Monday, 5 March 2012

Allotment update - "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."

Not an awful lot to report on the allotment. We have mostly been weeding and adding compost to the soil. These are jobs that would normally be done over Winter, but as we only got our allotment at the end of January, we're just having to do what we can. I am hoping to have a couple of beds ready for planting by April time.

The third bed is absolutely chock full of weeds, which have sprung up even more thanks to the milder weather recently. My fiancé is all in favour of using a chemical weed killer on them; I am not. We dug a small patch of them up this weekend and it took FOREVER. We are planning to grow fruit trees in this bed at some point, possibly not until next year.

I kind of felt bad about pulling up the weeds, because they had started to flower and the bees are absolutely loving them. Which makes me wonder about leaving at least some of them in that bed for a while. We would need to manage it to make sure it doesn't get out of control, but it seems silly to me to get rid of something which attracts pollinating insects and didn't cost me anything. Some of them may also be beneficial to the soil, like clover, but I am rubbish at plant idenitification, so who knows. I don't want to incur the wrath of the allotment association, but as the quote from A. A. Milne says in the blog title, weeds are flowers too! Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Also, what is your favourite method of getting rid of weeds?

While we steadily continue to battle getting the outside ready, I thought I may as well start off some of the inside plants in my propagators.

So far I have sown tomatoes, mint, red basil, marigolds and broad beans (about 2 months too late for the broad beans, but I'm hoping that by starting them off indoors, they will be ready to be planted out at about the right time!). Hmm, I think I'm going to need some more propagators...


  1. I'm always very reluctant to use chemical weed killers but there have been one or two occasions where nothing else seemed to work. (I'm still feeling guilty). The most effective way of getting rid of weeds I've ever used has been to cover the soil and not use it for a season. I'm sure that's not what you want to do. Someone I know hired a flame gun thing, burnt the weeds off and then rotovated the area(again hired). It was pretty successful at restoring an overgrown area quickly but not 100%. Best of luck.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I'm definitely thinking of covering the soil. We've got two other large beds we can use for now, which don't require quite as much weeding. It might be better to concentrate on those for now as it's such a large plot anyway!