Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Carpet Mulch

I managed to find some old carpet in a skip outside a house in my road. I have been looking for some old carpet to use as paths on my patch. I set about cutting up these pieces into strips.
I found a serrated knife in the garden shed which was just up to the job of cutting (sawing) through this thick wool carpet. I remember years ago I used this knife which was a 'honey knife' it is used to gently saw off the wax cappings at the top of a comb of honey before putting them into the spinner to extract the honey. One day I would love to keep bees again, but it is not always a terribly social thing to do when you live in London!
Here is the knife in full. An excellent tool for the job.
And the finished job. The colour should tone down in a while - hopefully!


At 11:35 AM, Blogger VP said...

I had a fantastic carpet stash up at my plot - then they banned it last year. Grrrrr :(

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Lissa said...

I am very intrigued by the idea of using carpet on garden paths. What happens over time? Does it get all mildewy and smell? Do you cover it with mulch?


At 2:28 PM, Blogger this is my patch said...

I rescued a square of carpet for my compost heap, your paths are a good idea. Your tales of the honey knife are most interesting, I hope you get your wish and keep bees again one day. x

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I see you are making good use of old carpeting for your paths. Can I suggest you turn it over so the under-side is uppermost. I think you will find it easier to keep clean and less likely that any weed seeds will germinate on top.
Your broccoli looks delicious.
Keep up the good work.
Beryl Saunders.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Beryl, thanks for the advice I was wondering which way up to put it. I can see that it would be a haven for seeds to germinate, I will turn it hessian side up.
Lissa, I don't think it will turn smelly, I hope not anyway. Being outside it will just get damp and dry. It is a natural wool carpet with natural hessian back. I have heard that carpets have been banned from some allotments because of the harmful chemicals sprayed on modern carpets. hmmm

At 12:00 AM, Blogger primrozie said...

That's one wicked lookin knife Matron! I can see how it would be useful in the garden.

I used old carpet to line the ground when I dug out my pond. I put the plastic liner on top. The carpet protects the liner from being damaged.

Great idea to use it for paths. Your garden is moving right along - looks great.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Excellent idea to use old carpet as paths in your plot. I have used old concrete slabs that would otherwise have ended up in a skip. I love recycling!

BTW did you have a white Easter too? It snowed here yesterday and again today. Where did spring go?

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carpets are usually banned from allotments because they take so long to rot down. Some allotment holders use them to cover ground, go away and leave the weeds and grass to grow through. If this happens they are the devil's own job to get rid of. Keep them clean is the answer.


At 11:55 PM, Blogger Lissa said...

I can't imagine such a disaster as having weeds growing up through the carpet....

We have a small yard here in Ohio, USA and are trying to maximize our space for gardening. Our neighbors to the left don't care to do yard work at all and they have evil weeds, poison ivy and ground cover that keeps growing under the fence and getting into all of our perennials and such. We have trenched it and mulched heavily, but the tendrils of the growth is quite a chore. I had high hopes for the carpet, but the idea that the stuff could just grow through is too sad.

Last Sunday we planted 4 raspberry bushes, spinach, and peas. Yippee.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger veggievirgin said...

Hi matron, I love the blog. Some people at my local allotment use carpet for pathways, I cant really say that we have any problems due to it. Are some of your photos taken in your garden? Just wondered because of the rather posh brick wall that keeps appearing:)

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Paul and Melanie said...

I'm having a battle with our paths at the moment so your carpet looks even better to me at the mo, well done! :)

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I've never seen that before - neat idea! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I was interested to see you enjoy mushing dogs on your profile. A relative of mine trains service dogs for disabled folks and also runs a sled team. She took us for a ride on her sled this winter after a competition and it was *so* much fun!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Hx said...

Hope you have extension lead longer enough for the vacuum cleaner to reach . . . . I'll get my coat!

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

Yiiiiikes! We purchased property where they had used old carpet outdoors, the property was later abandoned for about ten years. Most of the carpet backing rotted away but I've spent countless hours picking chunks of shag carpet yarn out of the has migrated all over the property, mice have made nests out of it. Beware!


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