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By Mrs_t

United Kingdom Gb

After weeding a bed is there any disadvantage in covering with bark chips now and leaving it over winter and then raking them off to plant in the bed next spring?



I don't see why not, people cover allotments/bare soil with old carpet or sow a green manure that then gets dug into the soil in early spring. If the soil is healthy and of good quality then then what you mention would be fine. Simple clear a patch of soil and plant into it and then spread the bark back around the plant being careful not to bury it. That would save raking the whole lot off next spring if your planning to create a bed or border.
If your soils poor then you could cover it with well rotted manure, lightly fork it in and cover with black plastic. However some say that covering the soil with plastic doesn't let the winter weather at the soil which helps break it down. Others do to help keep weeds at bay although if it is a harsh winter, there won't be many weeds till the weather warms next spring.

1 Oct, 2011


No reason at al not to put bark down now and, as Nickt says just scrape it back from the area you want to plant in next spring. You'll find it will already have started to rot into the soil. I am against black plastic as I like the winter weather to help to breakdown the soil and have concerns regarding the effect it has on worm population etc.

1 Oct, 2011


Mmm.......Fungi spores ?

1 Oct, 2011


If you removed all perennial weeds when you cleared the bed, I would leave the soil roughly dug for the winter frosts to work on. In the spring, just turn in any annual weeds that might have germinated. Don't waste your time spreading bark chips and then raking them up.

2 Oct, 2011

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