Keeping an area weed free
Apologies in advance for asking what is bound to be a stupid question, but I've got a bit confused about something and need some honest advice. I am very much a beginner gardener, and a bit overwhelmed by it all at the moment.
I have an area 4ft x 40ft which was filled with old bushes, 8ft high brambles, stinging nettles, ivy etc etc. All the bushes have been cut down, the ground treated with glycophosphate and the area rotivated. The plan was to put espaliered or cordon fruit trees along there this winter, but lack of funds mean this has had to be postponed.
In the meantime, the weeds had grown up again to a solid mass of green- thistles, nettles, brambles, ivy,bindweed, all those lovely things sent to try us. Over the past few weeks I have hand dug the entire area, removed the weeds, traced and dug out loads of roots and levelled it. It was blooming hard work.
Now I need to keep it weed free until at the earliest next March, and worst case scenario, next autumn.
I have covered it in black weed fabric, which I have to say doesn't look terribly strong. Should I put a layer of bark chips on top? What do I do with this layer when I finally get to put my fruit trees in? Remove it completely? Cut holes to put the trees in and leave most in situ?
I really can't face digging it all over endlessly for perhaps another 12 months!!! There must be some way to stop the blighters. I am feeling rather defeated by their tenacity and vigor. Its putting me off the garden all together! Please help!!!!