Those of you who have been reading my diary entries regularly will know that I have gone mostly no-dig in my veg patch. I have several raised beds, and the majority of them are no-dig (i.e I don’t dig them over, but instead mulch generously with compost to improve the soil and reduce weeds). Those that are no-dig are brilliantly weed-free and very manageable with a bit of hoeing and the occasional light weeding required. However, those that are not completely no-dig yet (I didn’t have enough compost to do the whole veg patch) and the borders which are not no-dig either, are COMPLETELY weed-ridden!
Bindweed, nettles, dock leaves, dandelions and brambles are my biggest nuisances, closely followed by wood nightshade, hedge woundwort (I think that is what it is!) and self-seeded hypericum. I’ve allowed them to really thrive this year (not entirely intentionally – mostly due to idleness) and I have flowering bindweed climbing up multiple fences, and big patches of nettles that are almost at the seed stage. So, this bank holiday weekend, guess what I’ll be doing? Yup, a big weed mission!
My first port of call will be to simply cut the weeds back and remove the foliage. I’ll leave about 15-20cm of growth, but my intention is to reduce the chance of the weeds reproducing by getting rid of the foliage and flowers before they start to produce seeds. Then I’ll slowly and surely start pulling the weeds up by the roots. I figure that doing it this way will be more effective and buy me a little bit of time.
I definitely intend to go fully no-dig in all areas of the garden next year – it is just so much more effective in terms of weed control. If you’re having any struggles, I’d urge you to look into it more. I’m in my 2nd year of no-dig now, and I’m having a lot of success with it and needing to put less time into growing my veggies.