Grow to eat: don't let weeds take over the veg plot just because it's winter

Veg crops crowding out weeds
Veg crops crowding out weeds Credit:  Tony Watson / Alamy

People often say that winter must be a quiet time for gardeners - but those people clearly haven’t waged a war against weeds on a veg plot. Turn your back and the potato patch is soon bustling with dandelions looking very pleased with themselves. Weeds must be controlled around edibles because they are vectors for pests and diseases and also compete for light, water and nutrients.

Tempting though weed killer sprays are, I decided from the start that my allotment would be chemical-free and I’ve found easy ways to combat weeds organically. Right now, I’m covering my veg beds in weed suppressant matting (from Amazon, eBay) to starve weeds of light and protect soil from heavy rain. This will stop...

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