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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Battling against the docks

    Have just taken over a 250m2 plot in hull - completely covered in docks and grass. Some neighbours are offering chemicals - I think I want to do things organically.

    Should I strim first then start digging out roots or just start digging? Or should I hit the chemicals - just this once!
    The law will hang the man or woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common
    But lets the greater thief go loose
    Who steals the common from the goose
    http://johntygreentoes.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    nick the grief's Avatar
    nick the grief is offline Gardening Guru
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    Hi Johnty,

    Welcome to the vine. My first allotment was like yours. The only answer is it depends on how "green" you want to be. If you look on our website (se below) there is a beginers page on there that may be of help.

    Personally, I hit mine with round up and that saw the docks off (especially if you use a sprayer rather than a watering can) but the problems will come whenyou start to dig, you'll have a wonderfull flush of weeds from all those dormant seeds (1 years seeds = 7 years weeds - my dads old saying) so you may need to give it a second blast.

    Either way you'll need to remove the whole root as the slightest bit will resprout. Also if you have loads of docks it's a good indication of an acidic soil, so try testing the PH and then apply lime to bring it back to a neutral PH (6-7 is OK) as it can lead to problems with clubroot in brassicas and scab on tatties.

    Don't let that put you off though as it's really easy to get on top of things and you'll love it.
    ntg
    Never be afraid to try something new.
    Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
    A large group of professionals built the Titanic


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

  3. #3
    sewer rat's Avatar
    sewer rat is offline Early Fruiter
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    Hit the chemicals !! One or two sprays with roundup or a similar glyphosate weedkiller will kill off all your perennial weeds and give you a head start.
    I know you say you wanna grow organically, but even the Soil Association recommend this to commercial growers, as a one off teatment.
    Good luck
    Rat

    British by birth
    Scottish by the Grace of God

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

  4. #4
    Two_Sheds's Avatar
    Two_Sheds is offline Compost Everything...
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    I had the same type of Allotment as you - covered in head-height (I'm short, ok) deep-rooted perennial weeds. It had been Roundupped before I got it, but you couldn't tell! 1 year on its all cultivated, hardly any weeds at all; I didn't use a single drop of chemical. I strimmed off top growth, then covered the ground with carpet until I could dig it. The roots are much easier to dig out when the plant has been 'in the dark' for a couple of months. As soon as you dig a patch, plant it with something useful, don't leave the ground bare. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Thanks to you all

    I think I'll roundup as a one off - just to get things going. I've never used chemicals in my house garden, so it doesn't feel right - but when I look at acres of docks.........

    Many thanks
    The law will hang the man or woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common
    But lets the greater thief go loose
    Who steals the common from the goose
    http://johntygreentoes.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    rustylady's Avatar
    rustylady is offline Gardening Guru
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    I had docks and brambles. Didn't use chemicals, just digging. Eighteen months on it's looking good. The roots go down forever, though and it's true what Nick says - keep looking out for seedlings. They keep popping up and you need to get them out asap

  7. #7
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    Thanks for this

    I've set up a blog site to record my progress. You may wish to visit. Cheers. http://johntygreentoes.blogspot.com/
    The law will hang the man or woman
    Who steals the goose from off the common
    But lets the greater thief go loose
    Who steals the common from the goose
    http://johntygreentoes.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    Thanks for the link to the Grapevine on your blog Johnty!
    [

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