Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Report on allotment...
Page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management
Author 
 Message
Jeff



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 145
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:16 am    Post subject: Report on allotment...  Reply with quote    

Hi all,

I thought it would be best to start a new thread now that I have been down to the allotment to establish exactly what I have got to clear.... Here goes...

I can obviously see that I have half a plot of brambles and upon closer inspection I can see that although the growth is thick there are surprizingly few stems, i.e. roots to tackle

Having a look and a chat with the site manager I have established that there is very little, if any Couch Grass with mainly standard, shallow-rooted grass present. I cleared a small area and dug down into the soil and it seems, light and fluffy and relitively weed free, we couldn't find any think clogging vine-type weeds!!!

I won't shout too loudly but on the whole I'm happy and confident that I can clear and achieve a good plot between now and the end of February when I intend to get my first crops in...

What's your thoughts on these findings and how would you go about clearing the grass and its roots/ the top 2 inches of soil???

Thanks as always,
Jeff

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good news my first thought would be to cut the brambles back with secateurs down to stumps, so that none of the vines are touching the ground and you won't come back in a couple of weeks to more stumps than the first time (they'll root as soon as you turn your back). And my second though is taste the fruits from each of the brambles to make sure that none of them are really tasty because it might be worth keeping them.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19023
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Broad Beans and Garlic - NOW!

Skim the grass and stack it in a pile grass sid down. In a year or so You'll have some nice soil.

Jeff



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 145
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There is a bit of fruit left on the vines so I will have a taste and maybe keep a carfully controlled bit if so...

I have had the temptation to plant things now and would love to get some garlic in especially but I really have enough goodies coming on well at home and think I'll stick to my aim of having a clear blank canvas ready for spring planting...

Good call on the grass, I didn'tr just want to bin it...

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44268
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The grass will make terriffic soil, if you can get some black plastic sheeting covering it with that will accelerate the process and stop anything growing in there too

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds like a plan, Jeff.

I don't think I would leave any brambles though, if you can get rid of them.
When you start removing the grass, it sort of becomes obvious how far down to go - just enough to take out most of the root, without stealing too much topsoil. The depth will depend on the type of grass. You can then go back over and get rid of the dandelions, etc.

I think there must be something wrong with me. I really enjoy clearing a patch of earth and digging it over - there is something so full of promise about a freshly dug bed full of lovely compost and horse manure!

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can get a turf stripper from most hire shops. Although it seems a little expensive.

http://www.hss.com/Fae.asp?sysPage=wsHomePage&wsCountry=UK&sysLanguage=[BASE]&resetToGroup=YES

Jeff



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 145
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh, I forget to mention that the grass which I thought was knee-high is actually shoulder high, and I'm 6'2"!!! can that help with identification?

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If your soil is free draining then there is the other matter of not putting manure on it until spring and doing your main digging then so that the rain doens't wash the goodness off, unlike heavy soil which needs the manure to improve its texture as well as condition it.

We have free draining soil, its lovely but in the words of my dad, 'hungry' and will need careful feeding to get the best crops. The thing to do is to listen to the old timers on the site who know the soil and they will tell you what will grow best and what just won't - no one can grow swedes up here!

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jeff wrote:
Oh, I forget to mention that the grass which I thought was knee-high is actually shoulder high, and I'm 6'2"!!! can that help with identification?


In that case, perhaps you should forget the turf stripper and hire yourself a Bobcat

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would guess that as the grass is so high then it doesn't have much competition from more invasive weeds, which is nice.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Might be easier to deal with the "turf" if you cut the grass first. Failing a scythe, shears or a hedge trimmer could be used...

I think your priority has to be dealing with anything that would set seed and give you more problems.

My inclination would be to cut back all the grass, strip a bit of turf, improve that area, plant something and then strip some more turf... If you run out of stuff you want to plant, stick in a green manure - its better than trying to maintain bare earth! And you should make encouragingly rapid progress.
And I'd expect not to get around to doing much about the brambles until the season has turned. Doing it by hand is going to be slow, hard work. Do it steadily through the winter - and have the satisfaction of "something happening" on the previously grassy bit while you toil...

{And in, Spring when the remaining bits of bramble start sending up shoots, you can just Glyphosphate the residual problem... !}

Jeff



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 145
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

On that note I did over-hear a conversation while there yesterday as a couple of people mentioned deformed potatoes caused by hard patches of soil???

I reckon that the soil on my patch was well dug and maintained before it was left to decline...???

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I might be tempted to start with some lazy beds; de-turf some strips, turn the turf upside down and lay it on top of more turf where you want some beds. Cover that with some manure, plastic sheeting on top and leave it over winter. There are lots of variations of this, but I rekon that's a cracking way to get some beds sorted for spuds next year.

Bernie66



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 13967
Location: Eastoft
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 05 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have completely dug mine over and am leaving most of it to the frosts to break it up and prepare it. I was planning no-dig but enjoyed turning it all.
I would cut the grass relatively low and then turn half of the "turf" over onto the rest, if you are wanting to manure you could dig trenches and fill them up with horse manure bearing in mind that you will almost certainly be bringing weed seeds in with the manure. Do the others on the allotments keep birds that you can get manure from? If so get some asap, it will burn off the weeds neat and then rot in by spring. wear a mask though its not pleasant in its rawest form.
And then as someone said get something in now -garlic onion sets etc so at least you have something to watch "grow" over the winter.
I am trying to maintain 90ft by 35ft of bear earth until next year as my plot has been barren for years before i took it over and i am "hoping" to try to weed out all of the seeds which will be lying there waiting to germinate-vain hope i guess but its a theory

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management All times are GMT
Page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com