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Raised beds ?

Raised beds ?    I have an idea , which I'm not sure about   and would welcome your views on it ,
 I have just moved into another new allotment which is in a terrible state , couch grass, thistle , and mares tail , last year it was sprayed 3 times with roundup which has helped a lot , but one side is really bad , so I am thinking of making raised beds , I will dig the worst of the roots out and let the weeds germinate in the bottom of the bed ,then spray again , and then form the raised beds around 18ins high , putting plenty cardboard in the bottom of them before filling with a good mix of clean soil and cow dung , my big question is I thought of making the front of the raised beds with  1/2 inch Perspex , which I have plenty of , it's nearly vandal proof so I have no worry's on it cracking , and I thought that it might heat up the soil a wee bit ?, any one have views on this ??

Those weeds will all come back - couch grass and thistle can be poisoned and should be thoroughly or it will be a long way down to dig to get to the "root" of the matter in the future.

Mare's tail will come back no matter what you do and can only be controlled by regular hoeing to keep it down in my experience.

The perspex sounds like a good idea if you can support it with posts OK.

It's hard wearing, doesn't require maintenance and virtually rot proof, and providing you can shade on the sunny side you shouldn't really have a problem with deterioration due UV light.

I see there are several places selling plastic sides for raised beds, and when I had the allotment at Catton Grove, the plot next to me had very neat looking brown plastic boards making up his raised beds.

18" is a bit on the deep side though............. it is a lot of earth to initially move as I found out with my original planter and the raised beds on the allotment I lost. But having said that if you can tip 6-8 inches or so of manure into the bottom on top of the cardboard, before covering with top soil you could be on to a winner with a hot bed during the autumn/early winter.

Could you any old carpet to suppress the weeds instead of cardboard

Here in Norfolk you are no longer allowed to use carpet on allotments because of the carpet backing breaking up and man made fibres not rotting down.

horace wrote:
Could you any old carpet to suppress the weeds instead of cardboard

Carpet works great as here it is used a lot we cover large areas with it then build up also free   Havn't had anyone tried to stop it's use 'YET'

Gareth hope the powers that be here never hear that as ban over whole country would happen  

Carpets have chemicals of unknown origin in them and anyway cardboard is a lot easier to manage on the base of a raised bed as you can cut/rip it to size.

I'M SURE IT WILL BE INTERESTING TIMES AHEAD , I'LL KEEP YOU INFORMED . sorry for shouting   I don't know what I hate most typing or couch grass !!!!

The raised beds are in progress , again it will all take time , but then is'nt gardening meant to be a pastime ?

Couch grass every time. I too am thinking of raised beds.

never mind you mares tail... i've struck gold in the compost patch... we've got wheat and barley coming up! I'm going to leave it and see what happens..... Possibly plant some on purpose next year! Hazards of putting rabbit and chicken bedding on compost!!

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