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  1. #1
    hailtryfan's Avatar
    hailtryfan is offline Sprouter
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    Default how should I clear my new plot?

    Hi all,

    Just taken over the uncultivated half plot next to mine and I'm just mulling over how to clear it.

    What I'm thinking of doing is strimming, rouch digging, then covering the entire plot with 6 inches of horse manure. I'm hoping the manure will stop the couch growing through and will be pulled down by worms to improve the heavy soil.

    Thinking I will only plant spuds on the plot in the coming year and will dig out any roots as i plant these.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    binley100's Avatar
    binley100 is offline Gardening Guru
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    I'd try and lay down sheets of cardboard before the manure. But to be honest I think the only way to get rid of the dreaded couch grass is to dig it out...
    S*d the housework I have a lottie to dig
    a batch of jam is always an act of creation ..Christine Ferber

    You can't beat a bit of garden porn

  3. #3
    denise's Avatar
    denise is offline Rooter
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    Cardboard works wonders, we used this and were amazed by the results and the responsive (negative) from other plot holders.
    Denise xox

    Learn from the mistakes of others because you'll never live long enough to make them all yourself.
    -- Alfred E. Neumann
    http://denise-growingmyown.blogspot.com//

  4. #4
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hailtryfan View Post
    I'm thinking of ... 6 inches of horse manure. I'm hoping the manure will stop the couch
    Go the cardboard route, to completely block the light. You can then top with horse muck. Carpet is OK, but not as good as card or wet newspapers, topped with whatever to hold it down.

    Cardboard is good, but the best results I ever had on couch was an old fence panel on top: after 6 months barely anything was alive underneath, just a few straggles of bindweed root.
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  5. #5
    hailtryfan's Avatar
    hailtryfan is offline Sprouter
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    Thanks for the advice peeps
    We're not allowed to use carpet on our plot but the rules don't mention cardboard. Does the cardboard rot down pretty quickly?

    I was hoping the worms would pull some of the manure into the soil for me improving it slowly but think the cardboard would stop them. Am I wrong?

    Any idea where I can procure 100 square metres of cardboard?

    Thanks
    Last edited by hailtryfan; 15-10-2010 at 04:37 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
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    Collect cardboard from the back of shops

    It rots down steadily, especially when wet. Same with newspaper: not too thick though.

    Cardboard won't stop worms, because cardboard is an organic material and will rot like everything else. In fact worms love it, and will congregate underneath
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

  7. #7
    hailtryfan's Avatar
    hailtryfan is offline Sprouter
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    Thanks Two Sheds. Looks like i'm heading to the shops tomorrow then.

  8. #8
    geoff is offline Rooter
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    I used cardboard, newspaper, and paper sacks that had contained flour and sugar, all topped with a thick layer of manure. Got it free from a stables, they were glad to get rid of it and delivered a trailer load to my plot - that's about eight tons!
    Spend a while with a cup of tea and pick over the cardboard to remove packing tape, sticky plastic lables and so on. Also check the sacks are all paper, and don't have a plastic lining
    This didn't kill all the weeds, mainly buttercup, but it did reduce them considerably, and made it easier to dig out the remaining ones
    Do it now and it will all rot over the winter, ready for digging in in the spring

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