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Talkback: Digging beds and borders

After planting green manure I resolved never to do it again! It grew strongly and was very difficult to 'dig in' and was indistinguishable f...

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After planting green manure I resolved never to do it again! It grew strongly and was very difficult to 'dig in' and was indistinguishable from weed growth. I dug it all up and left on the surface of the bed but it became fibrous and woody- too difficult to dig in ( I am a mature female allotmenteer). By spring planting time the bed was in a complete mess so I removed the whole lot. These days I prefer home made compost or manure and I'll tackle the weeds in spring!

I tend to agree with you dianet.  Produces weeds.  Prefer compost.

Dordogne Damsel

So glad to hear these comments, have been thinking about green manure but was not convinced as I wondered how on earth you know the difference between that and weeds. Seems that you don't. Will stick with compost and my endless free supply of manure - how's that for a bargain Verdun? 

Impressive DD.    think you're on right track 


Hello , I have been using a mixture , some green manure , some beds covered horse manure and left over the winter  and some bark Chipping's 

I do intend to use more green manure , personally I have found it useful but everybody to there own but important to get the right stuff at the right time 

All this on the allottment not at home 


I looked at growing " green manure" but found the cost of seed ridiculously expensive. so didn't bother/



We used it last year, but won't bother again - it kept coming up again all summer, like a persistent weed.  Horse manure is much better - we have local stables who are happy for us to take it away for them - great find

If you know of a local seed merchant some still sell green manure such as mustard loose , much cheaper

definately not had the problems people are reporting , must be lucky 

I have a section of border that really needs to be dug up and replanted, problem is theres so much growing there and I dont know where to start as I dont want to loose any of the annuals growing there. How and when should I tackle this job? Sorry this is not about green compost ??? !

Hi sterelitza -  might be best to start a new thread as your query will tend to get missed here. Having said that, if you're revamping your border, the annuals won't survive anyway, other than any seed that any of them have produced, so you could move plants now if the weather is fine and the soil isn't too heavy or frozen. It's a job that most people prefer to tackle in spring , because the newly lifted plants will tend to grow on more successfully then, especially if any of them are being divided  

Thanks Fairygirl, I have decided to take your suggestion to leave that border until the spring. Then I shall have renewed energy, hopefully.... to decide what plants can stay. Its good to have a plan.

Hello ,just cleared a couple of beds at allotment and covered with fresh horse manure to over winter then dig in , in the spring 

I read some where fresh horse manure needs to be left for so long before putting around plants does anbody out there know the answer ?????


Horse manure should be stacked,and covered with a tarpaulin or similar, and rotted before applying around plants. It should have no smell. Fresh manure will burn soft green shoots, although I believe the lumps, as it leaves the horse, are ok around rose bushes, as long as it doesn't touch the stem.

Thanks for the various bits of advise ????

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