First allotment

  • 14 Replies
  • 649 Views
*

Boylan93

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: Wrexham
  • 2
First allotment
« on: November 14, 2021, 17:46 »
Hi guys, just got my first allotment last week which is a little over grown, nothing major, just grass all over and a fair bit of couch grass.

Just wondering what's the best way to prep it for winter, my plan is to start with 2 beds which covers just over half of my plot and was going to strim it down as short as possible, dig out the big clumps of couch grass and then cover with cardboard and a tarp over winter. Would this be the best method?

Also as it's a little bit uneven, I was hoping to rotavate it all and level it off but have read that I am best to do this once the weeds are dead or removed, so would I be best to do this in Feb after it's been covered for a couple months? I work in a tool hire shop so have free access to a rotavator and any other equipment!  :lol:

Thanks in advance!

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 17631
Re: First allotment
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2021, 20:19 »
Excluding light will kill off most stuff in time, some sooner than others, but couch grass can be done successfully. Take a look at no dig, this works just doing precisely that, Stromboli’s as low as possible,exclude light, cover thickly with cardboard , apply a thick well rotted mulch & then either plant or stand back & weed out any stray weeds that pop up or you could cover with a tarp over the winter & just uncover as you want to plant. Google Charles Dowding, he has masses of YouTube videos to explain it further. I’ve been gardening 40+ years & gone no dig 4 years ago & boy do I wish I’d done it years ago.
A woman's place is in her garden.

See my diary pages here
and add a comment here

*

steven c

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: havering
  • 50
Re: First allotment
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2021, 07:42 »
agree with snowdrops we have grown veg at home for many years a few years ago i was talked into
taking an allotment where a few friends have plots the plot was comepletely overgrown i had seen
charles dowdings videos and thought with a bad back [3 slipped discs] no dig was worth a try  i first
strimmed the whole plot them covered all of it in cardboard  created 8foot x 4foot beds filled these with a mixture of compost and manure the paths were covered with woodchip this has worked very well with
minimal weeds  use this idea at home also. good luck with whatever you try
from bow like to grow

*

Nobbie

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire
  • 990
Re: First allotment
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2021, 09:56 »
The simplest way would be to spray it with glyphosate on a dry afternoon and then just leave it until spring to die and breakdown a bit. When things start growing again give it another spray to catch anything that survived. You can then rotavate ready for planting.

The problem with covering over winter is that you need to keep the tarp/cardboard in place over the windiest part of the year. Ok for small areas, but over a complete allotment this is quite an task.

*

rowlandwells

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: northamptonshire
  • 2395
Re: First allotment
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2021, 17:40 »
quite rite Nobbie I've used roundup [glyphosate] its the best and most effective way for me although we still get the annual weeds but no couch grass its done the trick for me

and I must say the best way to grow couch grass is to rotavate the ground in my opinion the  ground is best dug over a chap has just taken over a really overgrown plot near my me he asked me for some advise so I told him to winter dig the plot and take out all the  couth grass he can then Il spray the plot with roundup come in spring

 

*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Kent
  • 53851
Re: First allotment
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2021, 18:03 »
As others have said, spray with Glyphosate on a dry day (bit rare at this time of year, I know) and leave for the weeds to die off, respray anything that has managed to regrow and leave to die again. Then rotovate,
by Spring all that should be left are annual weeds, growing from this year's seeds and you should be able to hoe those off as the top soil dries out.
I always think it's worth killing all the perennial weeds completely, at first - then you have a clear plot to work with, even if you decide to go no-dig, or no chemicals, from then on.
Good luck.
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 16594
Re: First allotment
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2021, 07:27 »
I always think it's worth killing all the perennial weeds completely, at first - then you have a clear plot to work with, even if you decide to go no-dig, or no chemicals, from then on.
Good luck.

Those are wise words, especially if you want to put a rotavator over the plot.  If you have couch grass, the rotavator will chop the roots into bits and spread them around to re-grow, so you have even more of the stuff.  Rowlandwells is spot on with his advice on that one.

If you create a couple of beds early next year it will give you time to get other useful stuff done in the meantime.  It would be worth clearing a small area and getting compost bins set up for starters  :)

*

sebsands

  • Newbie
  • *
  • 9
Re: First allotment
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2021, 18:50 »
Snowdrop: Google Charles Dowding.
I`ve watch some of his videos and there seem to be some anomalies. One where he makes  compost  from his garden produce.He apparently puts diseased stuff on including potato and tomato blighted  waste. He states that he din`t get blight from this compost ......yet he had blighted produce to put on the compost. It`s not good enought to say the `didn`t cause any blight  following its use, as blight needs a specific `period`. It could be that  did not occur that year.

