New first time ground

Conor Roche asked 13 years ago

Gerry, I have new ground that was never gardened before and was wondering where to start. It is now basically a field. Should I spray it first to get rid of weeds and grass or plough it up or what? I intend to grow vegetables on it.Conor.

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 4 years ago
New ground broken from grass is usually very fertile and in very good condition. Grass roots assist the formation of a good crumb structure, which is essential for good growth.

On the negative side, grass often contains wireworms, which are larvae of the click beetle and these can damage potatoes and carrots. However, they are not always present in numbers and they disappear after two or three years, because this is not a pest of cultivated ground. There is no control available.

Begin by ploughing down the sod, if there is access for a tractor to plough, or dig over a small area or use a rotavator. The latter tends to leave living sods on or near the surface and these will re-grow. Either cover the area ( a small area) with black polythene or apply Roundup as a once-off spray to kill the existing vegetation. You can rotavate a few days after spraying or wait until you can make sure they are no missed spots.

Wait until the soil is reasonably dry before rotavating, and rotavate a second or third time to get a depth of soil. Further cultivation will be needed before seed-sowing.

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