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How to clear weeds for veg

So...I want to start a no dig veg patch down the side of the house.

Problem is, for three years since we've moved in, we've left this area go completely wild, so it's now covered with wild flowers, long grass, thistles and all manner of towering weeds that I have no idea how to identify.

So, I need to know not only what the best way is to clear the front part of this area so I can use it for veg....but also what can I do to stop weeds etc from the woodland to the side and also from further back in the picture, from spreading back into my newly cleared area. Will I need some kind of perimeter of stones/ wood clippings etc? A perimeter path is always a decent idea I guess, then maintain a good few feet around it and make sure it's freshly mown?

Any experience with areas this badly overgrown? 

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,587
    Strim or scythe weeds down to ground level and then either leave them in place or start a decent compost heap.   If you're in a hurry, cover the entire area with a layer of cardboard - no plastic ties or tape and all metal staples removed.   This will cut light but allow rain to penetrate.   Pile up some top soil or well-rotted compost and plant into that.   There's still time to plant courgettes, some brassicas, strawberries and so on.

    If you have more time, use a sheet of black plastic to block the light and leave it till early spring next year.   Then build some raised beds, line the base with cardboard and add topsoil or compost and start planting.

    Go to the library and get a book on No Dig for more detailed info.  Look for books by Charles Dowding.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Obelixx said:
    Strim or scythe weeds down to ground level and then either leave them in place or start a decent compost heap.   If you're in a hurry, cover the entire area with a layer of cardboard - no plastic ties or tape and all metal staples removed.   This will cut light but allow rain to penetrate.   Pile up some top soil or well-rotted compost and plant into that.   There's still time to plant courgettes, some brassicas, strawberries and so on.

    If you have more time, use a sheet of black plastic to block the light and leave it till early spring next year.   Then build some raised beds, line the base with cardboard and add topsoil or compost and start planting.

    Go to the library and get a book on No Dig for more detailed info.  Look for books by Charles Dowding.
    Thanks, @Obelixx !!

    I'd prefer the best option for minimizing having to fight weeds in the future, so I'm guessing that would be the black plastic jobs rather than the cardboard and soil ontop tonstart straight away? 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,587
    Not necessarily.  Some roots like thistles, nettles and bindweed are really persistent and will survive months under plastic or just head sideways in my experience.  If you cover with cardboard and make raised beds you'll be able to get planting faster and they'll be easy to spot if and when they re-emerge and easy to pull or fork out.   the cardbraord will break down eventually and add to the soil.  The plastic won't.

    Do some research online or at the library and see what Charles Dowding says.  It'll save time in the end.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    edited June 2019
    A no dig system can be expensive to get started unless you have access to lots of free manure and top soil you need at least four to six inches on top of the cardboard or old newspapers these need to laid overlapping two or three inches with no gaps to ensure the weeds don't push through.

    You don't have to build sides you can just lay the stuff down. For paths I would use weed suppressing membrane and wood chips if you can find a local tree surgeon they are usually quite happy to supply the wood chips for a small fee or even free.

    Just one other thing is the land actually yours? as it seems to go on for miles and are you sure your allowed to cultivate it and that its not a public right of way? only could be an expensive project if you find out a year or so down the line it's not your's 🐗

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
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