Soil bed prep

mcbartzJuly 26, 2014

can I use a thick layer of compost to kill off weeds and then plant in the compost? Im starting a large flower bed about 20 feet by 70 feet and my brother owns a farm down the road. He has a pile of compost about 6 years old and told me we could spread it about a foot thick over the area and then we wouldn't need to round up the grass below it would just decay.

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Joe1980(5)

It might work, but some weeds are quite resilient and might pop through. A good method I've used is to spread some newspaper over the bed first, then cover it. The paper will last long enough to smother everything, and decompose shortly after. I chop everything down with a mower or weed wackier first though, to make laying the paper easier.

Joe

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:58PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

If the weeds haven't gone to seed, cut them down as Joe said above. If they have gone to seed, I'd remove as many seed heads as practical to avoid them popping up a few years down the road as you work the bed. I've always used 6-10 layers of newspaper and then buried that in 4-6 inches of organics whether compost, leaves or whatever. Done in fall, the beds are ready to plant the following spring.

tj

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:36PM
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