How should I clear my al­lot­ment?

Amateur Gardening - - Ask John Negus -

QI have just taken on an over­grown al­lot­ment. We are not al­lowed bon­fires and I don’t have a car to make trips to the lo­cal green waste site, so how should I get rid of the weeds?

Jen­nifer Chil­vers, via email

ACould you put part of the al­lot­ment aside as a com­post heap or rub­bish area? Peren­nial weeds are dif­fi­cult to com­post be­cause their roots re­gen­er­ate from the small­est part, but if put in bags or a con­tainer that ex­cludes all light they will rot down and make nice com­post.

Cut them up to speed the de­cay­ing process and oc­ca­sion­ally turn the heap or empty and re­fill the bags so that the bac­te­ria and fungi do­ing all the work are dis­trib­uted through­out.

You can also ‘drown’ roots in a bucket of wa­ter, which is much faster than try­ing to com­post them in plas­tic sacks.

Weeds still in the ground can be cov­ered in black plas­tic, tar­pau­lin, thick card­board or old car­pet. It could take up to a year to erad­i­cate them com­pletely.

It is the wrong time of year to use a weed­killer and you may feel it is the wrong ap­proach, but the weeds will be eas­ier to re­move if they have died.

It might also be worth talk­ing to other al­lot­menteers to see how they deal with weeds, or ask if they could oc­ca­sion­ally take some of yours to the waste site.

If you can’t have an al­lot­ment bon­fire, try block­ing light from weeds If you can’t have an al­lot­ment bon­fire, try block­ing light from weeds

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