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  • 1 Post By marchogaeth

Thread: Ploughed Field

  1. #1
    fifokins is offline Germinator
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    Default Ploughed Field

    hi I am not sure if this is the right thread to post on but we have just started on a new allotment which is a ploughed field. Do we did up the turf and put it on the side to rot anduse the soil below, or do we have to turn the turf over? We have half a plot so it is a large space.

    What is the best option? The majority of the soil is very clay like.

    Thanks for you help

  2. #2
    alldigging is offline Early Fruiter
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    Take a photo.

    Probably remove any large pieces of turf - remove excess soil and stack them.
    If you could rotavate it then the turf might separate off better but you'd still have to manually go over it all to get it all out.

    If it's a large space you'll not clear it all ready for planting before the weeds start growing. So cover most of the plot until you are ready. Cardboard is the cheap option (Ask local supermarkets and be prepared to be flexible about time you collect it). Water it - as it'll stay on better. But you might need to weight it down.

    Start on one section and get it ready and plant in it. Start some seeds off now - broad beans, leeks, etc

    Build a compost pile - don't throw weeds away - they will rot.
    And if you have room and other people are throwing their turfs and weeds away collect them too. It'll all turn into compost eventually.

    One of my biggest regrets is not being able to convince people on our site when we started (from scratch) to compost everything on their own sites.

  3. #3
    Aberdeenplotter is offline Gardening Guru
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    hopefully the ground was ploughed before the recent frosts and the clay will have been broken up. I would dig the whole plot over, shouldn't be too hard if it's already been ploughed, put the turves in to the bottom of the trench and soil on top.

  4. #4
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    marchogaeth is offline Early Fruiter
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    I agree that a photo would be really useful as, like Chris I would expect a properly ploughed field to have the grass under the furrow where it should be left to rot. It's hard to tell you to dig out and compost turves when, if they are fairly well buried, you could be better putting cardboard (or other mulch) down for a few months and lifting it as and when you are ready to start cultivating.
    Last edited by marchogaeth; 04-02-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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  5. #5
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    Quote Originally Posted by fifokins View Post
    ... a ploughed field. Do we did up the turf and put it on the side to rot ...or do we have to turn the turf over?
    It's up to you, either would work (done properly). At home I had nowhere to stack turves, so I turned my lawn upside down and planted straight into it. The grass dies without light.

    ** Don't do this with couch grass: it DOESN'T die. Ever **
    All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

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    Lucky old you - the part of a farmer's field I took on last year hadn't been ploughed for 25 years and was about as permanent as permanent pasture gets. Very clayey also.

    First thing is don't be too daunted but don't try to bite off more than you can chew in the first season. I made beds and planting areas by mattocking off the grass (a mattock is a great tool) together with an inch or so of topsoil, inverting it and making heaps. The grass has died off now, and I've been weeding through the heaps to remove as much other perennial weed as I can. I'm now mixing that soil 50/50 with chicken manure to use as a mulch and to help create a tilth for seed sowing.

    If it's been ploughed you presumably don't have the same scale of problem, but I think it would be a good idea to try and recover as many of the turves as you can and stack them to rot down rather than dig them in.

  7. #7
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    rustylady is offline Gardening Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barking Postlethwaite View Post

    If it's been ploughed you presumably don't have the same scale of problem, but I think it would be a good idea to try and recover as many of the turves as you can and stack them to rot down rather than dig them in.
    Why recover and stack them? If the field has been ploughed properly the turves will rot down in the soil.

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