Couch grass

by Jane Moore

The site is buzzing with activity as everyone makes the most of the weather and gets on with all those jobs they couldn't face doing in the dismal weather of August.

Jane Moore holding up freshly weeded couch grassAt last! A spell of dry weather - and it's even warm and sunny at times too! The site is buzzing with activity as everyone makes the most of the weather and gets on with all those jobs they couldn't face doing in the dismal weather of August.

I'm on a mission to tidy up my plot this month. It's looking quite unkempt (I think 'unkempt' is the right word although Ron next door might choose something stronger) and is rather letting the Gardeners' World side down. I bet the weeds dare not show their heads in Pippa or Adam's gardens before they get whipped out, but on my plot they get plenty of time to establish. It's not that I don't weed - it's just that it takes me a while to get round the whole plot.

My short term remedy, which I've been using for the past month or so, is to chop them down with a pair of shears. It works as it stops them flowering and seeding everywhere, which would really upset Ron, but it does mean they regrow. I normally get started with a good hoe in August but we haven't really good had hoeing conditions this year, have we?

Now it's high time for a good weed through the plot, which will also prepare the beds for my autumn plantings of garlic and onions. I usually hand weed - it's time consuming but very satisfying - alternating it with another job like harvesting so I don't get fed up. By only working on one bed at a time I avoid getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. But it always amazes me how much I manage to get done in one session by plodding my steady way through the beds. Although I can get a bit tied up in the corner that's riddled with couch grass - you can keep on digging and finding more and more of those long white stolons - in the end you just have to stop and say 'no more'. At least for now...

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Gardeners' World Web User 21/09/2008 at 15:18

I think mt fellow allotmenters would say the same about my plot. It is untidy, having inherited it from a retired gentleman who spent all his hrs out there it has come to me and I often wonder if I really am up to it. However, when I harvest I know I am as good as the rest and I have harvested loads this year!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/09/2008 at 15:38

could be T&M Gartenperle

Gardeners' World Web User 23/09/2008 at 16:46

I so wish everyone else wasn't so perfect! I have just taken on a new half (only half)allotment after having three pre-children and I just cannot get on with it. Tried taking the children (now four and eight) up there in the summer (such as it was),they just argued and demanded the toilet, iccreams, picnics etc. or moaned that their Nintendo DS had run down. Result, every last tomato got blight, runner beans ran to seed, courgettes rubbish, sweetcorn similar.

I was determined that this September now that my youngest is in school all would be organised and a model of weed free prolific abundance. What happens.....they both get tummy bugs and are off school....followed by my husband and me. Suspect could take a little longer!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/09/2008 at 21:25

I know the feeling! When I took on my plot, I told myself it was for the fresh air and exercise, and any crops would be a bonus. Still enjoying it greatly but, as they say, there's alluz summat!

Gardeners' World Web User 24/09/2008 at 15:40

I have two rhubarb plants in my allotment and they are massive so I'm thinking that I should split them into four plants. When is the best time to do this? Do I leave all the sticks of fruit on? Is there any preparation for winter?

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