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What to do over winter

Although I'm growing one or two things over winter, I'm going to basically have three bare raised beds. What's the best thing to do? Plant green manure? Mulch? Cover with cardboard etc? Or does it depend on what was grown there this year and/or what is planned for next year.

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 73,697
    The bare areas of our veg patch will be forked over lightly then mulched with a mixture of homemade compost and wellrotted manure, which will be turned in as soon as the soil is dry enough to work in the spring. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    My allotment is heavy clay so anything to add organic matter I use green manure especially Phycellia which stops weed seeds ,helps prevent soil erosion and can then be dug in. Also have tried cardboard and weed suppressing  membrane  but then that insulates the soil and stops the frost breaking up the clay.  This might not be an issue for you if you've got raised beds. 
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,257
    Hi @tessagardenbarmy, not being picky I promise but I have heavy clay and always looking for good weed suppressing ideas  :)

    Did you mean phacelia? I like the idea of lovely purple flowers but I am rubbish at most stuff you can't eat and have never tried an over winter green manure. Would love to give it a go.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,916
    I'm going with "no dig" and just mulching heavily on top, but it's hard not to get out there with a spade and get digging.
    It's a hard habit to kick.
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 73,697
    @Hostafan1 ... I sort of 'fork over' the surface before mulching... no deeper than 6" or so ... that gives me a chance to remove large stones and any remaining veg roots or infiltrating tree roots etc.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,916
    I think I saw a Charles Dowding clip  on you tube and he said that most weeds germinate because the seed has been brought up to the surface during cultivation. I can see the logic in that claim, but am I weird in actually enjoying digging a bed over?
    "No dig" is certainly easier on the back, and much less time consuming though.
    Devon.
  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    Hi @herbaceous. Yes I do mean phacelia  (I blame not checking for predictive  text quirks!)
    Use it for  overwintering  and only when I  have got crops in like Brussels,Kale etc. Have tried others like rye and clover but however much I dug them in just couldn't get  rid of them.  Additional  bonus are phacelia  flowers (I try not to let them seed),which are adowed by beneficial  insects  so as far as I'm  concerned  it's a win win plant.
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,257
    Thank you @tessagardenbarmy that's really interesting. I've never tried winter greens as I get fed up just digging out the wild plants that turn up but I thought it might spur me on to dig the area over as part of my constant battle with couch grass. The idea of some lovely flowers (other than the mallow which is also a bit of a battle) for me and the insects appealed.

    I might give it a go this year  :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    Hi @herbaceous. I've got couch,dock,thistle and nettles they just love clay.  I try to grow or cover as much as I  can and try to crowd the weeds out! Doesn't  always work and I do have to have a good purge occasionally.  If I can't  dig them out without disturbing  the crop I paint the leaves with a roof kill weedkiller.  Good luck  x
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