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  1. #49
    Berr is offline Sprouter
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    Useful tip, DFV. My problem is with hoes: can't find one with a long enough handle since my superannuated one gave up the ghost. I'm only 6 foot tall, so how really tall folk manage I don't know.

  2. #50
    andrewo's Avatar
    andrewo is offline Cropper
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    We buy hoe heads and handles seperate!
    Best wishes
    Andrewo
    Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

  3. #51
    andrewo's Avatar
    andrewo is offline Cropper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy
    Unfortunately the site manager had rotivated it without asking, thought he was helping as it is such a big plot and we are new. Thanks for the tip about the black bags, a colleague at work had suggested laying old carpet or lino to kill the weeds, but we do not have any available. What do you keep the bags in place with?
    You can keep the plastic in place with bricks, or dig it in at the edges, so you mound earth over it and plant these up with flowers, I usually do a mixture of cerinthe or marigolds. Finally, you can get plastic pegs that will hold them down or reuse old wire hangers and fashion new wire pegs.
    Last edited by andrewo; 13-03-2006 at 11:28 AM.
    Best wishes
    Andrewo
    Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

  4. #52
    andrewo's Avatar
    andrewo is offline Cropper
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    What the heck is an Azada? Is it a Russian Asda?
    Best wishes
    Andrewo
    Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

  5. #53
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    It is a lethal looking digging tool. Have a look at reply 5 from Jaxom in this thread there is a link there.
    [

  6. #54
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    sewer rat is offline Early Fruiter
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    Sometimes called a Mattock
    Rat

    British by birth
    Scottish by the Grace of God

    http://scotsburngarden.blogspot.com/
    http://davethegardener.blogspot.com/

  7. #55
    nick the grief's Avatar
    nick the grief is offline Gardening Guru
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    Isn't that in derbyshire Rat ... oh no thats Matlock

    I've often wondered about getting one of these - well two actually, one ofr the Digging and a ponited one for trenches for the Tatties & earthing up. Anyone tried these?
    Last edited by nick the grief; 13-03-2006 at 05:52 PM.
    ntg
    Never be afraid to try something new.
    Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
    A large group of professionals built the Titanic


    ==================================================

  8. #56
    CharlesB is offline Germinator
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    I got a new half allotment last May and the rest in September. You really have to make a big effort at the beginning to clear the perennial weeds. My main problems were dandelions, docks and couch grass. Some of the dock roots were over a foot long. Even though I aspire to organic, I used glyphosate on the worst of the couch grass as I heard it was difficult to eradicate. Most info on this chemical says it becomes harmless when it touches the soil, however I doubt this is impartial. When I dug and raked the grass out after a few weeks, there was more grass than soil, but it has not resprouted. On another area I tried the same treatment on the docks and dandelions and then just left it. This had got overgrown with grass since last year so I dug this up last weekend and found that all the big roots have rotted away, so glyphosate is certainly effective. The rest of the weeds I tried to dig out. I planted potatoes without digging first on a large area, and then covered with 1 or 2" of horse muck (delivered free to our site by a nearby stable) which was very successful as the resprouting weeds get smothered first by the muck and then by the potato foliage. You can also easily see the really vigourous weeds re-sprouting and hoe off the new growth. Another bonus is the potato roots break up the soil and the muck gets dragged in to the soil by worms (well, it has disappeared since last year). If you leave little bits of weed root, they grow back so you have to keep at it. It's amazing how much energy is stored in those roots. When you do dig the plot over to remove the weeds, you should leave it a few weeks before planting so that any new weeds germinate and then you can hoe them off. The other important thing is to sow seeds in rows so you can differentiate them from the weeds. I like to use modules for seed sowing so the plants get off to a good start and it's obvious where they are and they don't get eaten by slugs or birds as they germinate. I've just sown broad beans, peas, beetroot, celeriac, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. The last two are on the kitchen windowsill, the rest in my small unheated greenhouse. As it's been so cold (and wet up North) this winter, I don't see any point sowing or planting anything in the ground just yet. One last point. You should pay attention to the edge of the beds. On my allotment there are grassed strips 2 feet wide and about 4" higher than the beds. If these aren't kept short, they harbour slugs. I intend to put treated boards along the edges this year with copper tape as a discouragement to molluscs.

    CharlesB

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