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Grow bags.. or risk using the beds


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powera24
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:23 pm    Post subject: Grow bags.. or risk using the beds Reply with quote

First year of growing even though I made these raised beds 2 years ago. As you can see from photo.. plenty of weeds have taken to them. Polytunnel will be finished in next week or so and my question is whether to just use grow bags sitting on top of the beds or put cardboard down and plenty of compost on top to use the beds?

I live on the coast so it's 90%sand in the raised beds at the moment. I have 2 shallow and 1 v deep raised bed. I could take a few inches out before putting cardboard down to reduce the weeds even further?

Appreciate any help



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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Persistent hand weeding for a season should reduce the weed problem and growing crops close together can shade out some weed seeds so they are less likely to germinate.
From your description of your soil, I'd be a bit concerned about its water-retention capacity. Is there any way you can get some clay soil mixed in there as well as humus-rich material. Are the beds standing on hardcore or on subsoil? If the former, then you should probably make the shallow beds a good deal deeper. See the photos of Sue's raised beds, or mine.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My motto has always been do it once and do it right. Put the effort in now as it will be so difficult to do it properly later on. Get your raised beds in and then at least you will have a choice. You can always start your veg plants in pots/trays, let the weeds come up and then nuke them and then plant out.
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powera24
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your motto tag.. but I hope I'm not up against it.. I have crab grass, ragweed, angelica to name but a few
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Round up!
Let them grow and then let them have it It's only a matter of being vigilant with the hoe after that. It is only a couple of raised beds after all. I have 1600m2.

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to start a row but I have to disagree. I WAS a big fan of Round up etc, but the more I read about it the more it frightens me to think what we are doing with this stuff.

They say that it becomes inert on contact with soil, but lets just say I wouldn't want to grow veg in soil that had been 'Round up'ed'!

Round here they call soil 'dirt'.That's an awful word for something so fantastic as soil.

I would dig out what weeds I could then use a barrier in the base of the trench.

(Why is it I can feel Tagwex winding up to giving me both barrels? Shocked )

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooooh you are so right to feel nervous.
I look on it as a quick fix and when you have the area that I have then you just wouldn't want to do it by hand. Very labourious. I've been using it for years and my father used worse stuff before me and we are both fine.
Apart from the extra limbs.

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Oooooh you are so right to feel nervous.
I look on it as a quick fix and when you have the area that I have then you just wouldn't want to do it by hand. Very labourious. I've been using it for years and my father used worse stuff before me and we are both fine.
Apart from the extra limbs.
Fair enough, I know what you mean. I used it on a large area of particularly weedy soil at my friends house, (we ran out of good top soil and could only get a dollop of 'site clearance' pasture) Three doses later and the only things that do well there are nettles, rushes and liverwort!
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powera24
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good guy... the smaller raised beds are about 9 inches tall on top on compacted Stone. They are a little over half full with sand at the moment. I'll get some soil/compost in
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will need at least 18 inches over material like that in order to give veg a chance. Now's the time to do it, rather than after the dissapointment of failed crops.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahem. Do it once and do it right.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue. Why are you lying on the flat of your back looking up at a tree? The mind boggles!
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, these blitzing products are the marijuana of gardening. They make you feel good for a while but you then reap the consequences.

If you have established weeds they'll have seeded in times gone by and, once all the visible stuff has disappeared, those seeds will have a clear run at germination without as much competition as before. A farmer behind us had a field with a dock problem so he blitzed it. It went brown, of course, but the latent dock seeds were far stronger than the grass he subsequently seeded it with and he now has a dock field with a grass problem, i.e. far more docks than he had before and it cost him money to get them.

As someone else said, persistent weeding will eventually overcome them but the lazy way is to buy a length of ground control fabric to nuke the lot, and then plant your veg in holes punched in it.

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin wrote:
As someone else said, persistent weeding will eventually overcome them but the lazy way is to buy a length of ground control fabric to nuke the lot, and then plant your veg in holes punched in it.
Problem with that is - the weeds make a bee-line for the hole, I know, I have a running battle with ground elder coming in from the wood next to us! Mad

Tagwex - wanted to use one of my photo's but 7KB is not much to work with. So I used a stock one.

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powera24
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm wondering should I just use grow bags this year and manage the weeds for the year. Move to using raised beds when weeds are under control?

I know it's only some small raised beds but I know there is a lot of weeds seeds in the area.
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