New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.

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paul_holmes

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« on: February 05, 2007, 16:52 »
Hi all, I have 15 rods of allotment (yes I am mad) I have cleared 5 rods and have already planted a few beans and garlics in there. the problem I have is the remaining 10 rods, it is totally covered in grass, weeds(twitch its called apparently). As I do not have all the time in the world before I need to have veg growing is there any quick way of  getting things going or have i really got to spend the next 30 years of my life pulling up this stuff? Is covering and placing raised beds a good thing to do? Expensive I know, but save time? Any suggestions? Many thanks.
OOOOOOO me back, it better be worth it....

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ytyynycefn

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2007, 17:20 »
My advice would be to tackle it a bit at a time - you may not get the whole 15 rods into action this year.  A lot of crops (sweetcorn, squashes etc) won't go into the ground for months yet, so there's no point in clearing ground now that won't get planted up until May - you'll just get weeds coming back.  Try covering the weeds with hessian backed carpet, cardboard or newspapers - that'll smother the *.

I'd take a "dig and plant" approach - dig each lump as and when you need to put something in it, that way, when you're feeling discouraged by what you've got left to dig, you can look behind you, and see stuff growing in the bit you've already worked. Good for morale boosting, and less trying on the back!

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freyaluck

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 17:31 »
I used round up on my twitch best to do it in the spring although the weather we are having at the momment all my weeds are growing splendidly :x   I used round up to make the plot manageable , now am as organic as possible .
HTH
Frey
Carlie- The nutty one
Now totally ORGANIC and using permaculture design.
(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

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kath77

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2007, 17:42 »
Hi Paul,

I'm with Mel on this one... in the last four years I've had two new plots: with then first I tried to clear the whole thing - by the time I got to the other end the beginning was covered in weeds again!

So, with my new plot I worked bed by bed (not too small), as I needed them. On the rest I kept the weeds at bay with carpet. I do try to be organic, but resorted to using Round-Up weedkiller on the bindweed and bramble which there was an awful lot of.

Good luck!
Kath

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Bigbadfrankie

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2007, 18:11 »
I poured petrol on it and tourched it. Exciting couple of hours but all sheds survived  :shock:
If its long strim it first then burn it. Do early before the fussy ones arrive.
You can then get some machinery on the job.
always have a target
and an objective.

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muntjac

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2007, 21:08 »
u should be renamed big mad frankie lolo an arsonist and a rotavatorholic :lol:
still alive /............

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paul_holmes

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thanks guys
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007, 21:53 »
thanks for the replies guys. not sure the napalm idea would be too acceptable to my joining plots but believe me if i said the thought of burning the whole plot  hadnt crossed my mind i would be lying. the dig and plant method seems to be the best option. As I am new I have bought about 50 different seeds to get going so I guess that was a bit ambitious, hooo hum. Thanls for all your words of wisdom and encouragement.  :D

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ted_woodley

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 12:47 »
I used glyphosate (aka roundup) - although being wholly organic is a laudable goal I am willing to compromise to save myself work. After initial clearing, then remaining couch grass can be manually dug out bed by bed when conditions are right, I find it quite a rewarding task.

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frazzy

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 08:30 »
:D hi when i first got my lotty i like you dug what i need ed and then i dug out any remaining brambles or large docks raked off any loose matrial and then laid down old carpets on the rest and then when it was time to plant later in may i lifted the carpet and it was like a miricle lovely soil underneith. all i had to do then was fork out the white roots added some organic matter and away you go .i havent looked back since .
just enjoy your self its not a race  good luck :D
lol and sorry for me spelling  :roll:
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.  byJohn Burroughs:

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DD.

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 11:23 »
Bl**dy carpets!!!

When I took on plot 2 - the weeds had grown through & rooted the blighters. Ineffective & took us ages and a lot of effort to drag them off.

One of the plot holders on my site is a Professor of Horticulture. He says, and it sounds reasonable, that if you are going to 'carpet' or cover any ground, it has to be done for a whole year. That is the ony way to fully interupt a plant's life cycle. No point putting it down for a month or two. I suppose my problem here was that it had been down for about 5 years!

I may upset one or two here - but when I go down to my plot - I'd sooner see God's own plants, (weeds), than some 70's carpet.

I don't see glyphosphate as a problem - that's my personal opinion. On contact with the ground it ceases to be inactive. When I took on my first plot, the council strimmed the top growth and I then rough dug it. Come spring the new growth was greeted with Round Up. Since then not so many weeds seem to want to reciprocate the greeting.
Did it really tell you to do THAT on the packet?

