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Weeding in wet conditions

Posted: Wednesday 5 March 2014
by Pippa Greenwood

Are other gardeners feeling like taking up ballet? I often have one leg out in the air as I attempt to reach weeds with my cultivator.


Pippa weeding

I’m wondering if other gardeners are starting to feel like taking up ballet? I think I may have more potential for it than I realised.

In the last week or two we've had some patches of wonderfully good weather, but sadly it's rarely lasted for long. Our heavy clay soil doesn't get the time to dry out before the next downpour, so I need to do all I can to avoid stepping on it. As the mild weather has encouraged speedy weed growth, regular weeding is even more essential. I even spotted some groundsel that thought it was about to flower (until I cut its head off).

So, armed with a lovely multi-pronged cultivator, I have been weeding. But despite the brilliant, extremely long handle, I still need to stretch. I sometimes find myself with one leg in the air as a counter-balance so that I can reach the middle of the biggest plots. Luckily our hedge is pretty dense, so I don’t think the neighbours have had to witness my new-found hobby.

In some areas the clay soil has a really tight cap on it, simply as a result of the near-constant hammering from the rain. Even moss has started to grow. So, more ballet poses are called for as I rake up the soil surface to loosen the cap in hopeful anticipation of, one day soonish, being able to plant something. Even the spring-planted garlic will have to have grown in ridges this year as the soil is still too wet for planting.

And yes, I know I shouldn’t be complaining as I’m one of the luckier ones. And who knows – I may be able to start a gardening corps de ballet soon. Any takers?





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morverngirl 07/03/2014 at 13:59

I haven't even tackled mine yet, rain then sun , I really don't know when i'll get weeding but if you're not fond of ballet I've found another great exercise. This morning I was sieving my compost heap to get some nice fresh stuff from the bottom of my "dalek". Whow what an work out for hips, pelvis and muffin top, my abs haven't worked so hard for ages.

Aaron Lee Dickinson 11/03/2014 at 08:09

Tackled mine this Sunday in the sunny weather I have been waiting for. Not to bad to turn over the bigger flowering beds with the garden hoe, but did struggle with the 30cm wide by 1.5 meters long flower bed I have with tulips and crocus growing,not a lot of room to use the hoe without damaging plants, found it to be a lot easier with a long flat head screwdriver to turn the soil over in between the plants worked a treat. But my back didn't approve.

greenfingers steve 13/03/2014 at 21:21

Thank the garden  gods we re now getting some dry e weather in Birmingham where I live. It is quite amasing how the soil has dried out over the last 5 days good enough to de-weed the boarders in my garden. I have recently purchased a manual cultivator that will glide through sodden soil so that the air and sun get through to it. It also grubs out weeds very well and is also good for spreading grow more in to the soil

Probably the best thing I purchased for the garden for a long time