This season I decided to try covering under my brassicas with straw, thinking it would act as a mulch and a bit of a deterrent to slugs also a weed suppressant . It saved quite a lot of watering, and very little signs of slugs. For a time there was not a weed  to be seen and I was congratulating myself on a successful idea, The brassicas reached the stage where walking between them was not easy  , then  my idea back fired on me, the weather was warmer the soil was wet and almost over night a field of barley appeared. The straw obviously had a lot of barley left in it.. The brassicas are too big to allow me to get to pull the barley up so its thriving until some of the brassicas have been removed. Would have been much easier to have hoed off the weeds as they appeared the way I’ve always done.. Will not be doing it again in future, as they say back to the drawing board

3 Responses

  1. Beanstew says:

    I expect this is the way mankind has always learned – by trial and error, Tony – although it is not too different from the way most scientists conduct their experiments. They start out with an idea, and then try to prove it’s validity by experiment – which is just what you have done. So Bravo! for that – and none of us will try it in future because of what you have learned on our behalf.

  2. VegVamp says:

    Found this very interesting Tony. I have always used straw under my strawberries and, up until this year, I never had any problem. However, just like you, I am also growing a lovely crop of barley this year. The only up side is that mine is easy to reach and most of it has germinated within the straw so easy to pull out. Might consider “winnowing” it before using next year. But won’t try it in the brassica beds thanks to your experiment.

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