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  • Over run allotment

    Hi I’m really struggling to keep on top of my allotment. The weeds are winning! I have a new polytunnel and find opening up watering and closing down each day quite tying. 20 mins to water everything when no rain. Paths are full of weeds. Others on allotment keep saying I should use weedkiller but I dont use chemicals, that’s the whole point of growing your own, knowing they are free from chemicals. I’ve planted up loads, cabbage, courgette runner beans carrot, pak Choi , parsnip etc etc. Anyone have any tips on keeping it all manageable without spending hours and hours which I dont have as I work. I have 2 x 80 meter paths so what’s best way to keep them from becoming overgrown. Thanks jill

    Posted by JWells
    • Reply by Martine-N

      Cover your paths with weed barrier and then put loads of bark chippings on top. Not cheap but seeing as you’re working, I’m assuming you have more money than time.

    • Reply by loislane

      Salt for weeds was a tip I was given

    • Reply by Puffin007

      Could you not use weed killer on the paths and weed by hand around the earth of the plants? Weed killer used properly, a fine spray, will only be taken in by the weeds leaves. There are some organic home made recipies too apparently!
      Impressive size plot though😁

    • Reply by jakb

      Wife uses a burner.

    • Reply by M0r3t0n

      Hi, I have used cardboard in the past as a temporary measure, it just allows you to catch your breath with all the other stuff you’ll have going on. Then, later when you do find a bit of time, you can start digging and pulling out. It might also help to remember that a lot of weeds spread by flower seeds – if you can (quite literally) nip those in the bud – relatively easy to do – then you at least stall their spread and buy a little more time?

    • Reply by Bluerose

      I used cardboard this year works well and will break down.

    • Reply by JWells

      Thanks everyone for your responses. A friend works doing covid jabs and has 100s of sturdy boxes from vaccines. Also I have found a woodland project social enterprise that sells their own bark chips really cheap so ordered 30 bags! bark chips on top of cardboard, hopefully it will do the trick thanks again

    • Reply by cjglos

      I used malt vinegar on persistent nettles. Killed them off. The trick is to saturate while the sun is strong. Gets best results.

    • Reply by jakb

      The best for nettles is Domestos.
      You only soak the top tips and it takes about four days to be taken in all the way to the root system which dies.
      The roots of weeds are very difficult to kill normally.

      • Reply by lindsay

        Nettles are vital for butterflies and are nitrogen fixers and Domestos is a bleach that kills anything in sight and can poison water courses!

    • Reply by lindsay

      Don’t listen to people who want you to use chemicals. We need to be protecting wildlife no juking it. ‘Weeds’ provide forage for pollinators. Sounds like you are doing really well!

      • Reply by JWells

        Thanks Lindsay chemicals is the easier option but I agree we should avoid for sake of the environment. we as humans have done enough damage to the planet

    • Reply by lindsay

      I think so, though I know allotement holder pressure can be a bit intense!

    • Reply by Rainey

      Try covering your paths with small wood chips, sawdust or if you can get hold of some pallets, break them up and out the wood down like planks.

    • Reply by JellyBean

      We also don’t use any poisons on our allotment.
      Spent Hops (local breweries usually give them away after making the beer) spread on the ground help to smother and keep the weeds down. They also keep in moisture from the watering.
      This year, as its peak weed growing time, concentrate only where the seedlings are smaller than the weeds. Your crops that are larger than the weeds will probably do fine. Next year, spread the hops or chippings or whatever you choose early on to stop the weeds getting established.
      Don’t berate yourself too much, cut yourself some slack. As long as you get to eat something yummy off your allotment, you will have succeeded 😋

    • Reply by gbhgrant10

      Converted both my allotments into raised beds. Easy to weed Any mares tail I see poking up gets pulled no matter how small it is Can keep on top of it easy to rotate crops and still work 3 days a week

    • Reply by Emmah

      Thats why organic produce is more expensive. Lots more work, but if you’re truly into organics, its all worth it.

    • Reply by JWells

      Some really great ideas there, thank you so much

    • Reply by Chaik

      Dig it thoroughly after rain in late autumn and early spring when thaw has happened. Fertilize dig out obvious weeds ,hoe. Then fertilize then plant . If you have clichés ,put on slabs and plant seeds in trays. Weeding slabs on path ? Dig a road put gravel path ,OR dig an 3/4 inch road and turf it. You would need to mow . Hey ,free compost!

    • Reply by JWells


    • Reply by Nanny Nita

      Agree with lots other people have said but would add 2 things. Split the area into sections to work on so less overwhelming and don’t alwaus think of weeds as the enemy. They bring good insects and many can be eaten or make wine. Yum. Dandelion wine.

    • Reply by JWells

      Thanks, I’ve started using paletcollars as raised beds I can get them for free. Perhaps when I retire dandelion wine will be another hobby!

    • Reply by James Singh

      You could try weed suppressant membrane and cover with hardwood bark chippings for your paths. In my raised beds I’ve utilised companion and intercropping to minimise bare spaces this too keeps on top of weeds appear. If not doing this use a good mulch around your crops.