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Meg Started conversation Mar 9, 2004
I saw you on Abbi's page and thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Mad Meg and I read your page with interest. I dream of living a simple life within a walled garden but I've been blessed with children so it is not to be yet. Can I ask you a gardening question?. I live in big cities with a small garden and don't have much gardening experience. I have recently got an allotment and am excited about growing produce but don't know the best way to clear the ground. There's tall grass and weeds everywhere. Is it just a case of hard graft weeding continually or is there another enviromentally friendly way of getting rid of it. I won't be able to read your reply until this time next week as I only have computer acess when I'm at work on Mondays. Thank you in anticipation
eddispond Posted Mar 14, 2004
Well hello! How nice of you to call round.
May I call you Meg as I don't believe you are either mad or mad!(Spose you could have been Mystic Meg. Now that is mad!) As you can see I'm a bit dippy myself. That's because we both love Spike.
The question you ask echoes around the land. We gardeners usually like to come along and have a look. We need to know the nature of the climate, the soil, the weeds and the person.
I could write a guide, "Weeds to Feeds" but I am not strictly on the net for gardening. I am more interested in propagating Love. There is a desperate shortage in the world! I will leave the Guides to French bean.(link on my list of friends)
I will answer your question with some paraphrase. You are most welcome to come back for further chat on any point.
1. Weedkiller- Round-up(glyphosate) Safe( in spite of E.U.) Plant crops after 3 to 4 weeks normally.( Mustn't splash on crop leaves , though.)
2.Exclude light.- Old carpet, heavy-duty plastic, thick cardboard etc. Weeds die after one season. Some tap-rooted weeds e.g. docks, dandelions, and some pernicious e.g. ground elder, couch grass, nettles will need removing first.
3.Hard slog!- I have deep trenched weedy areas where there is good depth of soil burying weeds to 15in. depth. Even couch grass will give up this way. You may add manure or compost on top as you go.
3a.Loosen weedy surface ,fork-depth and keep disturbed for ,with luck a dry spell. Weeds will be curtailed and will die off as soil dries out, to be easily separated from soil and raked off. Remember a pile of weeds covered with black plastic will rot down for later use. Key:- exclusion of light.
Suggest you attack on all fronts, according to time available and think seasonal. Time never stands still!! The aim fisst season is to grow something edible. Then you will be encouraged. Taller crops will compete with weeds if they start fighting back. Runner beans are a good idea as they can enjoy your first trench especially with lots of compost or well-rotted manure added. Spuds are also good as they help "clean" the ground of weeds.(also Jerusalem artichokes)
Remember, neglected plots have dispersed many seeds which wait to replace their forbears. So constant hoeing or top-mulching will be needed even after you have won the first battle. This battle is never won in one season, so get started as soon as possible. Good luck!
Meg Posted Mar 16, 2004
Thanks ed. I just have to find the time to get digging. We took the plot on last year when my husband and I did very little paid-work. We got a good crop of potatoes and broadbeans and made lovely jam from the plum tree. Then it all went to pot as our paid-work increased and we recently got married. We haven't tended the plot since the Autumn and now face a hard job getting it ready for planting. I'm going to start planting indoors with the hope of transplanting the seedlings when we have somewhere clear for them.
As far as the name goes I don't mind what you call me. The Mad was a play on words. I am a midwife and we often refer to ourselved as madwives. Being prone to the odd Mad spell it seemed rather apt.
Nice conversing with you
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