New Allotment - Manuring and or covering with sheeting


A few months ago we got an allotment, it was extremely overgrown and the soil is full of weeds. We've since cleared the plot and laid a plastic weed membrane on top and are now gradually putting in some raised beds. There has been some manure left by a local farmer which we have laid on top, but have then re-covered with the plastic weed membrane.  

My question is, is this correct?  Do we need to cover it, or should we leave it uncovered for the frost to get to? I'm worried that if we leave it uncovered all those weeds we have managed to kill will grow back.

Thank you


  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,092

    Perennial weeds will find their way through your manure mulch without any problem.

    Hindsight is always wonderful but you need to rid your plot of any perennial weeds before you mulch - it may take you a couple of years to do this but it will be worth it.  Hard work and digging out is the only way to go.  Mulching can weaken the growth to an extent but rarely solves the problem entirely.

    Once you get to the stage when you only need to remove annual weeds, you can relax a little and enjoy your harvestimage

  • Brilliant - thank you for your advice, we will dig on!

  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 5,098

    Sorry to say you will never get rid of weeds BUT you can keep them under control 

    Have had an allotment for a few years and use a bit of both , covering with plastic until spring 

    and weeding a bed & cover with a manure / compost mulch 

    Do use weed killer on paths , with  Bark chipping and edging 

    We also use weed killer on horse tail 

    Best of luck image

    NB . This is a great site for practical advice 

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,902

    I do both.

    Also, covering, first with cardboard, muck then plastic works well, the worms pull the muck into the soil whist the dark will kill the weeds due to lack of light.

    In April or a couple of weeks before planting, pull back the plastic, dig the soil over removing all further weeds and leave for a couple of weeks, any weeds which grow dig out again before planting out.

    Good luck and happy growing.

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