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  • Originally posted by Greenleaves View Post
    Looks fantastic Pen, you must be really pleased to have achieved that in five months
    I must admit I thought it was 6 until I realized I was counting June!
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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    • No need to show off now

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      • One photo I forgot to add last night:

        The road end

        Click image for larger version

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        Eventually I will remove the big geranium plant at the end of the tunnel (which is a snail breeding ground) and probably keep the pink blueberry there so it is easy to move into the tunnel when the fruit ripen. The "wildlife corner" is at the far end of the grass path behind the folding chair - a tangle of nettles, brambles, thorn hedge and horsetail that is never going to be easy to clear.
        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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        • Yesterday was just about a complete washout. It was forecast to start raining at about 11am but was already doing so by 9. It was forecast to stop by 6 but by then it was only just getting going and we had some torrential rain which only stopped as it started to get dark. I managed a quick visit at lunchtime to empty the water into the bins and grab any slugs and snails I could find, but that was it.

          This morning I went down first thing and collected up the water and slugs and snails and found that the rain had flattened some of the spinach, which was lying on top of the carrots in the hotbed. I didn't have time to do anything with it at that point as I had to go and muck out the horses and needed to spend the morning doing my friend's garden.

          After lunch I went back and cut back all of the spinach that had been flattened, filling a large bag with edible leaves. There is loads more, but at least I can see my carrots again. I'd taken down 3 french bean plants which I planted in the bean bed, surrounding them with black cotton threaded between sticks to keep the birds off.

          While I was removing slugs and snails from the tunnel I'd noticed a bit of horsetail poking up at the shed end, which I had hoped was mostly clear by now. I spent some time pulling bits out of some of the raised beds, then went to dig the few bits in the tunnel. It soon became clear that there was much more than I'd thought and I started digging it properly. Disappointingly there was horsetail in almost every forkful of soil. It was far too humid for digging and by the time I had dug about 1/4 of the tunnel I was hot, exhausted and in a foul mood. I'd intended to finish this quickly then walk round the plot tidying it and cut the grass, but there was no chance of that.

          My mood was much improved when I looked at the cauliflower bed and noticed that I could see white in the middles of 2 of the 4 plants (the ones at home also have small cauliflowers forming). I'm not sure how long to leave these before I harvest them - they are currently about golf ball size. I picked some peas for tea and went home to freeze the spinach and catch up with the garden at home.
          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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          • Incredible progress, Penellype! Just stunning.

            For your own sanity, I wonder if you're going to have to find a way to accept that you're probably not going to get rid of the horsetail permanently? You'll have knocked it back significantly, though, and will see the benefits this time next year!

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            • Originally posted by 1Bee View Post
              Incredible progress, Penellype! Just stunning.

              For your own sanity, I wonder if you're going to have to find a way to accept that you're probably not going to get rid of the horsetail permanently? You'll have knocked it back significantly, though, and will see the benefits this time next year!
              I know that it is very hard to eradicate horsetail, what completely knocked me sideways was the sheer amount of it that I had missed on 3 previous diggings of that end of the tunnel. I'd sifted each forkful through the tines of the fork and raked it about to find all the bits, and yet I am still digging up whole pieces a foot or more long. I was expecting little pieces to be left behind, but not great long strings of it!
              Last edited by Penellype; 04-06-2018, 04:23 PM.
              A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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              • In my younger day, as an inspiring 'Farmer' I bought land that I thought was 'Cheap' only to find that it was 'Infested' with 'Horsetail'
                I took advice from the then ADAS and was told to plough deep ie 35/40 cm ,Add Lime to bring Ph up to min 7.5,Hoe any emerging shoots during the next growing crop.
                Plough deep again the next Autumn and keep a check on Ph ,P, and K levels.
                Within 2 years I had NO mare tail presence.
                As a Gardener now,I realise that we can not Plough, But please dont think and put all your effort into diggng 6'' (15 cm ) deep is enough..""" total waste of time and energy, merely givng the horsetail roots left ungerground more energy to emerge...!!
                My belief is .....the 'No Dig ' approach has led to deep rooted weeds such as maretail, couch, etc , not to mention grass weeds, an excellent opportunity to prevail.
                Moral of this is if you have Horsetail, Couch etc.......Dig deep( minimum 2 x spade depths ) or invest in a 'Deep digging spade'.( you only have to dig once , irrespect of the depth)
                Better than continuos digging to no avail.

