Monday, 12 March 2018

Ruddy Rushes.

I have been cutting rushes down with my petrol strimmer today.    Its good for the field but not for my back.  Last year was the wettest year in Ireland since records began.  Rushes love the wet and acidic Irish soil.  Amazingly their seed is said to be able to live in the soil for up to sixty years.

Weeds that grow in your field or garden are said to be an indicator of what the ground is like.  I think the land needs liming and possibly a few new land drains.  It doesn't help living on a very often windy peninsula.  I have topped them in the past but my tractor is currently being renovated and its too wet to think of putting machinery on the fields.  

I recently  talked to a Dairy farmer who sprays his rushes every year.  He told me that he never gets rid of them, 
its just a way of controlling them.  I think rushes aren't keen on lots of granulated fertilizer either.  

When I have been to Spain and Portugal I have never seen a single rush.  My dad used to plait rushes and make bull whips out of them.  I have also heard of them being used for rush lights and mats.  

How do you control rushes?  I have thought of buying a gas flame gun for pernicious weeds and rushes.  The idea is to not let them seed.  Its difficult though if neighbouring farmers don't control their rushes and they love the rain.  

Some people spray them with MPCA and with Roundup.  Do you think there should be organic weedkillers or perhaps you think all weedkillers should be banned?  One good thing about the EEC is the banning of so many harmful weedkillers and pesticides..

Your thoughts please?

17 comments:

  1. We get quite a lot of bull rushes here but they are confined to the ditches. I have never seen them grow in a field in a troublesome way. I love them and they remind me of my childhood when my father would come home from working outside all day and bring my mother an armful of them. The EU acted on erroneous figures recently and had to backtrack on one ban and it was found that the scientist had taken a bribe from the EU to give wrong figures.

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  2. We are plagued with soft rushes here in Ireland Rachel. I think it's because it's such a wet climate and we are on the Gulf Stream. I think the EEC have done a great job banning a lot of dangerous chemicals. Thanks!

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  3. Forgot to say: Wonderful memories of your father collecting the bullrushes.

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  4. I didnt realise rushes were a problem. Havent seen any around here. In fact i havent seen a bullrush in years. Too dry here i guess.
    Good luck getting rid of them

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  5. I have never seen them in Portugal either LA. Like most weeds they appear every year. Thanks!

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  6. Living in a town means if we want to see rushes we have to travel or go for walks along the canals. I do like to see rushes but didn't know they were such a problem.

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  7. Hi Valerie. Yes I use to like walking along canal towwpaths when I lived in England. The Rushes and brambles and Furze will take over the land when left to their own devices. Thanks!

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  8. In this respect I also have my doubts about the EU. Only a few months ago Bayer tried to take over Monsanto. Thankfully unsuccessfully this time, but I'm sure we've not heard the last of it. And don't forget CETA. That's in the mix - basically it's a back door.

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  9. I would like to know if the day will come when chemical farming is not allowed? I don't think we will see it do you? Thanks Gwil.

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    1. We definitely won't see it. Monoculture is the EU's way forward.

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    2. If you have that in your lifetime Dave the alternative will be starvation.

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    3. Organic or natural farming is nothing new. My grandfather use to collect seaweed, buy Guana and spread cow and horse manure. I have grown vegetables without man-made chemicals for over twenty years and you can buy organic veg for a reasonable price in Lidl. I do think they should get rid of weedkiller and pesticides.

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  10. They do seem to like grass and smallholders and allotment holders seem to be forgotten about wheen it comes to C.A.P. But I would still rather be in it than Brexit.

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  11. We have a few in a ditch alongside one of the roads here. Would love to pick a few of them to bring indoors to add to my dried grass arrangements, but the ditch is rather deep and wide. Have not seen any rushes anywhere else. They must be some around though, so shall keep my eyes open and maybe I shall come across some which would be easier to pick!

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  12. You must have very good drainage Vera. Every field I look in here seems to have clumps of soft rushes. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. The French are very good at housekeeping their countryside, which includes clean ditches and mown verges (including all country lanes)

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    2. It's good to read that the French mow their verges and clean their ditches Vera. Wish they did the same over here.




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