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Possibly more silly questions from a newbie!

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  • Possibly more silly questions from a newbie!

    Hey all

    On Friday I collected my keys to my new little peace of calm (aka my lotty) but now I have more questions - I hope you don't mind

    I'm going to start on it at the weekend, the snow in Brum has held me back (whimp I know ) but:

    Does it matter what kind of tarp/sheeting I use to cover up the parts I don't want to/can't work on yet? Is there something that is better than other stuff?

    Those plastic greenhouses, not the small ones but the bigger ones - are they OK? I can't afford a real greenhouse and whilst I'm waiting for one to appear somewhere I thought maybe I could use one of these

    Compost bins - are they worth it? The council bloke said not to bother until I was sure it was for me but mates have told me that esp when clearing the plot they're a good idea - any ideas?

    I think that's it for now

  • #2
    the covering sheeting or cardboard must be opaque to stop light,card board will dig in at the end of the year and improve your soil.
    you could knock up a cheap compost bin from 3 pallets with a fourthtied on to make a front or use one of those cubic meter builders bags that ballast etc is delivered in,these are easy to empty by rolling the sides up or down,at apinch they double as giant grow bags.
    the plastic greenhouses that have thin pvc covers are quite flimsy and prone to wind damage,you would get more for your cash by using hoops made of pipe or wire covered in uv stabilised polythene,or buy cloches which are more durable
    don't be afraid to innovate and try new things
    remember.........only the dead fish go with the flow

    Another certified member of the Nutters club

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Snakeshack - covering must not let the light through.
      As far as compost bins go, I have made mine out of pallets as SS suggests and these work well. However, please remember that you should not compost perrenial weeds such as nettles, dandelions, creeping buttercup etc as these will grow in your compost - take these home with you and out them in your brown bin or burn / drown them.
      If your site is at all exposed, the plastic greenhouse is probably not a good idea - I'd go with a home made cloche/ low tunnel - simple to make using 20mm water pipe cut to length and bent over to make half circles then covered with UV stabilised polythene, which can be replaced with netting or fleece as appropriate to time of year and crop development.
      Rat

      British by birth
      Scottish by the Grace of God

      http://scotsburngarden.blogspot.com/
      http://davethegardener.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks that helps!

        such a steep learning curve!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by marmalade View Post
          Those plastic greenhouses, not the small ones but the bigger ones - are they OK?
          On an allotment? Absolutely hopeless, it'll be over the county boundary in no time. They aren't called Blowaways for nowt


          Originally posted by marmalade View Post
          Compost bins - are they worth it? The council bloke said not to bother until I was sure it was for me
          perhaps he thought you weren't going to stick at it?

          Absolutely you need a compost heap, unless you're going to eat all the roots, leaves and stumps of your produce

          Welcome, nice to have you aboard
          All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sewer rat View Post
            However, please remember that you should not compost perrenial weeds such as nettles, dandelions, creeping buttercup etc as these will grow in your compost - take these home with you and out them in your brown bin or burn / drown them.
            Nettles leaves are great in compost or you can make great feed with them also.

            Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

            Which one are you and is it how you want to be?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Alison View Post
              Nettles leaves are great in compost or you can make great feed with them also.
              Yeah, but never compost the roots !!
              Last edited by sewer rat; 23-02-2010, 07:49 PM.
              Rat

              British by birth
              Scottish by the Grace of God

              http://scotsburngarden.blogspot.com/
              http://davethegardener.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok another question!

                the bloke from the council said to strim the land (didn't look like there was anything there to save) then use round up and dig the beds I want.

                Someone else has said not to strim AND use round up as it won't work.

                Now I'm confused again

                Comment


                • #9
                  Does the council have a strimmer for you to borrow, Marmalade? And how much is there to strim at this time of year? To be honest I gave up strimming as a way of controlling the weedy growth - the only thing that really sorts it all out is to dig it over. The person who said not to strim - were they on the lottie site by any chance? They may well know what is really growing there.
                  Whooops - now what are the dogs getting up to?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Round up is a contact, systemic weedkiller (called glyphosate). The most effective time to use it is on fresh new active spring growth and then again 6 weeks later on anything that has resprouted. After that you must dig out whatever roots you can find.

                    It is neutralized on contact with the soil. in other words you need it to soak the green growth for it to be taken into the plants system. If using it in high summer or on a very over grown plot you might strim then wait a couple of weeks for fresh growth and spray that.

                    No point in spraying it on tough old winter growth. It is quite effective for initial clearance but probably won't finish off brambles or nettles. Careful not to wind drift it onto others' crops

                    clearer?

                    PS. there may well be stuff like rhubarb, asparagus, raspberries etc around. so look carefully around at regrowth before spraying.
                    Last edited by Paulottie; 23-02-2010, 09:52 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sewer rat View Post
                      Yeah, but never compost the roots !!
                      I do. I compost couch and all the other nasties too (after they've been drowned for a few months).

                      Originally posted by marmalade View Post
                      the bloke from the council said to strim the land .... then use round up
                      As already said above, but it can bear repeating, you need to apply glypho to green growth. If you strim, you won't have enough green growth.

                      The poison is taken by the green leaves, down into the plant to kill it.
                      Last edited by Two_Sheds; 24-02-2010, 01:42 PM. Reason: drowned means keeping under the water until dead
                      All gardeners know better than other gardeners." -- Chinese Proverb.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Right, I'm getting the impression I need to stop being so impatient and take things slower I'm not so good with patience

                        What is drowning?

                        How does this sound for a plan of action?
                        Take photos
                        Meet other plot people
                        Measure plot
                        Make plans
                        Drink Gin
                        Mark out possible beds
                        Consider digging the beds over (then bribe friends to do it)
                        Wait for stuff to grow to identify it and then either leave or attack with roundup (on a non-windy day)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          'Drowning' means literally what it says in the 'post', leaving it underwater until it goes soggy and has no signs of life.

                          The rest of your ideas are mine, apart from substituting the gin for Scotch!!

                          Which bit of N. Brum are you in? We're in the poor part of 4~Oaks!

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                          • #14
                            Hey Torreya I'm in Erdington so not too far away

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