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veg patch-to-be

 
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14962
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 10:56 pm    Post subject: veg patch-to-be  Reply with quote    

Anyone got any tips for clearing a veg patch (well, one day it will be) There are two huge buddelias, which I've cut down, but they're rooted under the patio, so I can't dig out the stump. I know they'll just grow back if I don't do something with them.

Most of the rest of it is covered in bamboo (horrible tough stringy roots. no idea how to get them out) The only thing I can think of is to loosen it as much as possible with the fork, and then chop it up into bits with a spade, and pull - it'll be like that childrens story about the turnip!

Snowball
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 6191
Location: swindon
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't know what your time scale is, but have you thought of a membrane and thick mulch.
I am not an expert, but maybe if you give it long enough, you can kill the roots?
I would suggest gravel and some container gardener for a while, but Jema will flip. He doesn't like gravel.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26620
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Snowball wrote:
I don't know what your time scale is, but have you thought of a membrane and thick mulch.
I am not an expert, but maybe if you give it long enough, you can kill the roots?
I would suggest gravel and some container gardener for a while, but Jema will flip. He doesn't like gravel.


Our garden seems to have been formed from a gravel pit I spend hours/days/weeks/month removing stones. NO ONE buys any bloody more to throw on it.

jema

Snowball
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 6191
Location: swindon
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jema has a point. It is probably not coincindence that a road around the corner from us is called stonecrop way.

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i think WW its going to be dig, dig and more dig! Don't expect it to be cleared in the 1st year. I've invasive bamboo in my back garden, roots like couch, and I've been digging that out recently and its a pain. Clear as much as you can, plant this year,perhaps spuds as they help clear the ground, and expect it to be weedy but keep going and eventually you'll win.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14962
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh well, at least it's only a small patch! I have cleared about half (although not the bit with the bamboo in!) and there is more than one kind, so perhaps they're not all as bad as the one I attempted yesterday!

I can't say I'm overly keen on gravel either (and its a slope, so it would probably all end up in a heap at the bottom!) perhaps I should build a deck instead?!

I wonder if I could use the canes - they'd make great pea and bean sticks - or would they root again?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good advice from Julie.
You could apply some brushkiller to the buddleia (that spelling doesn't look right!) stumps, give it time to take effect, and then remove as much of the roots as possible.
Don't know how big your garden is, but if you have enough space to maneouvre, you could always hire a mini-digger to grub out the worst of the roots. Great fun, but you do need a bit of space if you aren't going to churn up everything around.
Otherwise it is going to be dig, dig, dig, and dig again or dig, cover, dig, plant, dig for a couple of years.
Good luck!

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14962
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd have to fight himself for the mini digger - for goodness sake don't tell him! We do actually have one, as himself is a big bad developer, but there isn't any way to get it into the garden (terraced house, no access) Even then, I'm not sure it would help, as the roots are under the patio (unless I dug up the patio -now that would give me more space for veg!) It does mean they're not in the way, but it's bound to grow back.

I wonder where the saw is? I might try sealing the stump with something (tar, maybe!)

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wonder if you could drill holes in it and spawn it with something that might kill it off eventually? Chicken of the woods...I'm sure that slowly kills things, but provides you with tea in the meantime.

Is this a totally impossible idea?

Also, is it completely impossible to keep the buddleias and just keep them hard pruned back? They are such a nice plant and will help attract some nice bees to pollinate all that fruit you're going to plant

Tristan



Joined: 29 Dec 2004
Posts: 392
Location: North Gloucestershire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Buddleia can be cut back every year to 6 inch stumps, although this does shorten its life. if you want to kill it off either drive copper nails through the bark near the ground and cut it back, or drill some holes in the stump, pack them with ammonium sulphamate (not the fertiliser ammonium sulphate!) sold as Dax Rootout, and secure a thick plastic bag over the stump for about 6 months.
Bamboo can grow through anything you put over as a mulch so it is a case of either digging out every bit of root you can find (at least it isn't deep rooted ), or treating individual stems with glyphosate mixed into fungicide free wallpaper paste as the come up.

Good luck with it, just think of all those lovely veggies at the end.
You could leave a small patch and grow your beans up it!

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if the buddleias aren't desperately in the way then leave them, as the insects and butterflies they attract will benefit your crops anyways. i have a lavender hedge on my plot for exactly that reason, and I intend to plant more.

Sounds like the bamboo is going to be a problem for a few years. I think you have to be prepared for that - no planting an asparagus bed yet I'm afraid until the ground is cleaner.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14962
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sadly, the buddelias are desperately in the way - between them, they cover about half my growing area. If they weren't I would leave them, as they are very pretty, and fairly tough, as I haven't managed to kill them yet! never seen any butterflies on them though, despite their reputation.

The bamboo seems to be fairly easy to keep out, as we have driven it back out of other plants way before, it creeps back from the edges a bit, but that's all. It's just getting it out in the first place that takes muscles. perhaps I should hire some!

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Much as I love butterflies, I find that their offspring aren't entirely conducive to a happy veg garden!
Sow lots of poached egg plant to bring in the hoverflies - you will be much happier in the long run

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14962
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you want something (vegeably) to attract hoverflies, try fennel. We were plagued with them last year - they kept getting into the conservatory, and couldn't get out. I took to fanning them out of the door with a large peice of polystyrene in the end!

Am planning on edging with marigolds, so that I can boil their heads for calendual oil too!

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