Rain, Television & Clearing a Plot

Well my prediction of a hot summer is looking a little rocky, rain and wind followed by wind and rain. Oh well, back to the potting shed where I sowed some beans.

First in were the runners, Scarlet Emperor and White Emergo. I only want half a dozen of each at most, we’ve still loads of runners in the freezers.

Next in were 20 Purple Teepee, courtesy of Dave from the forums – thank you! I also sowed some Cobra climbing French beans. They’ll be about right for planting out by the end of the month.

They’re promising some better weather by Tuesday so I’ve been working over the weekend on the principle I can go plotting without feeling guilty when the sun shines.

Allotment TV

As I said last time, I did some filming on the plot. You can see the results here:

I reckon I look a right nit!

Clearing New Allotments

Had an email the other day. I don’t really encourage growing enquiries as it was getting a bit mad trying to cope. but I thought this was worth publishing.

My local authority are giving us the chance to start allotments , they are proposing to start from scratch and spray the grass with Roundup herbicide and then rotovate and plough the field before dividing it up into allotments.

I wish to have my allotment as organic but I am concerned that they are going to use roundup to kill the grass. What is your opinion of this and have you any advice of an alternative way of getting rid of the grass to begin the allotments?

Here’s my reply:

I appreciate your desire to be organic but I think this is the best route, The reason is that glyphosate (the active ingredient in RoundupTM) is pretty safe – not 100%, but nothing is. It will be taken up by the perennials like couch grass, docks and thistles and in a few weeks the weeds will be dead and theĀ  plot will be usable. Getting rid of couch by hand is an awful hard job, months of work and you never get it all.

The other method is to cover the plot for six months plus to exclude light so your land is out of circulation. Lesser of two evils is to spray, in my opinion.

I’ve seen so many people take on plots with great organic aspirations only to give up in despair when the practical realities and time involved in clearing the plot are realised. That’s why I suggest spraying to start and then going organic.

Once dug and rotovated, I’d plant a green manure mustard to get rid of a lot of the worm pests that love grassland and to improve the soil. Mustard confuses them and they basically breed out of season.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
One comment on “Rain, Television & Clearing a Plot
  1. Carol Walters says:

    Well John I have to agree with you I have been a plot holder for about 4 years now. My first plot became too water logged so I moved a bit further down the site. Now this one is riddled with dock leaves. It started with the abandoned site being strimmed by my council they left everything to reroot the few docks became 1,000’s i have cleared and dug over this plot for three years now. they have not gone but are going sometimes i think of giving up but the pleasure the allotment gives out weighs the bad points. The funny thing is 3 years later i still say i should have used weedkiller but every Sept/Oct i promise it will be done then the rains arrive for the winter and another year goes by without weedkilling everything so tell them get it done just this once they will thank the council in the end and save all the weeding.

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