How to create a weed free bed to sow your seeds in

by harish reddy | Dec 18, 2013

 

What you need:

  • A suitable patch of ground – a raised bed is good!
  • A length of geotextile that fits your bed or the area you wish to use
  • Weights – we used bricks
  • An Irrigatia Sol-K-12 pump system with additional seep hose kit
  • Water pipe
  • Netting – we used scaffold netting as very little gets through (although carrot flies do sadly!)
  • A nearby source of water – a rain water barrel is ideal.

 

Step 1: Choose your bed!  We chose one which had manure put on in autumn and covered with geotextile. We made a series of grooves in the rotted manure layer about 2inches wide, 1.5 inches deep and about 8 inches apart.

 

farmyard manured bed

 

 Step 2: Starting at one end lay the geotextile and anchor it down with some weights. Push it into the grooves. Use a weight to stop the geotextile being pulled back out of the formed grooves - moving it along as you work.

 

 starting to lay geotex

 

Step 3:  Tuck the sides neatly into the edge of the bed.

 

Step 4: Set up your Sol K-12 pump unit and attach the inlet tube to a nearby water butt – ours goes into the integral water reservoir underneath the bed. From the pump outlet lay a header tube with 12 drippers lined up with the end of each groove. 

 

 

 

Step 5: Add a length of seep hose onto each dripper (no more than 1 metre long). Add a stopper to the other end and stake down next to the side of the bed.

 

 

 

Step 6: Cover the seep hose with compost and sow your seeds.  Don’t forget to label them!! Give an initial water with a watering can and set the pump system running.

 

compost

 

Step 7: Cut your water pipe to make hoops to stretch across the bed and push them firmly in (you can use a piece of bamboo or a thin metal pipe to slip them over if you like).

 

scaffold netting put on

 

Cover the hoops with scaffold netting, weighted at each end with bricks and fix it to the sides of the bed.

 

Hook only velcro fixed to the side of the bed using a staple gun.

 

 

 

Additional ideas:  We sowed lots of seeds for later transplanting, but also sowed alternate rows for plants to be cropped in situ so they should fill the gaps when the transplants are taken out.

 

And finally!
Here are the germinated seedlings which have been well watered and protected from most flying insects and other pests by the scaffold netting!

 

Picture above was taken on 5th June - now see the picture taken on 19th June - amazing   results!