Sunday, 11 September 2016

Weed Control Fabric Rotation

The weather was a little cloudier and cooler on Saturday but basically rain free. The forecast into the middle of next week is for fine warm conditions to return.

After our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park on Thursday,  Friday was back to allotmenting to get our autumn onions planted. Last week I'd dug over this year's broad bean patch.
Broad Bean Bed with Weed Control Fabric Removed
As you can see covering the bed with weed control fabric meant that once the remnants of the broad beans had been dispatched to the compost heap the bed was ready to be dug over.
Once dug over the fabric was replaced over the bed. The next stage of cultivation to get this bed ready for planting autumn onion sets would be to give the tiller a run through to break down the soil making it suitable for planting.
On Friday the bed was tilled and some fish, blood and bone fertiliser was incorporated at the same time. Then it was just a case of rotating the existing pieces of fabric to get them into their new positions. In the photo above the bed in the foreground grew this year's summer onions. That means that the fabric is cut into long slits to allow us to plant onions. This piece of fabric was moved to the bed in the centre of the photo ready for our autumn onions to be planted.
Any mulch that was left behind which was used to hold down the fabric was dug into the bed. While Sue planted up our autumn onions the summer onion bed was dug over.
Rather than leave this bed open to the weather all winter the weed control fabric that had been used for the broad beans was used to cover the bed until next spring. This may not be in line with the crop rotation for the beds on this part of the plot but this will be sorted out next spring when preparing for next summers crops.

Oddly we haven't finished harvesting the autumn onions we planted at this time last year. Usually by this time of the year last year's autumn planted onions have deteriorated so badly that they are only fit for the compost heap.
I think it is true to say that this little bed planted up last September would have been overrun with weeds by now if we hadn't used any weed control fabric. Another couple of weeks or so and we will probably have used up these few remaining September 2015 sown onions. They still taste good by the way.


  1. Blocking out sunlight like that no weed will grow. Good technique!

    1. Saves us lots of time weeding so we can get on with other jobs.


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