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  • #16
    Creeping thistle does spread by roots. It is indeed a deep dig to get them out fully.
    You will almost certainly be on brick making clay like I am. It has dried out into blocks with cracks.
    The blocks of clay are solid enough to build raised beds that last a couple of years or so.
    The drying wind is your friend for preparing all those weed roots for composting especially when they are trying to grow.
    Tap root weeds are second only to comfrey for bringing up bed rock nutrients and the dry weather is just what you need to get them ready for composting. I feel it is a shame to chuck them all away and then buy bagged soil improver to replace what they have taken from the soil.
    It is quite impressive how quickly bind weed roots shrivel up in the sun even at this time of year.
    Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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    • #17
      I'd recommend drowning perennial weeds, personally. Still them all in a barrel weigh them down with a brick, and fill with water. Leave for three months and they will all be well dead, at which point they can be added to the compost heap.

      Originally posted by Warren R Sole View Post
      I know the dandelions don't like salt, it makes them easy to pull after a few minutes, but not if they go down 4' lol.
      No plant likes salt. You shouldn't be treating anything with salt, as the salt lingers in the soil for quite a while and will poison subsequent plants.
      Just dig the dandelion roots out as best you can, but to be honest there's not much need to chase them beyond 1 foot down. Any root left deeper than that is unlikely to actually grow back.
      Last edited by ameno; 14-04-2021, 02:17 PM.

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      • #18
        Hi everyone. I have just been looking for some posts on weeds and found this thread.
        I started my allotment career a la Charles Dowding - no dig raised beds etc. I now have wonderful crops of perennial weeds with the worse being creeping thistle. For 2 years I spent days early summer digging it out but it is just hopeless even tho the beds have been covered over winter.
        I have not used weedkiller before but I am now desperate enough to try - and as I am 8 weeks post hip replacement I can't do all that weeding. I think Roundup with glycophosphate is the stuff to use.
        Anyone else any better ideas? It is a really big area that is affected.

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        • #19
          Check out the impact of glyphosate on bees and butterflies. If you decide to use it, take the flower heads off first and use at a time of day when butterflies, bees and other pollinators are not flying.

          Covering in winter may not be enough as you need to cover to stop light in the spring and summer too. What do you use on your beds to cut out the light?

          Also, I've used glyphosate. Once and I won't use it again. Only anecdotal evidence as far as you're concerned, but my experience was that it had a detrimental effect on the following crop. Just to be clear, I used it as per instructions and it did kill the weeds.

          I'm deliberately avoiding the whole issue of whether or not it is a hazard to human health.
          Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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          • #20
            I have great delight wandering my estate with an old bread knife sharpened at the end like chisel and stabbing 2 or 3 inches down at an angle any broad leaf weed in sight eventually they give up
            Last edited by stevejelf; 06-05-2021, 09:38 PM.
            Bearn, Pyrenees Atlantique France

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            • #21
              Creeping thistle and bind weed have very deep roots. I dug down 2 feet to get the roots out.
              I have had quite a bit of success with creeping thistle using a dropper bottle filled with white spirit. Two or three drops in the centre in dry weather makes the thistle go black. I once dug one up afterwards and the root was black a foot down. The amount I used is small enough that it will only effect plants if the thistle has grown right through the roots.
              Bind weed is more difficult as the layout of the leaves does not hold the white spirit close to the stem in the way thistle leaves do.
              Most of the bind weed I had to deal with was on one area so I just chased the roots right down digging a 2 foot deep trench and moving all the soil over picking all the stones out and I now have parsnips forming there first true leaves in it. I chose one of the big varieties to take advantage of the deep dug soil..
              Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Plot70 View Post
                Creeping thistle and bind weed have very deep roots. I dug down 2 feet to get the roots out.
                Field bindweed has very deep roots. Hedge bindweed doesn't. Hedge bindweed is pretty shallow, and you'll find 95% of the roots are in the top 4 inches.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by stevejelf View Post
                  I have great delight wandering my estate with an old bread knife sharpened at the end like chisel and stabbing 2 or 3 inches down at an angle any broad leaf weed in sight eventually they give up
                  I have this image of you advancing towards said weed like one of the three musketeers, waving your blade menacingly and shouting 'en garde'. Brilliant.
                  Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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                  • #24
                    I find a bricklayers pointing tool quite good for establishing tap root weeds.
                    Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Snoop Puss View Post

                      I have this image of you advancing towards said weed like one of the three musketeers, waving your blade menacingly and shouting 'en garde'.

                      I am an old Gunner and love big bangs the moles are are having a bad time but Interestingly the legendary fictitious Athos lived just 30k from me in my old home in the Pays Basque
                      Last edited by Nicos; 08-05-2021, 01:47 AM.
                      Bearn, Pyrenees Atlantique France

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                      • #26
                        A lot of no-diggers like the hori-hori - half knife/half trowel
                        https://www.genus.gs/products/hori-h...iABEgKdjvD_BwE

                        I keep on meaning to get one as I do bad things to my pen-knives going after docks.

                        another vote for no dig and no weedkiller here. I can vouch for dandelions being able to be pulled out by hand from a bed done to Charles Dowdings instructions.

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                        • #27
                          Another vote for the hori-hori, bikermike. Love mine, though perhaps not as much as I love my nejiri gama Japanese hoe. It goes everywhere with me when I'm gardening, accompanied by a whetstone.
                          Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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                          • #28
                            Forgive me, I have neglected you for months.
                            My dandelions and thistles go down over 3 feet.
                            i did try isopropyl alcohol and it had a minimal temporary effect.
                            I'm back to digging them out again, even though they will be back.

                            I will win, maybe not this year though...

                            I will be ready to plant in the next few days...

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