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RE8ELD0Gs Garden

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by RE8ELD0G, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. RE8ELD0G

    RE8ELD0G Full Member

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    So wanted to have my own thread just for my garden so i can keep you on track of whats happening step by step.

    There is a massive load of work to be done over the next year to get it up to scratch.
    When we moved in it looked like this.

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    Not too bad but the council didnt have a tenant for over a year before us and the previous didnt really look after it for a few years.
    So before we moved in the came by and stripped it down to nothing, but the damage was already done.
    Ever tree and plant was covered in knot weed within 3 months and the allotment area is nothing more than a massive tangle of dandelion weeds and other assorted nastys.

    It now looks like this.

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    The lawn is coming on but the allotment is still a mess that i dont have the Back power to contend with on my own.
    The plan is to just rotavate the lot and try to remove the weed roots as we go.
    I will then add some fruit trees along one side and build 2 rows of raised beds for other fruits and some veg.
    When i say raised i mean about 3 foot (disabled reach) so i dont have such a problem with my back and bending over.

    Im going to be asking lots of questions as this is my first garden and my first attempt of growing anything since i was 5.......

    As you can see i have made a start by digging over a couple of the smaller plots, soon after i had finished i find out that they have now been earmarked for a concrete base for the 12ft pool by swmbo!!!! :aargh4:

    Anyway after a lot of swearing, she made it up to me today by buying my first plants.
    A Small planter of Herbs and Three little Strawberry plants and a tub to grow them until i finish the garden.
    Cant wait to be trying the fruit from them......if i dont kill them first???

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  2. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Looks like a great plot that :) I hope you don't have knotweed which looks like this

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    but rather bindweed which looks like this

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    If its really knotweed let me know as you have a major problem - bindweed is a pain and we need to discuss how to deal with it - rotovating and removing would be the worst thing to do.

    Red
     
  3. boatman

    boatman Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I have heard of the way someone dealt with a neglected area that they couldn't get round to for some time was to cover it with about two foot of straw and let the worms and lack of sunshine do their work as it decayed.
     
  4. RE8ELD0G

    RE8ELD0G Full Member

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    Ahh yes its Bindweed.......the neighbor said knotweed but others have said bindweed.
    I thought they were the same thing just different names for it. (Noob)
    Whats the best way to get rid of the weeds etc on the allotment.

    Bear in mind only on strip of it will actually be used for planting the fruit trees the rest will end up under gravel and the raised beds.
     
  5. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    But what potential :D :D
    Look at the size you have :) Brilliant.

    Knotweed though ? what kind of knotweed ? If it's Japanese knotweed tell the council; they're supposed to sort that out pdq.
    Have to say that it doesn't 'look' like a knotweeded garden tbh :dunno:

    Those wee herbs your missus bought.....there's sage in there, and if it's anything like mine it'll end up three feet round :rolleyes: It doesn't like drying out, but it doesn't like it's feed sodden wet either, and it does love the sun :)
    It's one of the few herbs that actually improve with age when dried. If you gather to dry though (paper bag above the radiator works very well ) do yourself a favour and use a pair of scissors to cut out the leaf rib. I hate wee bits of stick in my herbs.

    Good strawberry plants are a delight :D Would you like a blackcurrant ? I have yet another rooted cutting that's in need of a new home. I could prune it and pack it into a plastic bottle and post it down to you if you'd like it.
    Dead easy to grow, masses of rich sweet fruit from it too, makes great tea from the leaves, disease free, hardy and no thorns :)

    atb,
    Toddy
     
  6. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Bindweed exists on long underground roots. If you cut them in half you get two plants. If you chop them into thousands of pieces with a rotovator you will never, ever get rid of it.

    Is it in one area or all over the garden?
     
  7. RE8ELD0G

    RE8ELD0G Full Member

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    Thanks Toddy i would love a Blackcurrant plant,
    i forgot i also got a Raspberry plant as well today.
    I say plant buts its just a stick with one small bud at the moment.......i hope it grows.

    The bind weed was mostly at the other end of the garden there were some bushes and lots of plants/bulbs we dug up as they were all covered in it and dead because of the weed.
    I dug up most of it last year when we moved in and a few new ones started to grow this year but i pulled them up and so far it has not shown up again.