                Soil test and ensure your Ph.P.& K levels are sufficient to a depth of 30-50 cm, not just the top 5cm.
                Perseverence with this will pay dividends Im sure .
                Gp
                Never Let the BAD be the Enemy of the GOOD

                Conservation and Preservation for the Future Generation

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                • Originally posted by geepee View Post
                  In my younger day, as an inspiring 'Farmer' I bought land that I thought was 'Cheap' only to find that it was 'Infested' with 'Horsetail'
                  I took advice from the then ADAS and was told to plough deep ie 35/40 cm ,Add Lime to bring Ph up to min 7.5,Hoe any emerging shoots during the next growing crop.
                  Plough deep again the next Autumn and keep a check on Ph ,P, and K levels.
                  Within 2 years I had NO mare tail presence.
                  As a Gardener now,I realise that we can not Plough, But please dont think and put all your effort into diggng 6'' (15 cm ) deep is enough..""" total waste of time and energy, merely givng the horsetail roots left ungerground more energy to emerge...!!
                  My belief is .....the 'No Dig ' approach has led to deep rooted weeds such as maretail, couch, etc , not to mention grass weeds, an excellent opportunity to prevail.
                  Moral of this is if you have Horsetail, Couch etc.......Dig deep( minimum 2 x spade depths ) or invest in a 'Deep digging spade'.( you only have to dig once , irrespect of the depth)
                  Better than continuos digging to no avail.

                  Soil test and ensure your Ph.P.& K levels are sufficient to a depth of 30-50 cm, not just the top 5cm.
                  Perseverence with this will pay dividends Im sure .
                  Gp
                  I am digging fairly deep, not just 6 inches. In places I'm quite clearly into the sub-soil, where it changes colour. I think possibly the reason why I am finding so much root is because I am going a little deeper this time rather than just doing the top layer. I don't see how I can go down as much as 40cm though - there has to be a balance between clearing an area and keeping the rest of the plot under control. If I'm digging that deep I will only get a small area done.

                  It may be that I have to admit that looking after a plot that size is too much for me - at times it feels that way (along with my own garden and my friend's garden). My friend said she drove past me when I was walking home from the plot one evening, and said I was walking like I was drunk. As I don't actually drink at all, I clearly wasn't, I was simply so tired that I found it hard to walk in a straight line.

                  One thing I really don't understand though is if you simply ploughed the horsetail in, why didn't it re-grow from all the bits? Mine re-grows from pieces so small you can hardly see them.
                  A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                  • Yesterday was mainly horsetail, both pulling it out of the beds and digging it out of the tunnel. I also harvested the rest of the row of spinach nearest the tunnel, bringing home a carrier bag full for the freezer. There are just a few carrots (and rather more horsetail) in that end of the bed now, which I may harvest soon so that I can use the space for a courgette.

                    Today I cut the grass paths and trimmed the long bits round the edges of the plot. While I was clearing up afterwards I found an elephant hawk moth https://butterfly-conservation.org/1...hawk-moth.html. The caterpillar feeds on willowherb - sounds about right!

                    As well as digging more horsetail I also weeded the carrots in the tunnel - these are disappearing and there are now about 25 left. I'm hoping at least some will grow, but I'm beginning to doubt it. The slugs and snails are also making a mess of the cabbages and kohlrabi I planted in the tunnel despite the copper rings I put round each plant.
                    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                    • I note horsetail does not like cultivated ground. It prefers to lurk on paving and edges of walls.
                      Try putting "Dirt Soil Rock & Compost Sieve Sifter" into YouTube search.
                      Hope this is of use
                      Jimmy
                      Expect the worst in life and you will probably have under estimated!

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                      • Yesterday I did 2 1 hour sessions of digging horsetail as it was cloudy so not too hot. The first was in the tunnel and the 2nd digging the path beside the tunnel. I also pulled more of the stuff out of some of the raised beds.

                        Managed to fit in another half hour this morning as I got up early. I also harvested a good handful of peas, a beetroot and the obligatory bag of spinach. The spinach has nearly finished now. One of the leaves I picked had a cluster of small black insects on it which at first I thought were blackfly. On closer inspection they were ladybird larvae, probably only just hatched. I put the leaf back in the hotbed so they could help themselves to the aphids that are living on the lettuces.

                        This evening I went back to water and planted out some nasturtiums in the bean bed.
                        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                        • Today was DIY day, putting up a shelf and some hooks in the shed. Thanks to Geepee for help with this and also for tightening the bolts on the lawnmower - hopefully I won't lose any more of the nuts now.

