How should I clear my allotment?
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