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Allotment/Veg Patch Thread 6 - Weed 'em and Reap!

(998 Posts)
bookbook Sat 04-Jun-16 22:20:05

Thanks WhoKnowsWhereThe Time GOes for the title of the new thread.
So, we head into summer, praying for sun, gentle rain and no slugs
Everyone welcome to join in and share joys and woes and advice, given freely!
Previous thread here

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 04-Jun-16 22:21:42


LetThereBeCupcakes Sun 05-Jun-16 06:54:28

Signing in!

didireallysaythat Sun 05-Jun-16 08:22:36

New thread, new question:

I'm not going to get to cultivate most half of the plot but I need to keep the weeds down (if nothing else the soil needs one organic matter). I'll cover some with weed matting. But I've been thinking over covering some with cardboard (my Amazon habit hasn't improved). And DS2 has lots of pumpkin seedlings..

So is it just a case of cardboard down, weight down with bricks, cut hole for pumpkins, perhaps put a rim of plastic bottle around them (the allotment has deer) and then when my local supply of horse manure turns up, just put the manure (not rotted but from stables so has straw etc) on top of the cardboard ?

shovetheholly Sun 05-Jun-16 08:53:38

LOVE the title - brilliant whoknows!

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sun 05-Jun-16 09:08:56

I did that with potatoes last year Didi and it worked pretty well. The couch grass and bindweed did make their way through to some extent (it was solid grass previously) but once I had harvested the potatoes the cardboard had more or less gone and I was able to painstakingly hand weed the whole area and it has been easy to use this year. However I think horse manure needs to be rotted for other reasons not just straw content. I used mushroom compost. I also saturated the card/compost before planting, used a bulb planter to make the holes.

DoreenLethal Sun 05-Jun-16 09:15:35

Did - yes that's exactly the best thing to do. It mulches, gives the soil added organic matter and makes it look like you are using the whole plot if you space the pumpkins out all over the place. Also when you are done, the lack of light and added moisture makes the process of getting a majority of the weeds out easier as they are weaker from lack of sun.

The manure, if you place it on top of the cardboard and keep it away from the stems of actual plants then by next year it will be well rotted and then can be dug in. The issue with manure is the poo needs to be free of any parasites so needs about 140 days for those to die off, and so that the acid in the wee and poo doesn't burn the plants.

bookbook Sun 05-Jun-16 09:34:17

everyone has answered before me - only thing to add I put a tile underneath my squashes when they set, to keep them off the soil- even more important with manure.

GreenMarkerPen Sun 05-Jun-16 09:39:38

morning, I found you.

just back from a few days holiday and on first inspection the tomato seedlings are fine, the sunflower seedlings are huge and the sqirrels have been digging a lot
what can I do to stop them when I put the seedlings out?

didireallysaythat Sun 05-Jun-16 09:45:42

Thank you all - I hadn't actually contemplated there being fruit - I'd just rather grow something rather than nothing.

I shall get on with it and report back !

GreenMarkerPen Sun 05-Jun-16 09:48:34

ime pumpkins are great weed suppressors.
they get huge , lots of foliage. anything low growing will be in trouble...

Cathpot Sun 05-Jun-16 13:16:59

So with horse poo- I've been mulching with it a couple of years with no disasters but how can I tell if it's well rotted? It doesn't smell and its full of worms is that a good sign? You can still clearly see the straw though.

In other news I've got 24 days before I'm back in my garden and friends are sending me photos of how lovely and sunny it is at home and all I can do is worry about various plants dying of thirst!

GreenMarkerPen Sun 05-Jun-16 13:27:45

your horse poo sounds good never thought I would say that
I use it fresh, which is fine as long as you leave a couple of inches around the base of the plant.

Cathpot Sun 05-Jun-16 14:20:41

Ok, that's good thanks.

LetThereBeCupcakes Sun 05-Jun-16 14:35:29

So this horse manure then. If I put it on top of the soil after things cone out in autumn, will it rot down over winter? I know someone with a couple of horses but never took any manure because I thought I'd need to have space to rot it down, but if it can go on the veggie patch that would be great! Should I cover it with something?

bookbook Sun 05-Jun-16 14:36:50

what a glorious day !!
Had a good morning weeding...planted out a few more sprouts, and loads of annuals for my cutting flower bed. Had to water everything!
I have the first flowers on my peas, one beautiful deep purple cosmos flower and - carrots have germinated grin ... a bit patchy .... and no beetroot so far.....
cathpot - I think if its not smelling, its good to go!

bookbook Sun 05-Jun-16 14:39:36

x post Cupcakes - yes, it works really well. It acts as a mulch and weed suppressant as well.
I use cow manure , and just cover as a mulch in autumn as I finish harvesting, and leave it. Its broken down by spring

GreenMarkerPen Sun 05-Jun-16 14:40:46

yes in winter I put as much grass cuttings and horse poo down as I can (I don't know anyone with horses but horses pass by us often and leave presents)

Hiahia Sun 05-Jun-16 14:46:16

Hope the weather is good for you wherever you are!
I have sowed in pots many chillies, basils (including thai) and something called 'electric daisies' which make-up the national dish (it's called Romazava and is delicious and very tingly) of Madagascar, where my family has ties... Of course these are hot weather plants...

All of these have become cute and healthy seedlings but I am wondering, as I have no greenhouse, if I could put the seedlings under cloche at the allotment? Or if I'm better off letting them do their thing under the elements... I am in the South West so pretty good weather for England. But still... England. On the other end I don't want to stress them out if I forget to go watering every now and then... Or maybe bare head in the day, cloched at night? Argh! Any insight from past experience would be most welcome!

LetThereBeCupcakes Sun 05-Jun-16 14:54:02

Sounds great. Now, if only I can figure out a way to stop the dogs eating it..

Belleende Sun 05-Jun-16 20:06:37

Good day today. For the first time began to believe that we might just get an allotment at the end of this. Finished clearing out between the raspberries. Going to leave it and see what kind of crop we get before I decide to move or mulch. All the stuff we put in the first bed is doing well, slugs have had a nibble at the squashes.
But, best of all, the first small bed I did took over a week to dig and get rid of the devil couch grass. The next one much quicker, there is much less couch root. I think it is spreading from the untended other half of our plot so there is less of it further up.

So. Compost. Is it worth getting a bin up there or do pallet bins work just as well. I have a bin in the garden but it doesn't seem to be composting.

Lulooo Sun 05-Jun-16 21:18:42

This might sound daft (but none of you know me IRL anyway so if I make a fool of myself it doesn't really matter wink) but what's so funny about weed em and reap? Why is it funny?

bookbook Sun 05-Jun-16 21:30:37

HiaHia - had a quick google on electric daisies smile - it seems to say you can put them out as half hardy , so should be fine outside now, so why not the allotment? Basil and chillies are better for a bit more warmth, so I would suggest a bit more protection - maybe a sunny windowsill?
Belleeende ., yes to seeing results already! Definitely do your own compost, whatever you can do - have you enough space for a pallet construction? If so, I would go for that. Composting - is it totally not composting, or is it doing it slowly? I have 2 at home - one is for filling up, and while I am filling that, the other one is left to do its thing, usually 6-12 months - its a bit slowly, slowly. Do you water it at all? We don't put grass in ours ( that has its own heap , hidden away) just kitchen peelings, garden weeds, spent flowers, that sort of thing.

bookbook Sun 05-Jun-16 21:33:38

Lulooo - just a play on the phrase 'read it and weep', thats what I thought and it made me smile !

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sun 05-Jun-16 21:55:07

I googled "gardening puns" blush

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