Friday, 12 May 2017

Weed management

Sat down on my allotment, the other day  drinking a cup of coffee, I saw the most amazing sight. I saw, perched high in a tree top, a heron guarding a nest. With its long beak and hunched shoulder, the prehistoric looking bird just sits in the eggs for hours while the tree swings in the wind.However the next thing that happen was that the heron was attached by five or six crows who chased him round the sky and then amazingly another heron came and saw the crows off and the heron went back to siting on the nest as if nothing had happen.  

Weed management
Most weeds are still slow going as it is very dry now. Except dandelions which love the dry. Please dead head or mow and put the seed heads in a bag to rot down. Once the rain arrives the weeds will go made so be prepared as weeding little and often is far easier than letting things go. A good sharp hoe makes short work of most of them. 
Allowing the weeds to grow will influence growth and yield of your crops, particularly early on. Weeds reduce the available nutrients, water and light that your plants need to grow. Once crops are established they'll shade out some of the weeds but some say allowing weeds to affect crops in the early days could reduce the eventual yield by up to 50% even if you weed properly later.
 The weather is challenging ....very dry and alternately beautifully warm and cold. Weeds are valuable green bulk so aim to manage them on your plot. Non-seeding annuals are fine on a good hot compost heap. 

Perennial or seeding annuals can be managed most easily in a thick plastic bag and left sealed until rotted. The green compost bags are perfect. This works with dandelion heads too! When black it can be added when building or turning to a compost bin. 

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