Allotment keeping weeds down

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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Thomas_HoldingThomas_Holding Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I have a new allotment which I am hoping to put some white currants, black currants etc in.
What is the easiest and cheapest way of keeping the weeds down?
I don't have any grass cutting etc to use as mulch. I might be able to get shredded paper from work.
I don't have a shredder though.
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  • Linda32Linda32 Forumite
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    Firstly, it depends what you mean by weeds.

    Nettles you want to keep, just cut them down when they get knee high. They will only grow in a small patch where they think the soil is good enough ;-) they are a sign of good soil.

    If you mean couch, it isn't that bad, digging and taking each piece out is the easiest and cheapest - no cost at all. It does work eventually. Growing potatoes on that land is best as they are automatically a ground clearer because of how they grow.

    Grass cuttings and shredded paper won't be of any use at all in keeping weeds of any sort down so I wouldn't worry about not having any. :D;)

    Very best of luck though, you won't regret it, it is a wonderful hobby.
  • Thomas_HoldingThomas_Holding Forumite
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    Linda32 wrote: »
    Firstly, it depends what you mean by weeds.

    Nettles you want to keep, just cut them down when they get knee high. They will only grow in a small patch where they think the soil is good enough ;-) they are a sign of good soil.

    If you mean couch, it isn't that bad, digging and taking each piece out is the easiest and cheapest - no cost at all. It does work eventually. Growing potatoes on that land is best as they are automatically a ground clearer because of how they grow.

    Grass cuttings and shredded paper won't be of any use at all in keeping weeds of any sort down so I wouldn't worry about not having any. :D;)

    Very best of luck though, you won't regret it, it is a wonderful hobby.


    I meant the grass growing up between bushes.
  • Linda32Linda32 Forumite
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    Oh dear, I feel your pain.

    If anyone knows an easy way, please let me know :D Getting down on hands and knees and pulling it out as often as needed.

    That isn't easy but I don't know of anything else.

    As far as cheapest goes, well that is free but I can't think of anything to buy either, cheap or otherwise, which won't kill the bush as well.

    I've tried compost as a mulch and black fabric along the base :rotfl: the grass just laughs......

    Edited to add, I've got it around a loganberry :o:eek::mad: They taste nice though!
  • edited 28 November 2018 at 3:06PM
    savemoneysavemoney Forumite
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    edited 28 November 2018 at 3:06PM
    I use weed suppressant the way I use it takes a little time but the effort in long run is worth it. I cut the membrane to size and seal the cuts with something hot this stops the plastic fraying. I use a metal tent peg on a camp stove heated up to seal edges. I cut circle where I want the bushes to be in around the base leave a big of room for plant to grow.I then anchor membrane with plastic pegs that came with it.

    Failing that straw is a good mulch if you can get it or leaf mould we get that for free the leaf mould
  • edited 28 November 2018 at 3:18PM
    savemoneysavemoney Forumite
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    edited 28 November 2018 at 3:18PM
    This is what I have done Blueberries are in pots with eracious compost. I covered the membrane later with wood chips I got free just to make it look like its more natural



    20180508-164021.jpg
  • savemoneysavemoney Forumite
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    This is onions and garlic I do every year I roll up the membrane for next year had two years use so far and no wear at all. Secret is to seal edges and any cuts that way no plastic works loose