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 17631
Re: First allotment
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2021, 21:02 »
Snowdrop: Google Charles Dowding.
I`ve watch some of his videos and there seem to be some anomalies. One where he makes  compost  from his garden produce.He apparently puts diseased stuff on including potato and tomato blighted  waste. He states that he din`t get blight from this compost ......yet he had blighted produce to put on the compost. It`s not good enought to say the `didn`t cause any blight  following its use, as blight needs a specific `period`. It could be that  did not occur that year.

Charles Dowding maintains as do some others that blight can only survive on living material, so composting blighted material shouldn’t allow blight to spread in the compost once used. Others will disagree & I believe some one posted on here just the opposite research piece earlier this year I believe.

*

sebsands

  • Newbie
  • *
  • 9
Re: First allotment
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2021, 15:29 »
"Charles Dowding maintains as do some others that blight can only survive on living material, so composting blighted material shouldn’t allow blight to spread in the compost once used."

The RHS seem to disagree.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/disease/potato-and-tomato-blight



*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Kent
  • 53851
Re: First allotment
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2021, 15:59 »
They do have many caveats in that article
Quote
The presence of new blight strains in the UK means that the pathogen now has the potential to produce resting spores (oospores) in the affected plant tissues. The oospores are released from the rotting tissues to contaminate the soil. These resting spores have yet to be found in the UK, but analysis of the recent variations occurring in blight strains in some parts of the UK suggests that they could be being produced. Little is currently known about their survival and their potential as a source of the disease,

so what you do depends on whether you are a pessimist or not  :lol:

*

Boylan93

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Location: Wrexham
  • 2
Re: First allotment
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2021, 20:15 »
Thanks for all the replies!

I'm trying to stay 100% chemical free so going to stay clear of glyphosate.

I have dug out about half a bed so far and will take me months!

If I dig out the main clumps, rotavate (to level) and then cover with cardboard and build beds over that, surely that would be enough to stop the weeds growing back through right?
There will be cardboard and 6inch of soil and compost on top, so similar to Charles Dowding, just rotavated to level and loosen the lower ground.

Cheers!

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 16594
Re: First allotment
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2021, 08:21 »
That method will stop annual weeds, but you will get some weed growth coming through that from perennial weeds.

The no-dig method has been around for years and it works, but there are limits to what it can do.  It is very different converting an existing cultivated allotment to it to trying to tame perennial weeds with it.  I have no-dig, deep mulch bits on my plot, but I have also tried battling perennial weeds with it and they grow through. 

As has been said before on the thread, rotovating couch grass roots is not a good idea at all.  You will end up with grass growing like a field through the whole bed.


*

Christine

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Northumberland
  • 390
Re: First allotment
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2021, 08:27 »
Rotovating couch grass and dandelions is a very bad idea.

*

jambop

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: south west France
  • 1114
Re: First allotment
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2021, 10:13 »

If it were me I would try to get my hands on some old scrap floor boards or planking of some sort, it does not have to be perfect. If not you can still do it on open ground. Mark out area's of 3m x 1.5m cover the ground with old cardboard from packing cases, double up if you have enough the cover the bed with a mix
 of as much compost, straw and rotted manure you can get your hands on. If you can get that built up to 100 to 150 mm above the carboard great. It is now your choice whether you leave it over winter or try growing some winter veg straight off. It is one of the drawbacks with no dig you do need a lot of material initially but in future years you need less. I really recommend using timber for the sides though, any old stuff will do it is only to hold the soil up, and if you can get them high enough it helps keep onion and carrot fly at bay however the real advantage is the beds remain tidy and do not spread and you can create a weed free walk way around the bed.
Re the composting if the compost is made properly I do not see any issues with blighted toms and potato haulm or the like up to you though. Good luck!



xx
If you take over an allotment

Started by Christine on Grow Your Own

8 Replies
1017 Views
Last post September 26, 2020, 20:18
by Learnerlady
xx
My first allotment!

Started by littlemisssunshine on Grow Your Own

51 Replies
10635 Views
Last post November 01, 2007, 22:05
by littlemisssunshine
xx
I would like an allotment

Started by ChickenSarah on Grow Your Own

7 Replies
3016 Views
Last post January 29, 2009, 19:55
by madcat
xx
New Allotment

Started by Mr PotatoHead on Grow Your Own

2 Replies
1771 Views
Last post March 30, 2008, 18:41
by Yorkie
 

Page created in 0.374 seconds with 52 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |