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Thread: Clearing an unkempt, overgrown allotment

  1. #9
    Jay-ell's Avatar
    Jay-ell is offline Welcome To The Jungle
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    Newcastle upon Tyne
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    You can get a big black bin - put the roots of the weeds into this after you have removed all the soil. Pack it in tight then when a few inched from the top, weight it down with something and add enough water to cover them all then clamp the lid on. The roots will eventually drown, die and rot down - it will stink to high heaven but the root will have turned into a stinky and slimy but nutrient rich plant feed. Add some to your watering can to give your plants a boost.

    I treated all the bind weed roots this way last year and the year before.

    You could also back it all into the bin, adding bokashi bran after each layer, jam it in air tight and when it's full cover the top with plastic, pop the lid on and leave it to pickle for a month or two. after it's pickled it can be composted. Done this a few years ago and ended up with some fantastic compost. But you have to get the bran and it's not worth it if you don't make your own for this.

    Or lay the roots out to dry in the sun will they're dry and dead then compost - but you have to be 100% certain that they're dead.
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  2. #10
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    Hi Undercaker and welcome to the Vine
    I'm not going to offer any advice - you've already had plenty - but I do have a question for you!
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  3. #11
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is offline Dundiggin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy_Boots View Post
    Just thought I'd show what can be achieved by posting two photos of plot 2 which I took on last July and the latest tonight whilst planting another row of spuds. The 'jungle had not only twitch grass that was higher than me in places and I'm 6ft, but dock, nettles, dandelion, brambles and even tree saplings. I also found a spade, fork, rake, shears, garden hose and even a wheelbarrow hidden in the undergrowth.

    Attachment 72658Attachment 72659
    I think I could identify the two main weed grasses you had at the beginning. It looks like crested dogstail (Cynosurus Cristatus) and Yorkshire Fog (Holcus Linatus)

    Twenty odd years ago I had to do visual identifications at college and still remember a few.
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  4. #12
    Cadalot's Avatar
    Cadalot is offline Early Fruiter
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    My only suggestion is keep a photographic record of your work on the allotment, It helps when you hit the wall and feel like your not getting there as fast as you would like, pace yourself and enjoy it.

    Here was my first plot when I took it over in 2012

    Clearing an unkempt, overgrown allotment-allotment-2012.jpg

    You can follow the progress on this one and my new one on my diary / blog
    Last edited by Cadalot; 12-04-2017 at 07:10 AM.
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  5. #13
    1Bee's Avatar
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    Snadger, on our plot we mostly worry about the Agrostis stolonifera....
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  6. #14
    Jungle Jane's Avatar
    Jungle Jane is offline Early Fruiter
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    I'm not sure turning the grass over,covering with cardboard & (how much compost?) on top,would allow any planting this year? I removed 14 x 4 foot of grass last March,piled it on the side border,its taken a year but now turned into lovely stuff,a few woodlice & worms have been busy in there,but it's lovely fine loam,I'd pile it upside down somewhere,not on the bed you want to plant in,some of the grass re-roots itself.
    Last edited by Jungle Jane; 12-04-2017 at 11:48 AM.

  7. #15
    WalterWhite's Avatar
    WalterWhite is offline Seedling
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    Feb 2017
    Middle Earth


    Rather refreshing to read advise that is not going to damage the soil fertility or environment. I have read many posts that tend to recommend weedkillers for this scenario.

  8. #16
    Undercaker is offline Germinator
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    Apr 2017


    I can't get over how forthcoming and helpful you've all been with your advice - thank you all so much.

    Sadly, for some reason I can't attach any photos to my reply. I've now completely cleared a patch of about 3m×1m of grass and weeds, covered it in compost and covered it with weiged-down black plastic (belt and braces!) I'm going to leave that for a while while I carry on with some other bits and bobs, then hopefully start planting some vine stuff through the mulch in the next few months.

    Jungle Jane - the sods and weeds I cleared from the patch I've piled up next to it on top of some other grass. I was thinking of leaving it alone to rot down a bit before I move it to a compost bin. Sound like the right thing to do?

    Thanks again, you lot. Will keep you updated with A Rookie's Progress.


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