Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Not an environmentally friendly day

Despite arrival of delicious new toys, powerful and essential gardening tools this morning, today was dirty, smelly and environmentally unfriendly.

A coat of creosote on all the fencing which surrounds the Veg-Plot-To-Be and then an application of Glyphosate weedkiller on the grass which is about to be dug up in preparation for the Beech Hedge which will form a major part of the windbreak protection for the veggies.
(boards are temporary to give me an edge to spray to)

and the magnolia prunings got chopped up small and put in the council bin to be taken away and composted.

All day I have watched the chap from the farm at the top of our village go back and forwards with HUGE trailer loads of gorgeous, steaming muck that has come out of the cow sheds and is being spread on fields further up the valley (actually been watching this happen for a year, but it was more noticeable today 'cos I was outside!)

Finally plucked up the courage to go to the bottom of the drive and wave at him to stop, and to cut a long conversation short, I can probably have as many TRAILER LOADS of the lovely smelly stuff dropped on the drive as I like, no charge (think I'd better add a bottle of good Scotch to the shopping trolley at the weekend). Yes, there is a danger that the bedding straw was grown with aminopyralid (go on, Google it) but as I am in no hurry to use the beds for vegetables it's possible that by the time I come to plant in the soil it will be OK.

I have no idea when/if the first trailer will arrive so the tarp is out in readiness. A couple of weeks ago I was chatting to someone and mentioned I was looking for a scaffolding clamp (been messing around with the quilting machine, nothing to do with gardening). Anyhow, didn't think any more of it until I came home one afternoon and on the doorstep was . . . a scaffolding clamp. Don't know the chap's name, cannot get in touch with him to say thank you, typical West Cumbrian kindness - so on that basis the manure could arrive anytime.


  1. Don't beat yourself up about the glysophate (although I don't think that you would for a moment) - it's a one off hit. Your alternative would have been to turn over the turf into the new beds, which may have produced a wonderful loamy soil basis for your beds, HOWEVER it may have haunted you for evermore - you don't know what's lurking in the way of invasive and perennial weeds.

    Thought that creosote was not available anymore (have you been stockpiling?? Bad hobbit!), but there are 'green' alternatives now (not as good, however, I think)

    I'm sure that you can accept that your first year of veg will include a certain 'sacrificial' element, so although introducing aminopyralid is not a great move, if it's there, it's there. For the sake of the excellent FYM that you gain, I'd take the gamble.

    ...and have you taken the time to step back to see how pretty your driveside border is? If not, you jolly well should - all work and no play makes for a dull hobbit!

  2. Aminopyralid was banned last year (around the middle) so if he's been using a hay cut from last back end - almost certain - there won't be a problem. I hope not, anyway.

    I occasionally use glyphosate. Our lovely garden birds persistently 'sow' brambles in amongst the roots of the shrubs and you simply can't dig them out without digging up an established shrub. You just have to blast them.

    Stop and have a brew now and then and cop that view - we're all jealous! Especially those of us who live in somewhere nearly as flat as Norfolk!

    (Very flat, Norfolk!)

  3. Thanks Hazel, support very much appreciated.

    Flummery, don't worry, lots of stops for drinking tea and drinking in the view!

  4. Sounds like proper gardening is getting closer and closer.


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