‘Advent Calendar’ Beds

I have been lucky with both my plots because when I got them they were already covered in weed suppressant fabric. This has been absolutely brilliant as I’ve simply covered the whole plot and then marked where I want paths and growing beds to go. Then I simply cut out round the bed, leaving a seamless coverage of the paths. However, that’s not all I do! 

The clever part comes because I don’t cut all the way around the bed. I leave one narrow end attached so that I can roll the fabric back when I want to grow things and in winter when the growing season is done I can simply roll it back over and keep my ground covered.  I can take credit for he concept but not the name. When I explained it to a friend she went “Oh, you mean like an advent calendar!” Which is a pretty spot on description I think! 

There are multiple benefits to this method. The weed fabric is always right there where I need it and isn’t likely to get misplaced in the shed or reused as something else (or nicked). It can’t blow away in the wind either. The black fabric helps my soil start to warm up a little sooner than it would otherwise, and ‘up north’ you can use all the help you can get there! And it keeps the weeds under control and saves the need for me to be constantly weeding. All I’ve done this winter is put down muck and then roll the cover back over the bare soil. You do have to put a little thought into what you’re planting where and how long it’s going to stay in the ground so you don’t end up with a long growing crop right next to the roll blocking everything but generally that’s not too much of an issue. I think this method saves me an awful lot of time and effort and looks nice and tidy too. Have you come up with any other approaches? 

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