Well it’s been a hectic time for us building the new web site. I would have liked longer but needs must when the devil drives so they say. We’re taking the opportunity to make things better than they were and up-dating. It’s surprising how much changes in something like gardening in just a decade.
For example, one of the best weedkillers was ammonium sulphamate. It was as safe as the fertiliser sulphate of ammonia and very effective. It confused the plant into taking it up as if it was nitrogen but the molecule wouldn’t release the nutrients so the plant starved. After six weeks the oxygen had worked on it and it switched back to being a fertiliser.
It was the most effective solution to clearing couch grass, bindweed, nettles and the dreaded mare’s tail and Japanese knotweed. However, it’s no longer licensed so recommending it is to recommend breaking the law!
The same goes for a lot of the chemicals that were in our armoury – Derris being another example. I suppose it would be stupid for me to contend they should still be available, after all the scientists of the EU and DEFRA must know more than me. But (you knew that ‘but’ was coming) I can’t help but wonder if it all really comes down to money. The few chemicals available all seem to be complex with huge multi-national companies behind them.
Anyway, the new site is coming on and if you can’t find something today, check back in a few days and it might well have appeared.
New Vegetable Plot & Greenhouse Site
Back at home we’ve accepted our plans for where to grow were wrong. It’s annoying as I’ve invested quite a bit of time and some money in the infrastructure. Creating raised beds and having the base for the greenhouse built.
The fact is that I can handle improving the soil but the wind is just beyond me. We’re in a windy spot being on a hillside in the windy area of Snowdonia and 80mph gusts are enough to uproot tall plants like sweetcorn and reduce a greenhouse to rubble,
I’ve planted trees that will eventually form a shelter belt and reduce the wind but we’re talking at least 10 years before they’re big enough to even start making a difference. To add to the misery, many of them are ash and apparently doomed by the ash dieback disease.
What we didn’t realise until we measured it was that the overgrown walled garden which we were told was an orchard is actually about the size of an allotment and ideal for a vegetable plot.
Once that area is under control, we’ll plant up a herb bed and a raised salad bed that will be really near to the house. I’d also like another shed but that will have to wait on funds being available.