Time on my hands…

Or the total lack of. I’ve been frantically propagating over the last few months as I promised myself that I’d start to sell some plants this year. The first market is on Sunday (it’s Tuesday now) and I’m worrying that there isn’t enough to show. I’m sure that once I get it all out and presentable it’ll be another picture but for now, I’m worrying.

The weather up until now, when it’s taken a turn for the cold, has been excellent and I’ve been almost living outside, save eating and sleeping. It all came to a crashing halt today with near freezing mornings and hail showers during the day unfortunately. It does mean that I’ve come to the realisation that the current half plot I have at the allotment isn’t going to cut it this year and I’m going to need to expand my empire. Once I set aside space for all of the dwarf beans I’m growing, there was nothing left, one tiny bed that’s full of small box hedging, and that won’t move until winter now.

There was a plot going on the site, and it’s in an ideal situation, full sun, easy access and being on a main thoroughfare you get to see everyone who walks by when you’re working on it. The one down side it that it looks like this.

If you’ve ever taken on an allotment or have left one for more than a few months you’ll recognise that as couch grass. This is one of the thugs of the weed world as like bind weed, all you have to do is leave a little of the root in the soil and off it goes again. You can use systemic herbicides on it but I highly recommend that you don’t and I’ve been offered anecdotal evidence that the stuff will come back anyway. I’m afraid that the only way for this is some hard graft in order to manage it, I say manage as you’ll never remove it entirely. It spreads through rhizomes that it sends along under the soil from which new leaves form into these great clumps. These themselves are easy to up root, the tricky and time consuming part is then finding one of the fibrous roots and following it all the way to the end, leave nothing behind. The roots are quite tough so you don’t have trouble locating them, it’s just the quantity that’s disheartening, persevere though and the reward is a clear plot for growing the real stuff.

Bind weed is a similar affair but the roots are fleshier and much more brittle,  the size of them and the fact that they are almost bright white does make them easy to spot. This stuff will climb up anything so it’s best to catch it when the shoots are small, you’ll see them as soon as they poke out of the ground. This again though will grow a whole new plant, and infestation, form just the smallest piece of root left in the ground. If there is any left after you’ve cleared it, make sure that you get it as soon as it first appears as it’ll be weak and you can trace the shoot back down to the offending piece.

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