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Black polythene

After my post about my orange alstroemeria last week I have now dug over the whole area and removed my plants and all the offending plant with as many roots as possible. The area (3mx3.5m)  is now covered with black polythene and I intend to leave it for a year. After this time what do I have to do to the soil before using it again. The soil in the area is acidic.



  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Add lots of compost or well-rotted manure.  In fact you could do this sooner than the end of the year to let the worms mix it all up under the polythene.

    If you want to grow anything other than acid-loving rhododendrons, azaleas etc. and it's acidic, you'll need lime as well but dont apply it at the same time as the manure or all the nitrogen will then be given off in the form of ammonia.

    In the meantime maybe you could put some pots and troughs on top to improve its look.

  • thefostersthefosters Posts: 78

    Thank you. Sounds as if I am going to have to work really hard this autumn as trying to find a day when there is not too much wind so that I can handle the polythene will be difficult. Never mind!!!

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Doesn't have to wait till autumn, I'd say.   But you could roll it around something (cardboard tube from the middle of a roll of carpet?  Thrown away by carpet shops) to keep it under control.

  • thefostersthefosters Posts: 78

    I'll give the tube a try Steve. I brought a tree to my new garden, a Cercis Candensis,as my husband had given it to me, and I have had to leave it surrounded by the polythene. Should it be ok

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,958

    First thing I would do is remove the black polythene and replace it with a couple of layers of weed suppressing fabric.  Water can't get through polythene and it will tend to rip if the wind gets at it and deteriorate rapidly if the sun does.  A loser either way image

  • thefostersthefosters Posts: 78

    After speaking to a few people over the last few daysI know the weed suppressing fabric dosen't work with this particular thug.  I have laid lots of slates on top of the polythene and here in Scotland sadly warm sunshine is unlikely to be a problem.

    The plants I dug up over the weekend were at least 60cms in height and the area in question was totally covered with the alstroemeria so I don't feel that spraying the new growth is an option.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,423

    I agree with Verdun. I'm not much of a chemicals person but I think it's that or repeated digging. I don't think covering it will do it. 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,851

    I know from experience that it grows underneath and around the polythene and just comes up elsewhere! It can also withstand strong weedkiller....been there and done it image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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