Grow Your Own Magazine

Navbar button growfruitandveg.co.uk Logo
Forum Navigation

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree4Likes
  • 1 Post By bario1
  • 1 Post By Jay-ell
  • 2 Post By Scoot

Thread: Laying cardboard?

  1. #1
    Scoot's Avatar
    Scoot is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Co. Durham
    Posts
    1,374

    Default Laying cardboard?

    I have a annual wildflower meadow at the bottom of qmy garden which i sow every spring. I always weed and turn the soil over before sowing. Once sowed though its literally impossible to weed so i end up with a load of grass and stuff i dont want in it like that sticky jack stuff. So next year i planned on laying cardboard over the area and putting a garden compost mulch over it and sowing the seeds into that. I was just wondering when would be the best time to lay the cardboard? Early spring a few weeks before i sow or lay it, mulch it and sow the seeds all at the same time in early april (weather permitting)?

    Any help would be great thanks.

  2. #2
    bario1's Avatar
    bario1 is online now Work in progress...
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    3,529

    Default

    I would lay the cardboard early Spring or even late Winter, that will give it time to soak and break down enough to let the flower roots penetrate it... otherwise, you'll have an unstable medium prone to drying out?
    Scoot likes this.
    He-Pep!

  3. #3
    bikermike is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    North London frontier
    Posts
    1,265

    Default

    is turning the soil over part of the problem? it can bring dormant weed seeds to the surface.

    I'm trying cardboard for the first time this year. I've put a layer down on a flower bed with some compost on top (about an inch or so), for cosmetic purposes as much an anything (the plants are growing in holes cut in it). So far the compost has been OK, but I have been watering every couple of days in this heat. There's a few bits of cardboard sticking through, but nothing too unsightly. It's only been down three weeks, mind...

  4. #4
    ESBkevin is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Mid Suffolk
    Posts
    1,039

    Default

    Following on from bikermike, I'd go No-Dig by putting a thick (double) layer down late autumn and some mulch on top. That will finish this years plants/weeds and get you ready for next. You might fork out any persistant weeds like bindweed or dockleaf just to be sure, otherwise cover everything.
    Beware that autumn mulch creates a haven for bugs and worms and the overwintering birds will pull it about looking for food which is lovely but messy.
    So have some additional compost or mulch available in the spring to dress the bed and sow direct into that.

  5. #5
    Scoot's Avatar
    Scoot is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Co. Durham
    Posts
    1,374

    Default

    So i take it you mean pull all the dead flower stems out etc so the bed is more flat and then lay the cardboard down?

  6. #6
    4Shoes's Avatar
    4Shoes is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Wigtownshire
    Posts
    1,168
    Blog Entries
    11

    Default

    Is that not part of the problem? Do you not grow Wildflower meadow on less fertile land?

    My understanding (from watching Country File and the like) is that you prepare the bed. Sow the seeds. in the late summer / early Autumn Cut the "Hay". Give it a good shake and remove the stalks. This reduces the fertility of the soil, seeds next season and reduces your workload.

  7. #7
    Jay-ell's Avatar
    Jay-ell is online now Welcome To The Jungle
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Posts
    5,843
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Hmm, here's a couple of suggestions for future years.

    The Wild flowers grow on poorer soils than the grass. If you an do something to remove the fertility from the patch then the grass will have a harder time (possibly grow some heavy feeders for a year or two).

    Keep your spend compost from pots and bags this season to use on top of the cardboard - that way it won#t be as rich.

    Don't dig it over - you're just bringing more weed seeds to the surface.

    Remove the dried plants at the end of the season - don't let them compost on the spot. Give the flowers a good shale to free the seeds then compost the rest of the plants.

    Try introducing a parasite of the grass called Yellow Rattle which will sap some of the energy from the grass by feeding on the roots and robbing them of nutrients.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/proper...-a6686111.html
    4Shoes likes this.

    New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

    ”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."
    ― Thomas A. Edison

    “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
    ― Thomas A. Edison

    - I must be a Nutter,VC says so -

  8. #8
    Scoot's Avatar
    Scoot is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Co. Durham
    Posts
    1,374

    Default

    I knew this would come up and i was of the same thinking, that wildflower meadows like poorer soils which is why i have never added anything to the patch.

    Then i read this...

    What type of wildflower meadow?
    It is important to choose the meadow that will be most successful on the site you have to offer:

    Perennial meadows thrive best on poor soils because the grasses compete less with the wildflowers. If you have rich soil, it is worth removing the top layer and sowing directly into dug or rotovated sub-soil

    Annual meadows, usually of cornfield annuals, need rich soils. These are a good choice where you are converting an existing border


    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=436

    I thought this might explain why the flowers seem to have got smaller over the last couple of years, due to lack of nutrients?
    Jay-ell and 4Shoes like this.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts