Help needed!

Home Forums No dig gardening Preparing the ground Help needed!

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  RayS 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    So I have just set up my beds by laying weed control fabric then cardboard then manure, this was recommended to me by some neighbors, however I am now panicking that I should not have laid the weed control fabric, I have already planted in four out of the six beds, what should I do??
    Any help greatly appreciated.




    What depth of manure do you have?
    Is it pure composted manure or a mixture of things?
    What have you planted already?


    PS – Don’t panic, remember gardening is fun!



    Having the weed fabric under your growing medium was bad advice. I would advise removing the compost, cardboard and fabric, relaying the cardboard and then the compost on top. It is early in the season for planting 4/6 of your beds so there is plenty of time for replanting. Perhaps, if planted just a few days ago, you can salvage your plants.

    This might be a massive job depending on the size of the area and the amount of compost but you will have to remove it sometime and it will be much harder if you leave it to the end of the season when roots will have grown through the fabric – the voice of bitter experience!

    I think that plants will grow as it is, as long as the compost is thick enough, but you need to decide on what is possible in the short term and best outcome in the long term.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  John.


    Agree with John, you have a dilemma!
    Thoughts revolve around the depth at which the fabric is at, in absolute terms and whether you pierced the fabric to plant. The size and variety of plant would also restrict your options.
    Clearly, if the plant is such that it would root through the fabric, without a piercing, it will be compromised. The fabric will not degrade in most circumstancees.
    If you pierced it to plant, then you might be able to join up the holes with a bladed tool and withdraw the fabric in ‘ribbons’.
    If you have planted shallow rooting crops,such as salads, then you may be able to abandon the fabric, building up the depth over years. It will remain a pain.
    I have one bed covered in mypex(which was the first one laid down before I discovered no-dig) which has strawberries planted through it. They are due to be replaced after this season. An experimental attempt to strip out 1 row last autumn resulted in being able to pluck out a row rooted for 3 years, as if it was a very tufted carpet ! The fabric remained almost intact.



    Maxim I feel your pain.
    It makes me cross, these people who give such terrible “advice”.
    It’s a lesson too, not to believe what everyone says and follow your hunch about what is right. Plastic under the compost or soil is not right! It stops roots going down and stops soil organisms coming up or moving down.
    I would remove it whenever your beds are clear of plants. Awkward but worth it.



    Seems like your instincts kicked in and made you suspicious about putting plastic down first, quite right too. I would bite the bullet and remove it asap. This time next year you’ll have a beautiful garden and all this will be a distant memory.

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