Weed control fabric

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Weston grower

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Weed control fabric
« on: October 14, 2010, 10:04 »
Hi all,

What are your thoughts on covering empty ground with weed control fabric until you want to plant again?

This year as beds become empty I've dug them over & removed weeds and roots. I'm leaving them open in the hope that I encourage dormant weed seeds to start to grow so that I can hoe them out. Also any couch/thistle/nettles etc.

My thoughts are that this will reduce the amount of weeds I get after I replant in the Spring. Other plot holders just cover with WCF.

Am I just making work for myself or will I see results?

Cheers, WG

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Puenktchen

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Re: Weed control fabric
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 10:13 »
I do the same. My thought is if I cover everything with a weed control fabric or with plastic the weed seeds just stay dormant until I remove the cover in spring and will start to germinate all at once just when I want to start sowing the vegetable seeds. But I will cover the empty beds with manure over winter as even the weed seeds will not germinate any more because it is to cold.




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bigben

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Re: Weed control fabric
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 10:22 »
It is an interesting question - does covering avoid germination and thus postpone it for the spring or does the little extra warmth encourage it, then the lack of light kill off what germinates? Thus reducing what is going to pop up in the spring?

I have tended to wait until I see a few tiny seedlings then cover hopeing that these will be dead and less of a problem in the spring.

Covering certainly helps stop ground getting overgrown so you dont have to redig in spring just loosen up what you have already dug earlier. I think cover with manure then put the fabric on would be even better.

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Salmo

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Re: Weed control fabric
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 00:07 »
I must admit I am not a great fan of covering beds over the Winter, especially with waterproof ploythene sheet. Permiable sheet at least lets the Winter rains into the soil.

To my mind if a bed is left uncovered birds will be on it looking for weed seeds and beasties to eat, and that includes slugs which love life under sheets, especially if manure is added first.

Frost is also important on heavy soils to break it down over the Winter, it also kills many fuungal spores, some of which are responsible for important diseases such as onion white rot. Insulate the soil and this cannot happen.

Weeds should be encouraged to germinate by lightly cultivating the surface. If digging is delayed until the soil gets cold there should be very few weeds after that. If there are any there is always Roundup in the Spring.



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