Sunday, 7 May 2017

Weeding Thoughts?

Apparently the term "weed" has no botanical significance.  It's a plant in the wrong place.  I am lucky really that I have any pernicious weeds like Japanese Knot-weed or Ground Elder.  Both introduced from foreign shores.  Apparently Mr and Mrs Roman Empire are said to have introduced Ground Elder to northern Britain because there weren't much fresh greens in those days, yawn!  

Japanese Knot-weed is said to have come with the Rhododendrons from Asia and purposely planted in the sixties for ornamental purposes.  The Edwardians planted it for game cover.  Is there an organic cure to eradicate it?  I have even read that it can be fed to livestock.  Don't fancy it though, do you? We are just troubled with Montbretia, Creeping Buttercup, Brambles, Chickweed, Docks...?

I have been weeding with hand, bucket and trowel all week, weeding the paths and flower and veg gardens.  I was wondering  (weeding) if somebody could invent an organic spray weedkiller?  

Do you use weedkiller?  We some times spray the rushes in the fields.  But we wouldn't use chemicals near the veg plot. I have read that Glyphosphates are rendered harmless when they make contact with the soil, but I don't like them do you?

We don't use weed killers.  Not even on the paths around the houses.  I know the Victorian  gardeners at Heligan use to spread  and sweep sand on to the paths.  The sea salt kept the weeds away.  

I have read about vinegar being used for a natural weedkiller.  A lot of the commercial vegetable growers use weedkillers.  I was once in a farm centre in West Cork and a man asked for weedkiller to put on the weeds on his potato rows.  Would you use weed killer?  Am I being paranoid and could I be saving myself a lot of work?  

Please share your thoughts on using weed killers.  

In the words of Mrs Merton:  "Lets have a heated debate!"

Seriously: what do you think about using weedkiller?

15 comments:

  1. Hi Dave. In the garden and on the vegetable plot I never use weed killers. It's always hand weeding; I like to get close up. My knees are still good so kneeing is fine. Even with pernicious weeds like bind weed in my old place, I just kept up a war of attrition and attacked it as soon as I saw it poking its head up. Same with couch. We have a gravel drive and I do resort to weedkiller for that though just to keep on top of it.

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  2. Hi Phillip. You sound very similar to me regarding the none use of weedkillers. I once talked to a German organic grower who told me that during the last world war the government collected all domestic chemicals for the use of making bombs.. The people had to go back to using traditional and natural methods of feeding their fruit, vegetables and gardens. I have read that Glyphosphates can alter the white blood cells resulting in cancer. I once worked on a new golf course and the old farm land was sprayed with Round Up. Next morning we found a dead fox in the field. It put me off using chemicals on the garden. Makes me wonder if somebody like ICI could invent an organic weedkiller. Thanks Phillip for your thoughts!

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  3. Weedkiller? On his potato patch? Was the man a shingle short? Can't believe that vinegar would do much . You'd have to use an awful lot and probably ruin the soil.
    Keep pulling those weeds! Winter we have loads of weeds, clover which just about strangles everything if left but summer is too dry. Just get a few stalks around the plants we water but not much thank goodness.
    I'm not much of a Gardener but I do plant pumpkins which grow by themselves all over the place, mint likewise and lettuces, rocket and spring onions in the winter.

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  4. Thanks for your comment LA.
    I suppose apple vinegar rather than a chemical made vinegar (acetic acid) would make a natural weedkiller?

    A great deal of our shop bought vegetables are grown in soil sprayed with weed killers.

    I think Clove is a Legume. Meaning that it extracts Nitrogen from the air and lets it out through its roots. So if you dug the Clover in the soil you would have an excellent natural green manure. I have grown Mustard, strimmed it down and dug it into the soil.

    Good on you for growing vegetables LA. We don't grow a massive amount but it's a nice hobby and we get some great meals. Thanks!

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  5. I've had allotment plots for almost 10 years and have never used weedkiller on any of them. The old one was riddled with bindweed and brambles, the new ones have bindweed,couch grass and the dreaded mare's tail. We just dig out the roots, weed by hand and I do a lot of hoeing!

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    1. Hello Scarlet. Bindweed, couch grass and mares tail can be a gardeners nightmare. Good to read you don't kill them with weedkiller. Peat is very good for bringing their roots to the surface. Rotovators are great for making thousands of weed plants. Thanks for your comment.

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  6. I dont use weedkiller I do have a flame thrower thinghy that I use on hard standing areas around the house :-)

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    1. Hi Dawn. I have seen the flame throwers in Aldi and commercial ones. Never used one. Good idea. Thanks!

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  7. Homegrown fruit and vegetables - the joy of them is not using chemicals. Did you know that oranges are sprayed 25 times when growing to stop pests?

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    1. Hi Rachel. 25 times -yikes! I was told they spray oranges in Portugal to stop the birds eating them. We always wash our bought fruit first. Thanks!

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  8. I've never killed a weed in my life with weedkiller. Weedkiller is poison for many humans and also insects and animals. Bees in particular. When I ran near some vineyards, well it was actually a kind of college where they taught students about agriculture, someone with a tractor was spraying weedkiller or pesticide so that I had to run quickly by with my mouth closed, my eyes closed, my hand over my nose, and holding my breath for a long time. It could have been the death of me. Maybe they made solution a 100 times too strong. Who checks these things? Some people barely read. Yesterday a woman asked me what 1.20 said on a vending machine. It's no wonder there are so many cancers etc..

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    1. The vet diagnosed that our cat died from ingesting rat poison. She vomited a mouse. And 3 days later she was dead. Imagine the agony.

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    2. To many people reaching for the apparently easy solution all the time without thinking it through. Same in most aspects of life.

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    3. Thanks for your thoughts Gwil. I will keep on weeding with my trowel and hoes and leave the chemicals in the shops. Thanks!

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  9. I've used 5% vinegar. It works ok. ldc in Louisiana

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