    Yes there is loads of potential and loads of space, The allotment area measured out at 26ft wide by 36ft long not including the area with the U shape which is being concreted over for the pool, that measures 12ft by 14 ft.
    Then there is a matching area of grass next to it where the swing and slide set is going for my little girl.
    Then we have the lawn.........26ft wide by 50ft or more long.........
    And a patio area..........its truely massive.
     
  8. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Don't rotovate the area which had bindweed then. If it comes up, put some sticks in the ground (any old stick) and the bindweed will climb the stick. When it has climbed the stick, spray the stick with glyphosate weedkiller. The plant pulls this in and it kills the root. Pulling it up doesn't work, nor does digging it out - but weedkiller does. The stick lets it put on enough foliage to absorb the killer without crawling over the ground and spreading.
     
  9. RE8ELD0G

    RE8ELD0G Full Member

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    Thanks for the tip, if it shows its face again thats what i will do.
     
  10. Quixoticgeek

    Quixoticgeek Full Member

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    Just a few comments: I second what has been said about the importance of not rotavating the beds, that will just take 1 problem, and create 1000 instead. I would however suggest that rather than taking a carpet bombing approach and spraying with roundup, you instead use Roundup Gel, applying it direct to the leaf of each plant that you don't want. Sounds laborious, but it will be very efficient in the long term. It also means that any you miss you can selectively hit them a second time, even if you have since planted something near by. With spray, in anything but the stillest weather you risk getting it everywhere. Obviously when using roundup wear gloves etc...

    As for your space. Don't rush. You have a large area and it is very easy to get overwhelmed by it. Consider the use of pioneer crops, things like main crop potatoes and pumpkins. With the spuds, you can cover an area in them, layer them over with straw, wait till they start to die back in the early autumn and then harvest. No effort needed, it will suppress everything in the area, and build vitality into the soil with all the straw. Pumpkins are another one, they are like a fruit bearing triffid. They cover a big area, suppress weeds, and require approximately zero effort. You can put them in now in one area, and concentrate on the rest of the veg plot to give you something achievable. See your idiom of choice regarding biting off more than you can chew, running before you walk etc...

    On the subject of fruit trees, given the space, I would suggest that you want to be looking at a relatively high number of very productive small trees, rather than big tall standard trees that take 5+ years to start producing fruit, and you then need a ladder to get to half the crop. If you find yourself a reputable nursery that specialises in fruit trees, they can help you with selection. I have had great success with Keepers Nursery[1]. If you get trees on M9 rootstock, and plant them about 1m apart, prune out the central leader when it gets to the top of your head to encourage side branches. In their first year, don't let each tree produce more than about 4 apples, so that it can focus on building root structure and foliage. In future years you can increase the number of fruit you let go full term, until you are harvesting 10+kg per tree. That doesn't sound much, but when you have a dozen or so trees... This should give you a very productive fruit tree collection very fast, with only minimal effort required to pick and prune. The downside is that all the trees will need staking for their whole life time, and there is a slightly higher initial capital outlay, but the trees should last for several decades of productive life. The other great advantage is that you can have a dozen different varieties of apples, giving you a harvest over several months. Something like Discovery will be ready to harvest from late August, where as Elstar or Falstaff won't be ready to Harvest until October. Select some apples also for their keeping properties and you should be able to have a fresh tasty apple every day for 6-9 months of the year.

    With Blackcurrants I have had great success with the variety Ben Sarek, I have them just 3 feet apart, and trim them to no more than 4ft tall, but across 8 plants last year I got 15lb of blackcurrants.

    The strawberries you have will try to produce runners later in the season, if you allow them to, you can easily double if not triple the number you already have, at the slight cost of a reduced fruit yield this year.

    If you want rhubarb, I highly recommend Timperley Early as a exceptionally low maintenance variety that produces an exceptionally heavy yield year after year.

    Finally, if you don't already own a copy, I highly recommend John Seymours The New Self-Sufficient Gardener as an informative and inspiring read. So much useful info in there.

    Good luck for the garden, and do keep us posted.

    J

    [1] Just a happy customer, no connection etc...
     
  11. mrcharly

    mrcharly Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    some good suggestions there.

    The other way to deal with bindweed, ground elder and dandilions is to get chickens. Make a moveable run, put it on an area; they will dig it over and eat everything from the soil, fertilizing as they go. Then move the run.
     
