Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Gardening

Hello girls.
Hubby and I are off out in the garden soon to do some work, its about time too. We aren't great gardeners or regular gardeners either for that matter, but this week hubby has the week off work and we decided it was past time to get some jobs done out there.
Originally we had planned to go up to scotland to visit my sister and her family sunday till wednesday so we could go out for day trips with my sister and her kids who are also on holiday this week. When we visit we usually go on a saturday stay overnight and come home sunday and Ali is always saying we should go up for a bit longer so we can all go out and do something for the day. So we said we'd do that this week ,unfortunatey the weather forecast had other ideas and forecast rain and heavy rain for the days we would be up there,  Typical the blooming weather always lets me down so we decided to postpone our trip.
As the weather was forecast to be dry here we decided to get some jobs done in the garden instead. So out we went yesterday with our trowels etc ready to tackle the weeds. At the top of our garden in front of the house we have two plots covered in slate pieces that we stand pots on in summer and for the last couple of years one plot has been steadily filling up with a weed called horsetail. We pull it up and coat it with weedkiller but nothing seems to stop it.
Yesterday we decided to drag all the slate off the plot and lift the weed suppressing membrane thats underneath to try to get to the roots of the weeds. Well by eck girls it was like a birds nest under there, the whole plot was covered in a mass of roots all knottted together and going off in every direction. We pulled and pulled and only managed to get the top layer off, there was no way these roots were giving up their home easily.  We came in for a cuppa and I googled how to get rid of horsetail to see if I could find any tips.

Nasty horsetail weed
What I found wasnt very encouraging. Basically you can't kill the bugger, just attempt to weaken it and keep on top of it !!!!!!! The roots can go down for about 5 to 10 feet and there are hundreds of them intertwined so digging them out is near on impossible, unless you have a digger and dont mind a ten foot home in your garden, even then you may not get it all. They are resistant to most weedkillers and even burning them didn't work for one person who claimed to have tried this. Basically the advice given was to pull the shoots off as soon as you saw them before the spores came out and spread, which eventually would weaken the plant as you pulled off its light source and it depleted its food source but as each weed could spawn hundreds more you're unikely to ever get rid of it totally. WONDERFUL just what a sporadic garden like myself wanted to hear, basically I'd need to be out there pulling off about a hundred shoots every week.!!!!!
Well this was not what hubby wanted to hear either and so a plan was needed ....
Our plan is to concrete over the plot and hope to choke the roots and cut off their route to the surface!!!!!!  Now this might not work forever as the roots could find their way through little gaps and cracks that may appear in the concrete over time but for this year hopefully it should get rid of most of them. So off hubby went to B&Q and bought some bags of ready mix concrete and then off we went back into the garden.
Ten bags of concrete and two achey people later and the plot is covered in concrete. BYE BYE WEEDS... we hope... Today when its dry we'll cover it back up with slate ready for some pots to go on top.
We also pulled up most of the other weeds in the gardens and sprayed the hard to pull or nettley ones with weedkiller to pull up later and I scrubbed the tabe and chairs ready for painting,
Today we're out to get the last few weeds and then its onto painting the fences and table and chairs with wood stuff and replacing the slate. No doubt when hubby and I come in tonight we'll look like we have very bad freckles as we'll be probably be covered in lots of specks of dark oak fence stuff. Whenever we've done the job in the past we always seem to get as much on us as the wood.
Right well hubby has already gone out so I best be off ladies enjoy your day and wish me luck xx

5 comments:

  1. You two have been busy. We have the same problem with ground elder - it burrows under the soil and pops up just about anywhere and that you have to just keep pulling up hoping the little blighters give up. The only plus side is that you can eat it! So we tried a large bowl full cooked tenderly for a few minutes - bit tasteless really, something like a poor mans spinach. I spent all day last Friday just pulling up ground elder, stabbed myself in the arm with a broken branch and cut a lump out, which had to be seen by the doctor cause it did not look nice and thought I might need a tetanus injection, but he said it was okay. That's the thanks I get from 'garden' for trying to make it look pretty.

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  2. Well done Andie & Paul for giving those weeds what for....!! Lets hope they take the hint - lol.
    We get weeds but Hubby loves his garden so is good at keeping them down. The worst thing we've discovered is yellow poppies. When we moved in here (almost 22 years ago) they were growing in the back garden and we thought they looked really nice. However, each year they just took over more and more of the garden and no amount of digging seemed to stop them - they'd just spread their seeds & start growing in another place. They even started growing in the front garden and in neighbouring gardens too. Hubby has now put membrane down and slate on top in both back & front gardens after digging up as many poppies as he could..... & we still get the odd one or two peeping through in the summer - you just can't win...!!

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  3. OOh chrissy your poor arm, those weeds are devils aren't they, glad to hear you didn't need a tetanus or stitches or anything and I hope it heals soon.
    Jo I'm losing faith in the weed mebrane stuff, we have it under the slate all around the garden and the weeds seem to just push their way through it, I suppose nothing is totally weed proof though which is a shame.

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  4. You are going to be busy then, i hope the weather stays good so you can get plenty done. I have painting the fence and the shed, didn't do them last year. Next I will be getting the beds ready though. Have fun.
    best wishes Julie.C

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  5. It's a real shame you didn't get to Scotland but sounds like you made some headway with the gardening. I've always known this weed as "mares tail" and I know from experience it is neverending. In the end I put down plastic sheeting and gravelled a garden I had a few years ago and that did the trick, otherwise you are stuck with plucking the darn thing out constantly, it is a right pain !

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