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Organic Weed Control Made Easy – The New Grow Grid

Painting of girls hoeing vegetable cropsWhen we set up Quickcrop over 5 years ago now we pictured it as the ultimate lifestyle business. Both myself and Niall were passionate about growing and saw the  business as something that would allow us and our families to live our dream. I now know we were a touch naive, I pictured myself trotting around my ever expanding vegetable patch while happily selling our wares on the internet. Of course running an online business like ours turns out to be a very different thing and while I still love it and wouldn’t change it I find myself spending too little time in my beloved vegetable garden.

Planting up is fine and keeping on top of pests and diseases doesn’t concern me but the day to day tasks like weeding can sometimes become a bit of a chore. Invariably hoeing gets put off which only makes the clean up more difficult when you finally get time to do it. With this in mind I want to tell you about a new and really simple idea which I tried last year and found perfect for a guy like me.

Eoin Flaherty chef, grower and growgrid ownerEoin (pronounced Owen) Flaherty is an Irish chef who grows his own produce to supply his kitchen. Eoin is from the Aran Islands which sit off the West Coast of Ireland and face both county Galway and the beautiful Co.Clare. The Aran islands are a rocky limestone outcrops which strangely host some of the best growers and soils in the country. The soil is sandy but has been built up over hundreds of years of seaweed and animal manure to produce a fantastic fertile mix.

Eoin found himself in the same ‘time poor’ position as me and being an enterprising character he decided to solve the problem. The result is GrowGrid which means I’ve solved my weeding problem while Eoin now has even less time as he’s now a grower, chef and a small business owner!

Growgrid weed control planting matWhat is GrowGrid?
GrowGrid is a semi permeable weed control fabric with heat sealed planting holes added at a range of planting distances. The mats come in 4 different sizes which I’ll explain below to suit a broad range of crops. Of course the idea is not to spend time tackling your weeds but to prevent them appearing in the first place.

The fabric used is Mypex weed control membrane which I’m sure many of you are familiar with. Anyone who’s tried it will know that cutting Mypex is a nightmare as it unravels to produce a mess of strands which get caught in almost anything that goes near it. The secret to GrowGrid is the heat sealing process which cuts a perfectly neat planting hole while sealing the fibres to keep it together. The fabric won’t disintegrate and can be used for up to 5 years if folded and stored between uses.

What crops does it cover?
There are 4 different size mats with pre spaced holes for the crops they cover. There are also 2 different sized mats depending on the size of your plot. You’ll notice the same crop can appear in 2 categories – this is for different size varieties. For example a Spring cabbage will take up less space than a large Winter savoy variety.

Potatoes grown using a growgris weed protection matNo Weeding
The best way to use GrowGrid is to either dig in or top dress plenty of organic material before you put the mat down. Obviously once the fabric is in place you wont be moving it until the crop is harvested so you need to add nutrients first. You can apply a liquid feed around the planting hole or use a pelleted feed like seamungus during the season but other than that you’re done. There’s no weeding to do, it’s as simple as that.

 

 

Potatoes harvested under GrowGridProtecting your soil
Every Spring I put in a lot of work adding nutrient s to build up my soil. If we have a very wet season like last year the bare soil can suffer with soluble nutrients being washed away. The GrowGrid fabric while it does allow moisture through offers significant protection against the elements. I find this particularly good for crops like leeks and onions which don’t have much protecting foliage yet need to kept week free.

Makes a whole load of sense
I’ll be honest – I think this is a great product but you’ll only see the real benefit when you try it. We’re expecting big repeat orders for this one, I’ve already got mine ready for Spring and am looking forward to not weeding all Summer long!

Please see below for sizes and links to the product page on our website.

Sizes

Growgrid A
Space between plants:
300mm.
Space between rows: 360mm.
Suitable for: Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Aubergine, Herbs, Kale, Lettuce, Parsnip, Peppers, Spinach, Swede, Turnip, Strawberries & Potato.
Large: 1.5m by 4m
Small: 1.5m by 2.2m

Growgrid B
Space between plants:
180mm.
Space between rows: 360mm.
Suitable for: Basil, Beetroot, Garlic, Herbs, Leeks, Lettuce, Parsnip, Radishes, Shallots, Spinach, Swiss Chard & Turnip.
Large: 1.5m by 4m
Small: 1.5m by 2.2m

Growgrid C
Space between plants:
700mm.
Space between rows: 700mm.
Suitable for: Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, herbs, Kale, Peppers, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes.
Large: 1.5m by 4m
Small: 1.5m by 2.2m

Growgrid D
Space between plants: 180mm.
Space between rows: 180mm.
Suitable for: Basil, Beans, Carrots, Garlic, Herbs, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Oriental Leaves, Peas, Radishes & Spinach.
Large: 1.5m by 4m
Small: 1.5m by 2.2m

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