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How best to get empty veg patch through winter?

(12 Posts)
butterandcrumpets Sun 25-Sep-16 12:27:03

I am a novice gardener and have been growing some veggies this year. I won't be having anything in the patch over winter and was wondering what I should do to keep weeds at bay, help the soil so that I can start again in spring. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

PinkSwimGoggles Sun 25-Sep-16 12:30:17

I'm now as I'm clearing the area putting on cardboard (to stop the weeds) and layering manure (horse and chicken in my case) and grass cuttings on top.
by spring it's all nicely mixed together and ready to go.

butterandcrumpets Sun 25-Sep-16 13:04:31

Thank you, pink. So the cardboard breaks down over winter? Could I just use flattened boxed etc for this? Not sure if I can get my hand on manure but a colleage has offered me compost; would that work too? I am rather clueless grin

butterandcrumpets Sun 25-Sep-16 13:05:19

excuse typos blush

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sun 25-Sep-16 13:06:55

I use boxes at the allotment, covered in either manure, compost or black membrane pegged dow tightly. I don't bother picking all the tape off it (I used to waste ages on this), just pick it out of the soil the folloeing spring. Any unrotted card goes gradually into the compost bin.

roomonmybroom Sun 25-Sep-16 13:11:54

I don't do anything, I tried the cardboard, but ended up with lots of soggy cardboard to clear.
I just leave mine fallow, as not much at all grows if you have kept on top of the weeds, but I will give it a hoe now and again on a sunny winter day until it starts to freeze, then in early spring I give it a good weed, dig over and feed to prepare for planting.

Chrysanthemum5 Sun 25-Sep-16 13:18:54

I use a green manure - you plant seeds of something like alfalfa and then it grows overwinter. This keeps weeds down and then in spring you dig it in to the soil which enriches it. You can buy the seeds in a garden centre and there are different ones so you can find one that suits your soil.

shovetheholly Sun 25-Sep-16 14:18:12

My green manure has just sprouted! It's a great way of cutting down on the amount of poo you need while ensuring nutrients aren't lost from the soil over winter.

You can also grow overwintering peas and beans (sow Oct/Nov). These will crop early next year and will produce nitrogen for your beds in the interim.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Wed 28-Sep-16 13:51:02

In the same situation we covered in it manure. Compost would be more expensive (we got the manure for free) but would be good too. It's worth asking around for local sources of manure - any riding stables nearby?

Gatekeeper Wed 28-Sep-16 13:53:45

I've planted phacelia- suppresses weeds and breaks down into a lot of organic matter

shovetheholly Wed 28-Sep-16 14:02:42

book shared this link a while ago - it's a brilliant summary of the qualities of each kind of green manure. What you use depends on your soil, when you want to sow, and how long you want it in for (some mature in a few weeks, others take months)


bookbook Wed 28-Sep-16 17:45:50

I tend to cover mine with about 4" of rotted manure, which will then dig in easily come spring.
and Phacelia this year for bits that don't need it!

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