Seeds are SOWN, planting's for plants (and bulbs & tubers)!

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frazzy

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2007, 15:33 »
:wink:  wow now thats hard wareing carpet ,
i,m not surprised it had grown in. i only would leave the carpet down while i wasn,t working on it just to surpress the growth .
alternativly i would of said put a few hens on that piece of ground. they would clear and fertilise it alswell  but thats prob not a good idea with the bird restritions and all. if not just have a bear and dig party  its all good excersise  .sorry if i offended all the anti carpet people. was just a tried and tested method  down here in norfolk. :oops: sorry about spelling my brain needs more compost me thinks. :shock:

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Dragonfly

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2007, 17:12 »
Quote from: "Digger Dave"
Bl**dy carpets!!!


Absol - blooming - lutely!!!

There appears to be [no respect to anyone intended] a tendancy for carpets to be used by some, not all, for a quick fix. Sadly they, the carpets that is, are left and left until the weeds grow through. Soil gathers on the surface. So you end up with a nasty sandwich of soil with weeds, carpet with weeds and then on top soil with weeds.  When this happens people then put down another carpet on top. Then what happens is they give up the plot. As someone who has cleared a large area "carpeted and underlayed in such a way" I would say ban carpets all together.  I couldn't tell you of the number of times I have cursed my former allotmenteer and their "bl**dy" nylon carpets and rubber underlay. A straight dig is OK but cutting through this carpet mix is hell.

So forget carpets and dig the soil and remove the roots, that is what spades are for. Then dig it again, and again, and again until the perennial weeds are gone. Look upon it as a battle in which you are going to be the winner and get fitter and fitter as the weeds get weaker and weaker.

Rant over   :evil:
Dragonfly

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Axe Victim

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2007, 17:13 »
Quote from: "frazzy"
:wink:  wow now thats hard wareing carpet ,
i,m not surprised it had grown in. i only would leave the carpet down while i wasn,t working on it just to surpress the growth .
alternativly i would of said put a few hens on that piece of ground. they would clear and fertilise it alswell  but thats prob not a good idea with the bird restritions and all. if not just have a bear and dig party  its all good excersise  .sorry if i offended all the anti carpet people. was just a tried and tested method  down here in norfolk. :oops: sorry about spelling my brain needs more compost me thinks. :shock:


We had to give up our first allotment 12 years ago (three kids...no time) but have recently restarted on a plot only a few hundred feet from our old one...when we wandered down to take a look...there was our old living room carpet from when we had had the plot! The new owners had still been using it over 15 years since we had originally hoofed it down there... :lol:

For what it's worth, we were always advised to put carpet furry side down, for some reason...I guess furry side up encourages seeding of the carpet...either way, if it's down for more than a couple of years it ends up with stuff growing right through it.   I still find it easier to clear than non-carpet stuff and the soil underneath is always much easier to dig...IMHO

 :roll:
If life gives you lemons...wrap a dog turd in newspaper and set fire to it on Life's doorstep.

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cornykev

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2007, 17:38 »
Hi paul I had the same problem when I took on a plot, I cut off the top inch or so with the shovel and piled up the turfs it was easier to dig but not purfect. Your spuds dont need all the weeds out they will happily grow in semi weeds then carry on on weeding the rest if it looks too much then leave it until next year but cover what you won't touch with plastic or CARPET it will be so much easier to dig. Because I am the end plot I piled the turfs against the fence and forgot about them 16 months later I have a lovely top soil like earth to throw back on the plot, good luck and happy digging.   :)  :)  :)  :)  :)
MAY THE CORN BE WITH YOU

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ytyynycefn

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New Allotment plot that's covered in weed and grass.
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2007, 18:12 »
Well, like weedkillers, if you use carpet responsibly, it is incredibly useful.  I didn't put any down on my beds in the end, as I got all of them dug and weeded pretty thoroughly in one season, even though I hadn't expected to.  I do use it on my paths, because I don't have a lawnmower, and it makes life a bit less muddy - ideal with a three year old running about the place.

When or if the people who have the overgrown (understatement - spotted a GORSE bush growing there at the weekend) plot next door ever decide to do something with their plot, their first plan of action is to "throw a load of poison all over it" - think I'd rather have carpet, meself  :lol:



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