  12. General Strike

    General Strike Forager

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    You can now buy roundup (glyphosate) in gel form - it comes in an applicator shaped like a big deodorant stick. You stamp it on the leaves of the plant you want to kill (2 dabs on 2 leaves of a tenacious perennial like bindweed) and it dries on quickly - then kills the targeted plant with minimal risk to the surrounding plants. I've used this with great success on my allotment. I basically went around twice last year and stamped everything [bindweed-shaped] I could see. This year, so far I've only seen 2 bindweed plants - naturally in the most awkward place to get to, which explains how they survived.

    Between Roundup gel, forking up the earth and getting as much root out as possible, and simply tearing up the bindweed which is coming out of areas that you don't want to dig due to existing plants (this does weaken the weed if you're persistent enough) you can get it under control within a year or two. I have to disagree with British Red on that one, although you need a lot of patience if you don't want to use weedkiller - digging and pulling can work fine. The problem if you're in London is that you will undoubtedly get it creeping in from adjoining plots, as it is ubiquitous, and thrives on little patches of wasteland (otherwise known as buy-to let gardens, as many landlords don't give a monkey's!) Although it disperses a lot of seed, it has a high rate of sterility and spreads via roots and shoots mainly - a creeper will put down roots wherever it touches the ground.

    One other warning is never, ever put it in the compost heap as it will survive and get spread all around your garden when you use it - or even just take over the heap! You have to drown it first - put it in a bucket of water and leave it until it has turned into a foul-smelling soup!
     
    #12 General Strike, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  13. mrcharly

    mrcharly Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Will that glyphosphate gel work on dandilions? The lawn at my new house is full of the damn things.
     
  14. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Yep Glyphosate kills most things including dandelions.

    Alternatively use a selective weedkiller like Transfer. That will kill dandelions, thistles, buttercup and daisy but not hurt grass.

    Glyphosate gels and pens have been around for a while and they work fine - its just an expensive way of doing the job compared to a 5L or larger drum of the generic stuff - but I guess there is a convenience factor for a small area. As I mentioned before, bindweed wants to twine and climb - so shove a stick in and let it - then hit it with a spray on the stick, not the ground - much cheaper and just as effective on larger plots like the OPs.

    Each to their own - but definitely don't rotovate it.
     
  15. RE8ELD0G

    RE8ELD0G Full Member

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    Thanks for the ideas.
    Problem is the whole allotment is covered in dandelions so using a small gel stick is out if the question. I would be there for days......
    Also im only using a small area of that ground for actual planting if the fruit trees.
    The rest will be covered in weed mat and the raised beds built off the ground. I will buy new top soil for these when completed.
    I need to rotovate to loosen the soil so I can level it out ready for the next step.

    Sent from my GT-I9305 using Tapatalk
     
  16. spiritwalker

    spiritwalker Native

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    as mentioned do not rotovate, an alternative option is black plastic the areas to kill the roots by slowly depriving light you can always gravel over the plastic for aesthetic purposes and build raised beds /plant direct through the plastic, i get bind weed coming through my neighbours fences and i still have to weed some areas but generally i use my raised beds and nuke the gravel areas with path clear.
     
  17. joejoe

    joejoe On a new journey

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    fantastic where we live thats not a garden its a housing estate . enjoy it
     
  18. EdS

    EdS Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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  19. tommy the cat

    tommy the cat Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Looks like you've got a great plot !
    I'd say grow what you like to eat, this sounds really obvious but I've experimented with stuff that have decided I didn't actually like!!
    Also one small step at a time and most importantly start growing stuff. If you just put in one raised bed and start planting it will give you a great boost. It's very easy to start lots of jobs and not get anything planted. My plot was full of brambles and nettles. If you keep cutting weeds back you will eventually get on top of them . Although this doesn't apply to bindweed.
    Keep us posted.
    D

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  20. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    I was told that it was illegal to move the stuff, that the council would come and check, inspect, and they would charge if the clear up was not done properly. This was by a greenspace officer, so I took him at his word.

    "Knotweed material is regarded as controlled waste and not disposing of it properly would be an offence under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990. Allowing the spread of Japanese Knotweed into the wild is also an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. "

    The OP is renting from the council....round here the council remove knotweed from any garden that's afflicted. (well they turn up with weedkiller, and they come back two more times to make sure of the job) I simply presumed that they'd be as proactive where he lives.

    cheers,
    Toddy
     

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