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Excitable Boy


Latest posts by Excitable Boy

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Talkback: Couch grass

Posted: 23/03/2012 at 15:01
Jennifer Revell wrote (see)
 We'd prefer not to use a weedkiller and wondered if rotovating it would make it easier to remove or would we be making the problem worse. Any advise would be very welcome. Thanks

NOOOOOOOO!!!! Don't rotovate couch grass - you'll only propogate lots more!

I took over an overgrown allotment some years ago and managed to get rid of the scutch in one half by methodically digging it with a fork and removing the roots as I went. Use a fork as the roots are quite stringy and will pull out if you can get a hold. A spade just chops them up and makes it more difficult imho.

The other half of the allotment I used roundup as time was getting on. and this worked just as well. Sometimes I think you just have to give in and use it.

The following year a new tenant in the disused allotment next door tried rotovating without weedkilling first. It looked really impressive to begin with, but like a meadow two months later.

Redesign of garden

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 20:33

Just finished moving 8 tons of compost I  had delivered from S Glos Council earlier this week. Raised beds now full and I have a huge pile left for improving the flowerbeds.

Happily I had been given some Argos vouchers some time ago and used it to buy a little qualcast electric tiller. I really wanted a slightly bigger, more powerful one, but as I had the vouchers got this one with a little trepidation. Fantastic little machine. 16' x 4' raised bed of fairly compacted earth plus a pile of compost into a 8" deep fine tilth in less than15 minutes.

Thanks for the info on the University gardens Marion.

Redesign of garden

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 22:56

Heavens, Marion, if your FIRST delivery is six TONS then you must have a major project on!   Glad you have help though as I'm undertaking a similar exercise but have to do the hard landscaping myself. I'm sleeping very soundly at night!!

I like the look of your raised beds. Very swish!

Where is the Bristol Botanic Garden btw? Might be worth a visit for some ideas.

When to improve soil?

Posted: 20/02/2012 at 22:39

I think the theory is that it won't do much good to just dig if the soil is too wet to drop off your spade. I have a similar problem in our garden which I have just redesigned to get rid of 2/3rds of the lawn and introduce some raised beds. The bits where the old lawn was were dug over in the late autumn but are now flat and waterlogged again (no wonder there was so much moss on the lawn). I have just taken delivery of a load of very coarse (woody) compost from our council and have thrown this onto my raised-bed and flower-bed areas with a view to digging it in as soon as the weather dries a bit. I don't think there's much point trying to dig wet soil as (a) it's hard going and (b) because you are standing on it you are driving the air out of it which is the opposite of what you want to achieve.

I'm going to follow up by digging some well rotted farmyard manure in to replace the nitrogen I expect the woody compost will grab, and I'll also get some chicken manure and have a go at recomposting some of the woodier stuff.

To dig or not is always a tricky question imo. If you work full time like me you sometimes just have to bite the bullet and get your spade out at the weekend come what may, but if you can catch the soil just right it's a lot easier.

Allotment

Posted: 06/02/2012 at 18:56

Glenn,

No, but if you find one can you let me know as it's rampant near Bristol.

I'm glad to hear that mesh works so I'll give it a try this year.

EB

Allotment

Posted: 05/02/2012 at 20:57

Hi Tabbycats,

Onions and potatoes will be fine. Try to make sure your manure is well rotted (should be mostly black and veering towards crumbly) as the growing season is almost upon us. If you have fresher manure (with a lot of straw) just pile this up in a corner and use it in the autumn. I have found that if you put it in strong fertiliser type bags it will rot down to a lovely crumbly texture and is also easy to move. Fertliliser bags are difficult to get sometimes though.

Regarding potatoes I have always planted these as I was shown by my father in Ireland - straight onto 3 to 4 inches of trodden well rotted manure covered with half an inch of soil. Always seems to work fine and it breaks the soil up beautifully for the next crop.

In the autumn just cover your beds with 3 inches of manure and let the worms do the work!

Enjoy your allotment!

121 to 126 of 126

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