My vegetable boxes have been breached .... with weeds.
Any idea which one?
Here's a refresher of what the boxes looked like
1. The first box was lined on the bottom with newspaper and no grass was removed
2. The second box had the grass dug out from underneath and the ground was lightly 'forked'
3. The last boxes had the grass dug out, rocks removed and compost added.
If you answered #1 you'd be correct. It was the newspaper.
I have a confession, this first happened a month ago. It took no time for the weeds to get in. Instinctively I grabbed that first weed and yanked it out. Pretended like it didn't happen. But this time they're back and bigger than before.
What went wrong? Initially I laid the newspaper so it went under the wood frame and a collar surrounded it. But the crows were making nests at that time and ripped all the visible pieces out for themselves. Likely they tore pieces of the newspaper out from under the box. Another big reason is that newspaper simply breaks down quite quickly. I had hoped it would last the season but obviously not. The moral of the story, don't use newspaper to line your boxes, it's not going to keep the weeds out.
How are these boxes operating otherwise? Fabulous. I really really like them. A few weed seeds have blown in but otherwise there are few weeds and the soil mixture is so light that they're super easy to pull out.
The tomatoes are obviously quite happy with them and they look pretty snazzy too.