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  1. #17
    Hardy is offline Seedling
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    Jan 2006
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    Hi Suzy

    Joy Larcom's book is available on Amazon for 7.

    I can also recommend an Azada - I have one (bought it on holiday in Spain when most people were buying rafia donkeys!) and use it very regularly - only second place to my fork. I have raised beds and mainly use it for digging trenches in them eg to incorporate manure or to plant potatoes. It's perfect for the job.

  2. #18
    Jaxom's Avatar
    Jaxom is offline Cropper
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    Hardy
    It is good to hear from someone first hand about using a Azada.
    Jax

  3. #19
    nick the grief's Avatar
    nick the grief is offline Gardening Guru
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    Hi Suzy,

    Most folks are fairly sensible on our plot, they understand the pressures of life etc. and make allowances just as long as your seen t be making an effort. I have a plot either side of mine that was derelict for 2 years so it wasn't so bad. Last year a young lady took one (I still havn't seen her !) and I watered what she'd planted when I did mine and she's using black plastic on the rest (it's slower than roundup but more organic) the other side, the guy paid his rent and hasn't been back since, I think he'll be getting a letter soon. But go for it. I read somwhere that you should aim to clear about 1/3 a year and really clean it out of all the perennials like docks. It's not so daunting then.
    Last edited by nick the grief; 16-01-2006 at 05:56 PM.

  4. #20
    WiZeR is offline Tuber
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    I was hoping to ude my new Azada this weekend but it did not turn up in time... there's always next week!

  5. #21
    Jayneylass is offline Germinator
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    Oct 2005
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    Suffolk
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    Default New Allotment

    Hi Folks,

    I too have just taken on an new allotment that's not been used for 10 years or so. It's knee high in apparently dead grass with just a few dock & red plantain weeds. I've considered rotivating, but it seems not the thing to do.

    I'm waiting for the council to take away the bath, builders' rubble and an old mattress, but I've made a small start with clearing. Should I now dig or rake out the dead weeds? I'd like to be organic, but I'm not 100% against one glysophate hit and then black pond liner.

    I'm not sure if I can get my hands on any well rotted muck in good time either, so shall I perhaps go for fresh & leave under the liner? I'll clear one area and not manure so that I can grow something this year. What do you seasoned allotmenteers think?

    Jayneylass

  6. #22
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    If it is knee deep then I would rake it out first. This gets rid of alot of the dead growth so that you can see to dig. Then you need to dig it over to remove the weed roots. Glysophate works on green leaves not dead ones so it wouldn't be any point spraying with it.
    [

  7. #23
    Hardy is offline Seedling
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    Hi

    If it were me (and this is what I did in a similar position) I would cover all of it then uncover it bit by bit as you are ready to dig it over. But then I like digging! It was very satisfying to get rid of all that couch grass and look at the clean rich brown soil that was left. As for the muck idea if you're not growing anything yet it should be okay to put it down fresh, avoiding an area in which you might grow carrots & parsnips. By the time you come to plant it should have broken down well. Alternatively (and again I think this is what I'd go for) I'd stack the fresh stuff in an out of the way area of the plot to let it rot down while you get on with preparing the ground. Then you can use it on the areas where you need it, rather than waste it on what might become paths, storage areas etc.

    By the way I wouldn't necessarily get rid of the bath if it is/you can make it watertight - lots of people use them instead of/in addition to water butts - they are easier for dunking your watering can in! Failing that it could become a raised strawberry bed???

    Hope this helps

  8. #24
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    Default bath

    On our last allotment we had a corner bath which we sunk into the ground and turned it into a pond for frogs and newts. You have to put a plank in it too to help the wildlife get out again!! Frogs eat slugs so it must have helped in pest control!

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