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Strulch vs Manure etc

Hi All

We need to do something to keep the weeds down in our beds and moisture in as we have largely heavy clay soil which backs hard and doesn’t drain well.  We live in the middle of meadows and woodlands and the garden just wants to revert to its natural state, so it’s a constant battle with Brambles, Bindweed, Couch, Nettles, Chickweed, Dandelions, you name it. 

Last year we covered all the beds in GroMore Smart Ground Cover and that did a good job suppressing weeds, plus made the clay soil look a lot more attractive as it was darker, looking more like a good soil base. It seems to now have been absorbed into the soil, not really lasting the two years the packets stated but that’s life and hopefully it’s all helping the soil, worms and insects etc.

Earlier this year we got hold of some well rotted manure and put it round the rose bases and some other plants as felt the soil really needed a boost and some plants had struggled last year.

My dilemma is do I put more store-bought mulch down - am thinking of trying Strulch this time as heard lots of good things - or should we keep the soil free of that kind of mulch so we can continue to put down manure again? So the quandary is soil improving vs weed suppressant. Are they mutually exclusive? I.e, if we put Strulch down, could we then lay manure on top and would that still make its way down to the soil in a suitable time frame?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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