or ..... dig over at a later date?
They get told "I don't dig"  :wacko:

IMO It's rather like being told to eat cake when you've just run out of bread  :lol:  :lol: It doesn't answer their question, does it?  :wacko:

Thatíll be me told then  :mellow: :unsure: just really offering an alternative perspective I suppose :(
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 12:04 by snowdrops »

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New shoot

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2020, 12:25 »
It was just an observation I think, rather than anyone being told anything particularly  :)

There are always at least a dozen answers to every question and plenty of stuff posted here about almost every option going.

The op was asking about digging and weeding ground to prepare for next season, so no dig is related to the theme, but not directly linked to the question that was asked.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 12:26 by New shoot »

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Ema

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Re: clearing the plot and digging over
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2020, 08:53 »
Personally, I get on my knees, pull up what I can by hand and put these in the compost bin. I take a trowel to the dandelions and weeds with a taproots - these go in the council compost bin. I then cover with as much compost as I have available normally 2 inches, more if Iím planning to grow spuds or something hungry. Then leave the worms to do the work. Come spring you may get the odd seed germinate on the compost but the top will be light and the weeds will be easy to pull up.

I am not a fan of plastic membranes.



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