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Author Topic: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?  (Read 989 times)

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midgetgerm

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Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« on: October 16, 2017, 20:02 »
Totally new recruits to allotment life and not much left of the year to tackle the horrendously neglected patch we've been given!  So my plan is:-
Strim it down to the ground one day this week.
Clear the resulting rubbish.
Spray with glyphosate based weedkiller.
Cover with growth retarding plastic.
I need to know if this is the correct procedure - is this a plan that will work.  Then do I try and dig it over or
Leave until next spring?
Thanks


New shoot

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 08:10 »
Hi mg and welcome to the forum :)

I've moved this into the growing bit so more people will see it.

mumofstig

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 08:51 »
Welcome to the forum.
Quote
So my plan is:-
Strim it down to the ground one day this week.
Clear the resulting rubbish.
Then -
wait a couple of weeks for new growth to show, before spraying as the weedkiller needs to be sprayed on foliage that is actively growing. Daylight helps the weedkiller work so don't cover with weed control fabric until all the weeds are dead. (as the label says weed control fabric controls the growth of weeds it doesn't kill existing ones, in my experience) You may need to spray persistent weeds more than once between now and spring.

Or, after strimming cover everything with weed-control fabric, which will weaken regrowth of perennial weeds. Gradually peel back the fabric a strip at a time and dig out the weeds that are regrowing, until you have a clear patch, which you can recover til spring.

The battle with weeds doesn't stop once the ground is initially cleared though, there will be plenty of weed seeds in the soil waiting to grow  :( So be warned, you will need to hoe/weed regularly through the year, or grow everything through weed control fabric.

Good luck!





Lesley
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I'm not good, I'm not bad, I'm just me - and sometimes I have to apologise for that.

ilan

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 09:45 »
I would buy my self a good digging hoe , then go over the ground with that , let it dry out for a few days and rake up all the exposed roots  . You will need to do this two or three times forget weed control fabric  you want the weeds to grow so you can get them out and you want the frosts to get into the soil to kill any exposed roots . weed killers only work when plants are growing and whilst its still warm the light levels are falling . You then need to see what soil you have . Dont fall into the trap of putting "Horse Manure" on the soil as unless very well rotted its full of weeds . Just start a compost heap and save scavange any organic materials for it Good luck and enjoy it
This is the first age that has ever paid much attention to the future which is ironic since we may not have one !(Arthur c Clarke)

Salmo

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 10:12 »
Your approach with glyphosate is good. When you strim do not go too close. That will leave some leaves on weeds like dandelions which otherwise might not regrow. Once the leaves have yellowed, 2 to 3 weeks, you can strim down tight. Whether you dig out the weeds or not does not matter, if they are dead they are dead. Most people do as it makes cultivation easier if there are not lots of roots in the way. It may also find the odd root that has escaped treatment. Anything you have missed will shoot in the Spring and can either be sprayed or dug out.

Read the glyphosate bottle carefully. It does what it says on the bottle if you follow instructions.
 There are a few important rules
Spray plants in active growth
There must be 6 hours of dry weather after it is applied. (more difficult than you think)

A good way to apply glyphosate is with a dribble bar attached to a watering can. This is a T piece with holes, you will find them in garden centres. This avoids drift from a fine sprayer. You will avoid taking out your neighbours crops and you can use a dribble bay on a breezy day.


Gellideg

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 15:20 »
Hi.I am a retired farmer used to glyphosphate use before ploughing.Salmo is my way to the "T".If winter then allows give it a good digging over and clear anything in the soil at the same time.Get some horse/cow manure if you can,and cover the lot and dig that in during March.Yes,dig again and you'll be away with a good first year seedbed.After the 2 nd dig,about 3weeks before starting to sow or plant out you could use some garden lime where the crop would benefit.I had the same as you about 6 years ago and I overdid it a bit and the pleasure became too much like work.But it was worth it as the season went on.I hope you have as much pleasure as I do with my veg garden.THE BEST HOBBY IN THE UK.      John.

Wiltshire Worms

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 18:44 »
Don't try to do everything at once, slow and steady.

Enjoy it it's a hobby not a chore

rowlandwells

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 21:12 »
 having read the replies I must say I agree with what's been said I did basically the same as gelliday I to  got my experience from my farming days and when we took over our second plot I sprayed with roundup that cleared most of the weeds but that was in the spring when the soil  was warming up

although I do have my concerns because the soil is getting colder roundup mite not have the benefits as it would when the soil is warmer I sprayed roundup last month on some ground after I lifted my potato crop and the ground has stayed pretty well weed free

I will be spreading my well rotted horse manure on the plot soon and then winter plough the ground leaving it to overwinter then come spring and the ground starts to warm up I will cultivate but as said unfortunately the weeds keep coming

but it is noticeable that the ground has got more cleaner since spraying roundup  I spray with a knapsack sprayer on a still day had no problems with spray drift so far

hope this info helps  good luck with your plot  :)



smilydog

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2017, 21:51 »
Hi!
Glyphosphate is a carcinogen so i would avoid if you can

Dig out the weeds by whatever means, but you will have a healthier plot if you do it by hard graft and you will get to know how your plot is doing, and there is a certain satisfaction to be had in growing your crops that have not had any chemical intervention. Just my 2P worth!

mumofstig

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 22:43 »
Hi!
Glyphosphate is a carcinogen so i would avoid if you can

Dig out the weeds by whatever means, but you will have a healthier plot if you do it by hard graft and you will get to know how your plot is doing, and there is a certain satisfaction to be had in growing your crops that have not had any chemical intervention. Just my 2P worth!
Officially the jury is still out on that sd, but everyone can make up their own minds about it  ;)

Potterer

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 17:51 »
HI I am a newbie to this site but have been allotmenting for over 10 years. I am just taking on a new allotment which is absolutely covered in perennial weeds. I am going to experiment with 'no-dig' techniques. How about strimming and covering in membrane/plastic without the need for weedkiller? I have done this before and although it didnt kill the weeds completely, the few that were left  were far far easier to get out.


I am going to try a few raised beds with 6 inches of manure over cardboard as Charles Dowling (no-dig guru) says this works without the need for weeding (unless brambles). Lots of information on you-tube.

Good luck whatever you decide to do!

mumofstig

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 18:40 »
Is moving around all that manure any less work than digging the bed? Granted it will improve the soil if you can manage it  :D

I still feel it's worth clearing the worst weeds, at the beginning, even if you go no-dig from then on. Good luck!

al78

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 14:07 »
Is moving around all that manure any less work than digging the bed? Granted it will improve the soil if you can manage it  :D

Not really.

If you want to cover 200 sq m with 10 cm of manure you will need 20 cubic meters of manure. To shovel that quantity, transport it to your plot and spread it around is going to require significant physical effort over a significant period of time. Even if you are lucky enough to have machines to do the transportation and digging, you still have to barrow it to your plot from wherever it is dropped off (it is unlikely a lorry will be able to drop it right next to your plot). If you want decent soil and good crops, you have to put effort in, that is the true cost of renting an allotment as opposed to letting someone else do the hard work and going to the supermarket.

Potterer

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 20:44 »
Hi, we are lucky enough that manure is delivered direct into our plots so that takes some of the work out of it. Iím not necessarily looking for less work ( although that could be nice!), more what works best for the plot. I was aiming to put manure on raised beds only and then covering paths

ilan

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Re: Taking over abandoned allotment - where to start?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 17:31 »
I am pleased that you can get hold of good quality manure its very valuable stuff to be good it has to have rotted down for a few years though or it will be full of weed seeds



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