An unpleasant job today – I tackled the weed issue on the old acre field headland, or ‘adlan’ as farmer John pronounces it. With years of non-ploughing it is full of many weeds, the majority being cleaver which is working its way up the hawthorn mix hedge, and twitch (couch grass) which is spreading into the field by about 20 foot. As the allotment quarter has been affected by the twitch, making the planting of any long-term plants such as fruit bushes a bit risky, we’ve decided to use Roundup weedkiller on this particular patch of headland to remove everything. I don’t like the use of chemicals but all the local farmers suggest this is the only way unless I can plough the area constantly over the space of a year. I’ve left the headland as is where the orchards will be, but under the existing hedgerow that needs maintenance I’m clearing the weeds.
Once the weeds are cleared, under the existing hedgerow I’ll plant new hawthorn whips to fill the gaps. Over all the cleared headland area I’ll sow a grass/meadow flower mix to replace the food supply for the birds that I’ll have removed to an extent by killing the weeds off. Hopefully this mix will supress any particularly viruelnt weed, such as the cleavers and twitch, from becoming too dominant again.
The next job was to pot up the tomatoes and chillies. Due to the size of our greenhouse I’m putting off sowing the butternut squash, pumpkins and sweetcorn until I can sow directly into the soil where they’ll grow. I also sowed in a greenhouse tray a packet of Loretta celery seed.