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Mushrooms, Mares Tail & Decorative Raised Beds

The last week has been a bit of a mad rush with the new book launch. I’m not complaining, mind you. If nobody had bought a copy then I’d have had something to moan at apart from the rain.

I’m always a bit cautious and don’t expect too much so we ran out of stamps (panicked run down to the post office) and then sold out of books, thank you next-day delivery for working and getting more to me before I let anyone down.

Val’s hard at it in the home garden. She likes growing in pots and that means lots of pots full of last year’s compost to go round to the plot. I loaded the car with the pots and headed off. Now I know they won’t make a huge difference but the effect is the same as popping half a dozen sacks of compost on there. Not much nutrition but it helps improve the soil structure.

Mares Tail

All this rain whilst the weather has been relatively warm has brought on the plants no end. Especially the weeds! The wood chipping paths on plot 29 have a few weeds coming through but nothing serious except for mares tail.

The resurgence of the dreaded mares tail is something I consider serious. The plot next to me is covered in it at the top end and it’s spreading. When I took over plot 29 it was covered in mares tail and I managed to kill most of it off using Amcide but that’s no longer available.

Since then I’ve noticed it coming up on more plots, I assume spreading from spores on the plots where they’ve let it grow on. It spreads through the roots and spores so it’s a real pain to control. The roots are thin, brown and go down for miles so organic control is lots of hoeing for years. I decided to glyphosate the paths.

Glyphosate is only partially effective with mares tail, sometimes needing 5 applications to kill it off. Because I’m spraying the paths, I’m not too bothered about re-applying it.

Mushrooms, Toadstools & Fungi

On the subject of paths, I’ve lots of mushrooms growing on them. I’ve had a few emails about mushrooms and toadstools growing on plots, one in particular seemed rather in a tizzy about it.

The fact is that they’re growing on the rotting wood and, apart from being unsightly, present no threat or problem. Unless you eat them, that is. If you don’t know what the mushroom is, never be tempted to try it.

They don’t even eat the same nutrients as the crops and so they don’t compete. So if you’ve got fungus or mushrooms on your plot, don’t worry. Hoe them off if they annoy you but otherwise ignore them.

Landscape Gardening

Sunday I was drafted into the garden where the raised bed in the middle of the lawn needed re-edging. We’d used log rolls and these were rotting and falling apart so this time we bought the log boards.

Now the six inch type aren’t difficult but the foot high ones are a pain. Getting them hammered in absolutely straight is a job beyond me. Shall we say the result is just about acceptable.

Potting On

The squash had come up as had the cucumbers in their modules so they’ve all been moved up into larger pots. I think we’re safe from the danger of frost now in our area so the tender plants can go out as soon as I’m ready for them.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Mushrooms, Mares Tail & Decorative Raised Beds
  1. Duncan says:

    We have quite a problem with marestail on our allotment site at Middleton, near Manchester. The plots that are lower down and get waterlogged in winter have the marestail problem far worse than me. The method I use is to get a flame gun and just singe the foliage enough to break the ‘acrylic’ type coating that marestail has (not burn the plant). Then use a glyphosphate based weedkiller a few times and this should get rid of it (at least for a few years). Breaking this outer coating makes the weedkiller get absorbed much better.
    Apparently someone on our site decided to use a rotavator on his plot (not a good idea if you have a marestail problem) – you guessed it – the next year his plot was full of the stuff!!!

  2. alastair mckinney says:

    Rubber glove ..2″ paint brush and paint Mairs Tail with white spirit (yes paint brush cleaner) Hold the weed in the gloved hand ..paint with the white spirit and in 2 days IT’S DEAD !!!….A few came back the next year but after treatment yes..I admit I have a few..but nothing like used to be
    and doesn’t effect other plants.

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