                          Other than that I pulled some horsetail, weeded the tomatoes and mulched them with compost and harvested a couple of carrots from the hotbed (there are not many of these), a turnip nearly the size of a tennis ball, a bag full of spinach and a couple of sticks of rhubarb. I also chopped up a bit of the pile of leylandii, just to remind it that I haven't forgotten it is there!
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                          • Yesterday I didn't have a great deal of time, but got a bit of digging done on the path between the tunnel and hotbed. I harvested a couple of carrots from the hotbed (both somewhat slug damaged) plus some spinach and one of the cauliflowers (again suffering from slugs). There were also a couple of ripe strawberries with small enough slug holes to be mostly edible. I got a chance to compare these with Honeoye from home and they were much less tasty. As Honeoye is my least favourite of the ones I grow at home (in order of decreasing preference the others are Just Add Cream, Marshmello and Elsanta), I won't be particularly bothered to dig the plants up and get rid of them when they have finished fruiting. The bed is infested with horsetail so I am going to have to dig them up anyway.

                            Today turned into mostly a planting and sowing day. Having potted up peppers and tomatoes at my friend's and sown runner beans, brokali and peas at home as well as potting up some lettuce seedlings, I took 2 pots of leeks and 2 calabrese plants to the allotment. I also had 2 cucumber plants that Geepee brought for me on Friday. All of these went in the tunnel. I had 2 MFBs that had the bottoms cut off and I'd put some copper tape round them to deter slugs. I half buried these and filled them with compost then planted the cucumbers in them. I scattered some "slug gone" pellets around the pots.

                            Next to the cucumbers I planted the summer leeks. These are replacements for some I sowed earlier in the onion bed, which have germinated but simply haven't grown. There were 15 reasonably sized seedlings which should hopefully give me some autumn leeks. The variety is Bulgaarse Reuzen Lincoln, which I have not grown before. It is not hardy so will have to be eaten before the frosts start.

                            Then I planted the winter leeks at the other end of the tunnel, next to the carrots. These are Northern Lights, which apparently have purple/blue foliage over winter. These were going to be planted in the leek bed next to the raspberries, but the Albana and Oarsman that I sowed there earlier have done so badly that I decided the best thing to do with that bed was to dig it thoroughly and get rid of the horsetail ready for next year. I scattered slug gone around all of the leeks.

                            Finally I planted the 2 calabrese plants next to the kohlrabi. These are decent sized plants with 4 good strong leaves, and they will have to be judging by the mess the slugs have made of the kohlrabi, but I have to put these somewhere. The plants have copper rings round the stems and more slug gone around them.

                            Fingers crossed that the slugs and snails don't annihilate the day's work over night!
                            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                            • 2 decent sessions at the plot today. This morning I dug a bit more of the path between the tunnel and the raised beds - this is nearly done now, but the bit that is left is difficult as there is grass and horsetail growing through the tunnel net. I also chopped a bit of the leylandii pile and cut the grass. Harvested a beetroot for lunch.

                              This afternoon I went back and dug a few stray bits of horsetail out of the bed near the rhubarb and also dug the path between that bed and the hotbed as much as I could without disturbing the strawberries. I planted the courgette plant in the bed I'd just dug, protecting it with a copper ring and some slug gone. I then harvested some strawberries (slightly slug damaged) and a bag full of spinach for tea - the leaves are getting smaller but are still very edible, and some are still bigger than the ones I normally manage to grow at home.
                              Last edited by Penellype; 11-06-2018, 08:34 PM.
                              A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                              • Yesterday I finished off digging the path between the raised beds and the tunnel. As always I will have missed a lot of the horsetail so I'll have to do it all again later. I pulled some bits of horsetail out of the raised beds too. I also harvested some beetroot and a few strawberries that had escaped the slugs. There were some heavy showers around in the afternoon but they missed York and as everywhere was very dry there was a lot of watering to do. I decided to take a bottle of water down to the plot every time I go. Its only 2 litres a time, but its better than nothing and will help the water in the bins to last longer.

                                Today I went down in the morning when it was quite hot and sunny and trimmed the long bits of grass that the mower had missed and some nettles in the hedge, then chopped some of the leylandii pile (which is starting to look a little smaller). I brought home more strawberries - I'm picking these slightly under-ripe which seems to get them mostly before the slugs do.

                                I went back in the afternoon when it had clouded over and harvested a bucket of potatoes - supposedly Maris Bard, but not (see this thread https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...oes_97025.html). The compost was very dry despite watering them every day. Having got them out of the way I dug out the horsetail that was growing around and under the bucket, and forked over the part of the west side of the tunnel which isn't planted up, removing quite a bit more horsetail.

                                Having done enough digging I tied some string round the sugar peas which are quite tall and looked as though they might get blown down in the gale tomorrow. I then harvested a cauliflower which had grown quite big but was badly damaged by slugs. I also picked some peas and watered everything. We desperately need some rain, hopefully it will arrive tonight.
                                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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