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Working on the garden while in isolation

Work while in isolation

Like everyone else on this planet we are currently in self enforced isolation. Thnak goodness we have a large garden to keep us busy. The rain that came a while back has produced incredible growth, mostly of grass and weeds. Unfortunately the rider mower is out of action and all the repair shops have a very long waiting list, so much patience is required, I can hand mow the areas close to the house but the rest of the 5 + acres will have to wait.


As you can see from this picture of one of my garden beds, the Trad weed has gone beserk, covering the entire garden and creeping skywards. After much effort the trad is now cleared from this garden.

So now I have somewhere to prepare and plant for Autumn. I have a lot more than this to clear the TRAD from and a bit of work each day is slowly but surely starting to achieve good results.

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Comment by Susan on April 6, 2020 at 4:52

Do pumpkins smother it out ? Just a thought as they are so prolific. 

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 5, 2020 at 20:50

Impressive work Roger!  It all comes back as compost eventually but ain't it a pain at the time?!  

Comment by Fiona Ryan on April 5, 2020 at 19:58

Great work! I did just two hours in a small bed, bringing back from being overgrown and it nearly killed me. So hot! Looking forward to seeing what you plant. I’m pondering what to put in mine. Maybe some fennel.

Comment by Roger Clark on April 5, 2020 at 15:39

No I don't have chooks. I usually treat by raking, it rolls up but usually leaves lots of root behind. It loves fertilised ground, and only needs a tiny piece to reshoot in wet weather. The purple roots are surprisingly good at hanging on to the ground and so it is nigh impossible to eradicate. If I only had a small area to treat I could get rid of it but with a large plot of land it is more than difficult. 

My main way of treatment is to pile it up in a big heap, then cover it with a layer of horse manure which is sufficiently deep to exclude the sunlight / air. It will gradually get settle down overtime and can be used as a fertilised heap to plant pumpkins and other such plants which need a bit of space. Unfortunately at the moment I cannot get access to manure so I will try to use a tarp to achieve the same effect.  I also have Scurvy Weed here but this does not spread with the same vigour as TRAD. 

Comment by Dave Riley on April 5, 2020 at 12:22

Do you have chooks: they'll eat it down.

I have the native, Scurvy Weed(blue flower unlike Trad's white) in abundance -- and along with poultry power I use a brush cutter to discipline. I find Scurvy Weed pretty benign if kept in check with mulching and brush cutting. This time of year it goes crazy.

It is shallow rooted a serves as a ground cover that takes off too much and too often. I do , nonetheless, much prefer it to standard backyard weeds which are hard to pull up and deep rooted and seemingly more competitive with my plants. Where Scurvy 'weed'grows it's a weed monoculture.

Like Trad the more you cut it up the more options you give the plant to spread. Because of this -- like my prickly pear offcuts -- I drown any plant cuttings I remove  in a barrel of water with manure to make weed tea.

Composting may not kill it all. But then I don't compost.

For suppression, I use cardboard with mulch on top. Kept wet in early stages, or soaked before laying,  it presses down against the soil and any weedy shoot can be pulled from the hole it came through and the hole plugged.

Comment by Roger Clark on April 5, 2020 at 10:51

The mulch is going into a giant mulch heap to break down over winter. I am buying some sugar cane bales which will be placed on top of the garden bed. I will then push down spaces for seed to be sown into small pockets of potting mix and then plant seed into these. I haven't yet decided what to plant here, I will consult my colour coded book on what I have grown there recently before I plant. I know it was spuds there last winter so nothing from the tomato/ potato family there this year. I try to rotate very three years or so. 

While I am writing does anyone have any trombochino seeds that they can spare for a poor old gardener (that's me). I thought that I had some, as I had a pumpkin vine hanging on over the summer drought. When the rains came it turned out to be a Jap Pumpkin vine, It has set at least 6 big fruit and they aint trombochino's! I will send you either seeds you don't have or the cost of postage. Thanks.

Comment by Christa on April 5, 2020 at 9:49

You have been busy Roger,  what are you going to plant in that spot now that you have cleared it and with all that mulch on hand?

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