    20180508-164043.jpg
  • JourneyHJourneyH Forumite
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    Hiya, snap, I have had mine a year and left it to see what came up, the whole allotment site has mares tail but it doesn't really take much out of the soil, stops other things growing, so I am going to be radical and leave it be where I have no crops.
    I am going to dig out as much as possible only where there are weeds, laying cardboard (I can usually get some from shops by the packing area or raiding oversized boxes from outside of neighbours recycling on bin day-as it's outside the bin it is fair game!) then putting black fabric on top and when cash flow allows I am going to add mulch such as wood chip.
    I have some black currants that were on the plot before I got it which smell great- like pure childhood, I fancy trying to make cordial next year! I have one red currant and a gooseberry which my p.rent made the most divine clear jelly from...added a tiny bit of red currant for colour on the second patch and it has good pectin so we had what looked like Turkish delight jam....good luck with your weeds!
    Cleared my debts trying to colour in the lines money wise now...
  • Thomas_HoldingThomas_Holding Forumite
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    JourneyH wrote: »
    Hiya, snap, I have had mine a year and left it to see what came up, the whole allotment site has mares tail but it doesn't really take much out of the soil, stops other things growing, so I am going to be radical and leave it be where I have no crops.
    I am going to dig out as much as possible only where there are weeds, laying cardboard (I can usually get some from shops by the packing area or raiding oversized boxes from outside of neighbours recycling on bin day-as it's outside the bin it is fair game!) then putting black fabric on top and when cash flow allows I am going to add mulch such as wood chip.
    I have some black currants that were on the plot before I got it which smell great- like pure childhood, I fancy trying to make cordial next year! I have one red currant and a gooseberry which my p.rent made the most divine clear jelly from...added a tiny bit of red currant for colour on the second patch and it has good pectin so we had what looked like Turkish delight jam....good luck with your weeds!


    Thanks for that. Does the cardboard not look awful? I am quite keen on the idea but worried that it might be unpopular with the allotment commite.
  • edited 2 December 2018 at 7:01AM
    JourneyHJourneyH Forumite
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    edited 2 December 2018 at 7:01AM
    Hiya, I am covering it with breathable black membrane then mulch, so it's not visible, the cardboard will rot down over time, it is an extreme way to deal with weeds but then I have a very overgrown plot and no access to a car to take bits down to the tip. Our allotment is pretty relaxed as long as you are seen to be working on it, best to have all your supplies at once if the place is run like a bowling green/tennis club. :-)
    I've divided the plot into what I can afford to cover completely, I have a bed I have managed to get green manure in,as replacing the weeds with something else is another way round it although it's a job for spring now, the rest I am covering in tarp which does not look pretty but then your neighbours and your back with thank you for it when you have less weeds to pull out. I was given the advice that in summer clear tarp to 'solarise' weeds was pretty effective but I really didn't fancy that idea, too radical even for me.
    I am with the 'no dig' school of thought here or as little dig as possible, but I think the majority on our allotment are the opposite, you could always experiment with different methods in each bed to see what works for you despite how other allotment renters do it or how it looks.
    I haven't tried white currants, can I ask why choose white? I had heard that it fools birds or is it a recipe that made you pick them?.
    Cleared my debts trying to colour in the lines money wise now...
  • Thomas_HoldingThomas_Holding Forumite
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    JourneyH wrote: »
    Hiya, I am covering it with breathable black membrane then mulch, so it's not visible, the cardboard will rot down over time, it is an extreme way to deal with weeds but then I have a very overgrown plot and no access to a car to take bits down to the tip. Our allotment is pretty relaxed as long as you are seen to be working on it, best to have all your supplies at once if the place is run like a bowling green/tennis club. :-)
    I've divided the plot into what I can afford to cover completely, I have a bed I have managed to get green manure in,as replacing the weeds with something else is another way round it although it's a job for spring now, the rest I am covering in tarp which does not look pretty but then your neighbours and your back with thank you for it when you have less weeds to pull out. I was given the advice that in summer clear tarp to 'solarise' weeds was pretty effective but I really didn't fancy that idea, too radical even for me.
    I am with the 'no dig' school of thought here or as little dig as possible, but I think the majority on our allotment are the opposite, you could always experiment with different methods in each bed to see what works for you despite how other allotment renters do it or how it looks.
    I haven't tried white currants, can I ask why choose white? I had heard that it fools birds or is it a recipe that made you pick them?.


    White currants are really nice - well worth growing and you can not buy them.
    I guess their fragility - they can survive a journey from plant to table but no more, stops them being grown commercially.
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