If you’re keen to put in new beds for next spring to increase the size of your veg plot, then now is a really great time to start things off the easy way. Follow these simple steps and by spring you’ll be ready to get growing.
- Decide on roughly the size of bed you want and mark out the area (either in your head or using string or something) or build a raised bed.
- If the area is very overgrown you might want to strim it back and/or pull out any big, stubborn looking weeds – brambles, dock leaves, dandelions etc (if you do this soon after it has rained it will be easier to get the roots out). Don’t worry about the smaller/younger weeds.
- Cover the area with a layer of old cardboard.
- Add approx 5 inches of well rotted manure.
- Cover again with cardboard and/or black plastic.
When it comes to spring, you should be able to plant directly into the well rotted manure and just keep on top of any new weed appearances by loosening the roots and pulling them out carefully.
It’s best to do this now during autumn so that most of the weeds have time to be starved of light so that you have a clearer bed in spring. The alternative is to wait until spring and get digging, but this is a) harder work and b) less effective in preventing future weeds. It’s well worth having a look at charlesdowding.co.uk for more on this – he’s a bit of an expert in controlling weeds!