A big pile of ......

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brightgirls

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A big pile of ......
« on: August 11, 2012, 19:13 »
Hi all - well coming up to our first anniversary of having an allotment we have several burning questions

Not one bag of weeds has left the plot - and we have had loads.  The intention was to bag it and bring it to the dump as the inital set of weeds lifted had been weedkiller'd so we did not think we could put on our compost bin.  However all that has happened is that we have piled it up and covered it all over with a taurpaulin in a dead area of the allotment - and we have added to it !!  time to tackle this growing problem.

Neighbouring allotment friends have suggested builidng a compost area out of palletts and chuck it all in there and let it compost down - however I have several questions about this.

Can i compost weebs (now a year old) that were weedkilled?

What about the couch weed and bindweed that is now in the pile - will this break down and compost or is that not a good idea?

I have seen other allotments growing amazing squashes out of their open top compost- i would love to do this .... is this tricky?

The weeds nearly defeated us this year - 3 long days of trying to gain control back has had a positive impact but the pile of "stuff" is growing and we need to get some ideas of how to deal with them?

Hope you can help

Thanks

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Yorkie

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 19:36 »
Which weedkiller was it?
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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brightgirls

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 20:08 »
round up ....

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grinling

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2012, 21:01 »
Weedkiller can remain for a long time. Are you permitted short duration burning? If you were to compost using pallets, then chicken wire underneath and around to stop rats moving in and remove as much soil as poss. Couch will compost if no soil, but bind weed survives.
 I would then leave it for another 2 years.

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Alastair-I

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2012, 21:15 »
I have seen other allotments growing amazing squashes out of their open top compost- i would love to do this

There's your answer.  I don't think round-up has persistency issues, after all it's broken down on the soil surface very quickly so once the sprayed matter breaks down the rounduup will go with it (if not before).  But by putting your suspect material into an open composter you can try growing your squashes.  If the squash grow then the round-up has gone.  If they don't grow, then you need to try and figure out whether it was the weedkiller or the squash husbandary!

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angelavdavis

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 00:35 »
I believe round up is glyphosate based so composting the killed weeds, as glyphosate is soil inactive, should be OK.

You have the choice of bagging up the weeds in black plastic and allowing them to "cook" for a year before adding them to compost or adding to a bean trench or similar.  If you create pallet compost heaps, it would be worth covering them in black plastic to stop the weeds from re-sprouting.
Read about my allotment exploits at Ecodolly at plots 37 & 39.  Questions, queries and comments are appreciated at Comment on Ecodolly's exploits on plots 37 & 39

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New shoot

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 07:30 »
If you build a pallet bin you could transfer stuff into it and any couch or bindweed roots can be picked out and left on the soil surface to dry out and shrivel to total dessication before adding to the heap.  

Or they can be bagged up to rot, or submerged in buckets of water to rot.  The last 2 stink to high heaven, but the resulting gloop is good stuff and can all go in the heap  ;)

Cover the heap for the winter and you could use the compost next spring, or grow squashes on it.  I prefer to add the compost to the soil and then grow, as squashes on compost heaps make huge amounts of foliage and don't necessarily make more fruits  :)

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Christine

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 16:54 »
My weeds go on the compost heap with the exclusion of dandelion and dock seed heads and roots. Oh and couch grass roots.  

I usually leave weeds alone that have been sprayed with round-up and in the fullness of time rake up the straw like remains which have no real value except that they help to start a bonfire.

And yes, I run a two year roster with compost heaps under black plastic (that was free and pallets were not at the time). The two year old stuff in dug into the beds and the present season's rotting down store is transferred to a sheltered sunny spot where it gets to grow marrows and squashes.

When these have finished doing their own thing they go on the season's heap while I get spade and shovel and barrow into action moving the older heap. Works for me and first time I did it well it amused some of the older guys who hadn't thought of doing this (space wasters them are).
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 16:59 by Christine »

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brightgirls

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 10:35 »
Thanks all for help - an update for you all.  I hired the services of 2 teenages and they bagged up 25 bags of old weeds etc and tidied that end of the plot. I now need to decide if I will build a pallett composter or just throw as I go.

Bought an incenerator bin as well to keep on top of low level weeds

Time is the biggest enemy I am finding with one year of owning an allotment under my belt.

Thanks all for help


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Yorkie

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Re: A big pile of ......
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 19:28 »
It does get easier over the following years, promise!



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