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We have bought a small field next to our property that has previously (as long as anyone can remember) been used for grazing cattle. There are few weeds, it’s mostly covered in various grasses.

As our soil is very heavy clay (the sort you can make pots from or line a pond with), no-dig is the obvious way to go. The field hasn’t been grazed this year and so the grass is pretty high. Should I mow this before laying down cardboard and covering with compost? If I do mow it, should I leave the mowings there or take them away before building up the other layers?

Once the compost is down, how long should I wait before planting into the compost, or can I do this straight away? In my eagerness to get started, I have plenty of module grown plants that could go out by the time the beds are done, with more to follow.

I will be mowing/strimming pathways around the beds initially, but eventually I will probably cover these with wood chippings.