Hamster 1 – 0 Weeds; Hamster 0 – 1 Yale lock

November 7, 2007 at 3:03 pm 2 comments

Inspired by Mel’s post on comfrey, I decided the time had come to do something about the weeds in my garden. All well and good to declare part of your garden or allotment the comfrey patch, but the only other thing I have is gravel, so I need all the growing space I can get. Bear in mind, this is what my only free bed looks like.

The tyranny of comfrey and mint must end!

Bear in mind also that the only gardening equipment I have is a small hand trowel and a plastic rake. I used both to their full potential. There was a carpet of leaves on the ground, and I now have three full bags of leaves to make mulch out of. There was a bed full of weeds and stones: there is now a bed covered in cardboard and old carpet waiting for spring, and a bin bag full of comfrey leaves waiting to be put into a dalek. (Where, oh where is my dalek?) If I can get my hands on a bucket I might make some comfrey tea.

I’m afraid I had to put weedkiller on some of the roots as I couldn’t get them out with my trowel. Please don’t hate me.

It’s fairly well intertwined with an unhealthy-looking shrub thing in the other bed, and constitutes (along with nettles) most of the rockery. I’ve left this task for another day. One of the problems of only being able to grow things in containers is that looking after the garden itself seems like an unnecessary chore – in fact you could get quite Marxist about that: I don’t want to maintain a garden in a rented house, because I don’t own the means of production! I’m just looking after someone else’s garden so I get my deposit back eventually, rather than using it to feed myself or grow what I want…. Creative freedom, man….

Woah, slight side-track there!

When I went to get the cardboard boxes which are kept out the front, I decided to take my shoes off to go through the house, as I’d just tidied up. Unfortunately, it’s been a rather windy day, and as soon as I stepped outside, the door banged shut behind me, leaving me standing on my front patio wearing only socks on my feet and clutching some flattened cardboard boxes.

‘Bugger’, I thought.

My socks were clean and everything.

To get back to the garden, I had to go to the end of the terrace and make my way down a very narrow, nettle-infested path, using the flattened cardboard boxes as makeshift stepping stones and feeling very silly indeed…..

Luckily, I was able to chuckle at myself as I nursed my nettle stings and my cold feet.

And I found a marble in the plantable bed.

And my garden is slightly less of an eyesore. My soul feels happy.


Entry filed under: garden, weeds.

Chard ’22 Hyde Parks!’

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melanie Rimmer  |  November 8, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Go Hamster! Well done!

    I don’t hate you for using weedkiller, but if you put it directly on the roots it may do no good at all. Weedkillers are taken up by the leaves of plants where they are transported to the roots. No leaves – no transport – no point. If your weeds come back anyway, and you still want to use weedkiller, you’ll have to let them grow until they have a decent leaf area. I don’t mean let them get huge. But don’t try to apply weedkiller on two tiny regrown leaves. Now you know how weedkillers work you can see that a small leaf area won’t be able to take up enough weedkiller to kill off the root. So wait until they have a few decent leaves before you apply the weedkiller. You also might want to use some method to avoid the weedkiller going places you don’t want it – for example cut the bottom off a 2 litre plastic drinks bottle, place that over the weed then spray the weedkiller through the neck. Or you can spray the weedkiller into your rubber-gloved fist, then wipe the wet glove over the weed. These techniques are better than just squirting it everywhere.

    Sometimes weedkiller is required. But don’t use more of it than necessary. These tips should help.

    So – what are you going to plant in your beautiful newly cleared garden?

  • 2. Hamster  |  November 8, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Oh, okay then! Oops… When I’ve been out doing conservationy things, we often hack away what we can and then put herbicide on tree stumps…. I was applying the same principle, only underground…

    Ah well, I’ll just have to tackle them again if they grow back. Thanks for the plastic bottle tip, though, that may be helpful if weedkiller is the only way I can get rid of the things that are mingled in with the other plants….

    Not sure what to plant yet! I’m going to use the bed for something that won’t do as well in containers. Thought about raspberries, but they’ll probably last longer than we’re in the house for… Maybe peas or squashes of some kind. Definitely going to have lots of tomatoes, peppers, rocket, salady things, strawberries, blueberries and herbs in containers though!


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