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I have just dug over two sections of the allotment and I am considering covering these areas with tarpaulins this year to discourage weeds from growing before the spring. Has anyone else done this in the past and found it successful and also, if so, what type was used and where is the best place to purchase. 



  • Best off using black plastic sheeting not tarps. Available online or at hardware stores.

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    Thanks for that Dave.

  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 7,304

    Tarpaulin or plastic sheeting will prevent any moisture getting to the soil, is that what you are trying to do?  If not, you would be better to use weed suppression fabric.  You can get large rolls on-line so use 2 or 3 layers and weigh it down with bricks or blocks.

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    Good point KT53 -  I have just looked up weed suppressant fabric on-line and it would be very expensive for the area that needs covering.  Therefore I think I have now ditched the idea and will have to dig it all over again in the spring.image

  • Unattractive as it sounds I was chatting to someone who suggested flattened cardboard boxes. Keep them wet and maybe weighed down for windy episodes image It'll stop the soil going sour. Shame to waste all that digging.

  • I bought some great green tarpaulin not long back, The green helped it blend into my garden a bit more than the black or blue ones!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,400

    My gardening guru friend swears by cardboard for keeping weeds down on bare soil.  Lets in air and moisture but not light so no weedlings except form old roots.

    By the end of winter when you want to work the soil again it's often broken down and can be forked in rather than having to take it away.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Exackerly what I was told but by a man at the dump/recycling yard! Must be true!

  • I'd heard that cardboard would also kind of compost in so that made it beneficial.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,053

    It's probably the best solution - if you can get hold of enough cardboard!

    Not what you might want in the garden, especially in an area that's easily seen, but for an allotment it sounds perfect.  image

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

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