Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weeds into vegies??

The weather has been lovely the last few days (after those horrible hot days over New Years). So Little B and I have been getting happily out into the sunshine. Today we put in a few hours de-weeding the old vegie garden at the new place and cutting off old chicken wire that has fallen down and "grown" into the substantial patch of grass/shrubs.

Now it has been pretty badly overgrown but was obviously much loved at one point. I even dug up some teeny ancient garlic bulbs today which gave us all a smile or two. But I'm in a bit of a quandary - what is the best way to resurrect these old beds. There are currently four of them and they are heavily weeded. Should I try and till / dig over the beds? Just sheet mulch them?

The soil in them is in a pretty bad state. Hard pan pretty much sums it up. Any suggestions from you more experienced gardeners??

And in the meantime, after traversing the local library, Little B and I are are reading James and the Giant Peach. I love gardening, he loves bugs - we're a perfect pair :-)


  1. I would definitely mulch out the weeds, not dig them out. I'd probably chop the tall ones off with secateurs or a scythe, just so I could see if there are other perennial treasures surviving. Anything surviving is likely to be very well adapted to your place. I'd transplant or pot up anything I found, and then cover the lot with: a sprinkle of dolomite or ag lime watered in, a nice layer of manure - horse or cow or goat or as a last resort, bought dynamic lifter or something like that. Then at least 30 cm deep mulch and water it well. While I was waiting for it to turn into sheet compost, I'd propagate some seedlings and pot them up individually in a nice compost-river sand mix. If anything came up through the mulch, I'd just stick another bucket full of mulch on top of it. By the time the seedlings are ready to plant out, in about a month's time, the gardens will be ready to take them. Just a little burrow in the mulch down to soil level and plant. The decomposing roots of all those weeds will do all your digging and soil conditioning for you.

  2. Thanks Linda,

    What would be the best kind of mulch to use in this instance?? We normally use sugar cane mulch?? Would that work or would I be better off with a leaf type mulch?