Very weedy paths….advice please

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  charles 9 months, 1 week ago.

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    I would like to convert to no dig and have been battling with terrible weeds in my veg garden for years. The paths were originally bark clippings on top of membrane but not renewed so no bark left. I have lots of perennial weeds growing through and around the membrane (dandelions, docks, little red clover like stuff) and plenty of annual weeds too each year. At the beginning of each season I spend ages weeding the paths then find I have no time to do this as the season progresses and the paths become a mass of weeds which spread to the beds.
    So, should I take up the membrane?
    What is the best mulch for paths and beds?
    Should I consider putting gravel or something else down to form paths? I would like to be able to push wheelbarrow and not spread too much mud around



    How about bits of large cardboard box with wood chippings on top. Not that mine are perfect, but the first year is wonderful, and then things go down hill, until I can bear it no longer and start again. At least you dont get the gravel spreading into the beds.

    Good luck



    Jennifer do read this page “Starting out no dig” under the banner No Dig Growing on top bar of this site.

    In it I write
    Its often assumed that growing in beds means you need permanent sides, but this is untrue, though they are sometimes useful, for example in the first 6-12 months of option 2. Temporary sides (such as old fence posts) help to keep compost-filled beds in shape, for the first few months, as in the first photo of option 2 below, February 2013, I then lifted off the unfixed wooden sides in early autumn of that year, once the beds’ compost had settled and path weeds were dead – this had needed a further laying of cardboard in May, and again in July for a few places with couch grass.

    It’s quicker and cheaper to create open-sided beds, and they offer less hiding places for slugs and woodlice. However, you must have weed-free paths for this to work and absolutely no grass, which otherwise invades beds with no sides. This is why I used cardboard on paths in the first few months at Homeacres, to kill buttercups, dandelion and some couch grass. After six months or so, once those weeds had died from lack of light and the cardboard had mostly decomposed in situ, I spread some organic matter as surface mulch: half-rotted leaves, old straw, green waste compost and decomposing woody material are suitable. Then I treat paths like the beds, they receive a little compost from birds kicking it off the beds (looking for worms), and I weed where necessary, to keep them immaculate.

    Clean paths are vital, be thorough in the first half of next year (or longer if necessary eg new cardboard on top if weeds regrow) for long term success and ease.



    Thanks, so lots of cardboard needed. It is hard to see that this will get on top of it but I will give it a good try. I already have raised beds edged by sleepers



    Run the card right to each edge and even wedge a little under the sleepers, edges are tricky
    Place more card on top when you see weeds pushing through the first layer.

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