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Still Digging (Part 8)!! Dandelions 0 Me 1 More!!

Roots
Just An Average Sized Dandelion Root Today
  At the beginning of last week patience had to be a virtue. Two consecutive days (Monday and Tuesday) without rain as I waited for the soil on my plots to dry out enough to resume the battle against the Dandelions on Plot N2. Finally on Wednesday the soil was just workable and mid morning I commenced clearing the fourth small bed on N2. The soil on the main central bed was still too wet to deal with. Although the soil was still fairly sticky, this gave me an advantage over the roots breaking into bits, as each fork full of soil was lifted. The soil stayed bonded together with moisture as I turned each lump over. I then teased out the roots from their bases upwards removing any soil still sticking to the roots, by hand. Quite a few smaller roots pulled away from the moist soil easily without breaking. By late afternoon I had progressed back along about 50% of the bed.

Cabbages
First of the Cabbages Transplanted
 I was back down the plot on Thursday morning but decided to clear the drainage ditch of decaying vegetation and debris cutting, back the weeds and dead vegetation from the banks at the same time. By the time this was completed, across the width of 2 plots, I had accumulated 5 well filled barrow loads of various vegetation and deposited it onto my compost heap. Having removed several items of rubbish from along the length of the ditch, along with a few tree branches and some brambles the water was flowing away more freely, thus helping to drain off the water from my plots. I decided to thin out some of my Cabbages, replanting them into this years Brassica bed. The first row of 9 was done by mid afternoon and I then, finally got round to removing the dead Runner bean plants from Plot N1. The viable beans for this years seeds had been removed some time ago. The canes used as supports were removed and stored in my shed. The area I have been using to grow the Runner beans, on the L-shape of the plot, is well laden with soot. Due to the vast amount of soot in the soil here it is relatively free draining and was dry enough for me to hoe it over removing various perennial weeds in about an hour.

Daffodils
First of the Daffodils Showing on the Drainage Bank
Bluebells
Bluebells Showing on the Drainage Ditch Bank
 Friday afternoon saw me back down the plot continuing the battle against the Dandelions on Plot N2. The surface of the soil was a little damp due to heavy overnight and early morning mist, but was drying out slowly. On Saturday, Sunday and this afternoon the digging continued and by four p.m. today. I had completed clearing the fourth bed of everything except soil. If the rain holds off, the main central bed on N2 should be dry enough to work on in the morning.

Dandelions Gone
One side of N2 Plot Finally Cleared of Dandelions

Yuck
Can You Identify This (If I'm Correct it Devours Earthworms and Birds Don't Eat it)

Yuck
As Above Picture

Just an update on the "BEASTIE" in the photographs. It is likely to be a Horse Leech (Haemopis sanguisuga). They can exist several meters from water and eat small snails and other invertebrates. The other possibility is a foreign imported species (Trocheta). Anyway I'm glad it wasn't a flat worm which I first thought. Leeches have gone up slightly in my estimation now I know they eat snails.

There's always tomorrow!!




Comments

  1. Daffodils in bud wow! And those bluebell are really early.

    Sorry can't tell what the beastie is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sue, The Dafs and Bluebells were early last year too but got damaged with the wet weather early too. At first I thought the beastie was some sort of foreign flat worm. Iv'seen the Aussie type before but they are pink and smaller with a spear shaped head.

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  2. Wow, that's looking really neat. You should see the amount of bindweed roots I've had to dig out. I damaged my knees digging the plot last year so have been taking the last bit easy, only doing a few rows at a time, but I'm nearly at the end. It will soon look as good as yours.
    Happy New Year, I hope the weather is better this year and all goes well for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you too, thanks for the good wishes. Bindweed is a real pain to get rid of, my last plot was infested with it. Hope the knee is healed by now, just take the digging easy.

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  3. Where did the soot come from? Did you put it there? Apart from improving drainage, what are the benefits of applying soot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark, Many years ago the area where my N1 plot is now, was used to dump the soot on, so that it could be collected by the plot holders and taken to individual plots. Loads of it was left behind when I first took on the plot from meadowland. I dug it out of the drainage bank area and spread it over the L-Shaped bed, mixing it in with the clay. Unless soot contains heavy metals or other contaminants then it should be safe to use on the soil. Soot from "clean wood" burning contains, sulphur,nitrogen and other minor nutrients. Potash is very good for onions and slugs don't like moving through dry soot. I have noticed in my sooty areas of ground there are very few living creatures including worms. Soot can also be very acidic so its a good idea to let it stand for a while before use and keep it off plant stems, leaves etc. Because soot is black and turns the soil darker it should soak up the suns heat too. There's a lot to be said for wood burning stoves as opposed to central heating radiators.

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  4. You've done well getting on with the digging/weeding.
    I am amazed at how horrible that worm looks! I can't find what type it is. Can't see any pics on Google of such a bit fat worm as that!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Belinda, The digging is going well despite the damp soil. I need to get as much done as possible before hospital on the 25th. At first I thought the worm was some kind of foreign flat worm. The skin is leathery as opposed to slimy, and its mouth at the thin end looked leech like. I'm now trying to get the worm identified from my photograph.

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  5. Lovely reading and wonderful to see bluebells and daffs coming up. Spring will soon be upon us. Lets hope this rain stops hey. I've never come across 1 of those earthworms before, think ill google it haha very interesting. Happy growing

    Bob. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bob, Thanks for the comments. No rain here for over a week thankfully. I'm still waiting for a positive identification on the worm. You're not alone in Google'ing it. Better to be inquisitive than not, I say.

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  6. You are certainly ahead with the digging, if we have a few more dry days I may be able to start but its been so wet for me. How neat and tidy your plot is. Daffodils in bud, it has been mild! Things are shooting here but only just peaking out of the ground. Supposed to get colder this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Annie, Thanks for your comments, I hope the weather stays dry for you to get on with things. The weather is very changeable, we all need a break. Wet is nice when we need it but some sunshine would be great too.

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  7. Looking really neat and tidy. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Patricia, about 50% of my plots is ready for planting/sowing this season, but the bits you can't see in the photographs still need plenty of work.

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  8. Hi. I just found your blog through the kitchen garden mag and I was delighted to be able to go through the entries from the middle of last year. Its a treat to be able to visit other garden blogs and also helps me through the year with other ordinary gardener rather than be left with only one viewing choice of BBC gardeners world, which is good, but never really leans toward the majority gardener (dont you think?). Good luck to all in the new seasons ahead.
    Brian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brian, thanks for looking in on my blog. I think that most of the "professional" gardening blog are good in their own right. With such a vast audience I think they tend to go with the latest fashion to an extent. Also they tend to make some gardening projects look easy with quick fixes. Nature has evolved over millions of years, SLOWLY, but the basics are the same. I'm not a pro gardener and try to mix old established methods and new. If one method doesn't work I forget it.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi there every one, here every person is sharing these experience, therefore it's nice to read this website, and I used to go to see this website all the time.
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    ReplyDelete
  11. At least we know that you'll never have a warning letter for keeping an untidy allotment - wish mine was as weed-free as yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elaine, Keeping the weeds etc away helps in keeping the slugs and snails down. Quite a few weeds, as you know, can spread diseases like club root also. Most green stuff is a bonus on the compost heap too.

      Delete

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There's Always Tomorrow!!