I have taken on a previously dug allotment which has been covered by a black polythene mulch. It is currently weed-free.
I intend to buy in some cow manure to make some beds, but suspect it will be less than your recomended 1 year old and not be rotted down enough. I am not planning to plant anything until next spring, but I am wondering what to do until then…
Option 1 would be to stack the manure until spring and meanwhile sow a green manure (I thought rye grass)cover crop to boost the humus content of the soil, covering this with a 7cm (would that be enough?) layer of the by-then mature compost to kill off the green manure.
Option 2 would simply to spread the unripe compost now and cover with plastic. I realise this would be the simplest option but may not increase the organic content of the soil as much as option 1.
Yes option 1 is nice except if you want to make early sowings in March, because mulching the green manure would then need to happen say in February, and there is a risk of more slugs from the decaying green matter, than from your organic matter alone, though spreading it fresh now could cause some slug increase.
Why not do some of each?
Thanks for your input Charles. It had’nt occured to me that I might be inadvertantly supporting the local slug population – though I had planned on mowing off the top of rye grass in spring and adding it to my compost heap, so there might be less on offer for them?
As you suggest I might do a bit of both, and additionally cover some with Phacelia rather than rye grass as the Phacelia will die down over winter leaving a clean surface on which to spread the compost….
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