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Hello, I am new here and would appreciate any advice ...

I have a metre wide border made up of poor heavy clay soil which has been overrun with ivy and other weeds.  I would like to try and prevent the return of these weeds and also improve the soil quality.

I have cleared as much of this area as possible and then laid cardboard sheets over it with a 100 mm covering of lovely municipal compost. What should I cover the compost with now? I assume if I just leave it, it will start sprouting new weeds.  Should I use lawn cuttings or perhaps bark chips?  I am not in a hurry to plant in this border and am happy to wait as long as it takes to do the job.

Many thanks,  

Andrew

Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,434
    Welcome to the Forum.
    The biggest problem you'll have , is that you've created a lovely bed for every wind blown weed seed to grow in. Getting it planted up is the best thing to do
    Devon.
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 34,493
    Hello Andrew and welcome to the forum. Definitely not lawn cuttings unless you only use a thin layer mixed in with the compost. Use them in a compost bin with lots of coarser material to keep it aerated. Bark chips would be fine but weeds can even push up through them. There is really no need to cover your compost though. Just run a hoe over any weed seedlings that may appear.
    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    I’d be more concerned about the ivy making a speedy return.
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,108
    If I can take up your final thought about you not being worried about how long it takes, I think I'd probably remove the cardboard and dig the bed over to mix in the good layer of compost with the heavy clay below.  My reservations with the other suggestions is that they all present a hospitable environment for any migrating seed.  Once dug, I'd replace your cardboard, but then cover the lot with black plastic builder's membrane and anchor it down.  The result won't look particularly attractive but, by next Feb/March, you'll have a workable weed free bed that, in the meantime, can be prettied up with a few potted shrubs or flowers, ideally standing on small slabs, to disguise what's going on underneath.
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    nick615 said:
    If I can take up your final thought about you not being worried about how long it takes, I think I'd probably remove the cardboard and dig the bed over to mix in the good layer of compost with the heavy clay below.  My reservations with the other suggestions is that they all present a hospitable environment for any migrating seed.  Once dug, I'd replace your cardboard, but then cover the lot with black plastic builder's membrane and anchor it down.  The result won't look particularly attractive but, by next Feb/March, you'll have a workable weed free bed that, in the meantime, can be prettied up with a few potted shrubs or flowers, ideally standing on small slabs, to disguise what's going on underneath.
    Or you could leave as is and let the worms do the work...
  • pompei500pompei500 Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone!  :)
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