The latest phase of remedial works on our new plot is to section off and mulch the ‘fruit cordon’ area.

Other than an immature plum tree that has a label on it from the garden centre we are not sure what fruit bushes we’ve inherited. Whatever they are they need suppression of surrounding grass and weeds to let them thrive.

Some grasses have allelopathic properties, meaning they produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants. That makes sense when you think of it, as the grass would prefer a clear view of the sunny sky without being shaded by trees and shrubs.

So, time to cover up and mulch around our mystery fruit bushes!

True to the no dig approach we will use for the whole plot the first job is to put a generous layer of cardboard onto the grass and weeds (having sprinkled some pelleted chicken manure first).

A reasonable amount of effort needed to section off the area around the bushes using gravel board and slightly smaller planks. Gravel board isn’t very strong, but it’s inexpensive and just fine for the ‘skirting board’ job here.

It’s held in place by 40cm sections of 20mm pvc conduit, gently hammered into the ground and pulled tight with cable ties. Again this solution isn’t super strong, but it’s good enough for the task at hand. With the surrounds in place we can layer over bark chippings to about 5cm depth.

We think that looks quite nice and will hopefully give the bushes the best chance of growing and producing.

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