Sunday, 26 July 2020

Weeding & Composting

Not the usual view of the allotment as I don't often include the building behind because for at least the last four years it has been a building site. My plot neighbour who has taken the areal views for me lives in the top floor flat behind my shed and greenhouse on plot 1 (the left side).

This photo is looking just at plot 1 and the Dalek army along the path between plots 1 & 2 and the most of today was spent cutting back and up the comfrey bed and the grapevine and filling to the brim the Dalek on the right by the path into plot 1A. 

I was going to remove the grapevines last year and only actually got around to removing two of the 3 plants. The result was that the remaining vine has gone mad and into catch up mode and has taken over the wall behind the greenhouse on Plot 1A, but the bindweed has also stated to cover it as well as the leaf bins. 

Once I had filled the Dalek I started clearing the Bindweed from Dalek No 1 that needs relocating with the others and pulling the bindweed off the two leaf bins. More time and effort is required to clear all this bind weed away from along the wall and on this side of the plot, but I'm happy with what I managed to get done today in a couple of hours, Rome was not  built in a day.   

Photo on the left is the 17th July and that on the right is the 26th July just 9 days in the ground and a little rain and the difference is size and growth can be seen. 

What's also noticeable is the amount of weeds coming through the additional holes. I didn't get around to removing these  weeds during this visit and that means they will need to be dealt with on my next visit when they will be at least twice as big. 

What this is telling me is that I need to make some squash specific planting membrane sheets up that only have the two holes for the two squash plants each end in each corner and a watering hole in between them for a pop bottle with pin holes so that I can water at depth between them.

As my available time to get to the allotment is reducing as my wife needs additional care I need to find as many ways as possible to reduce the need for weeding and become more efficient. This is another reason I'm looking into hydroponics and in particular the Kratky Method as what I could do this with less frequent watering visits during the summer growing season.

Weeds, Weeds Everywhere! 

Because of covid-19 and four months of relative neglect of the plot there are weeds everywhere that need to be dealt with. On plot 1 I have Marestail also known as Horsetail or that bastard stuff that has been around since prehistoric times. You can't really dig out or chemically treat it, you just have to keep pulling it up and keeping on top of it and hopefully over time it will reduce in strength and dissipate a little. 

What I didn't know is what a lot of the other weeds that are growing are called and more importantly it occurred to me that I don't know which ones can be safely composted and which ones (apart from Marestail you should just burn).  

Thus having photographed these weeds I have set myself the task of identifying them, with the aid of fellow allotmenteers on Facebook Groups of course and producing a reference guide of some description. 

Quick footnote, Rain most of yesterday and over night, yes it was wet, yes I should have worn boots and not trainers that got wet in the toes, but it was fantastic just to get away from the house and the same four walls for a few hours. I saw and talked to people other than my wife including my sister-in-law who hopefully we can socialise with again once we stop shielding next month.  

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