Friday, October 30, 2015

The Bonfire of the Bishop's Weeds

Third bonfire in a week. This one was on top of the ground elder root infested spoil from the Mysterious Mound. I raked the whole SW area closely, and, whilst I surely haven't cleared it of ground elder, I've given it a serious setback. For the spring, I plan to get a strong solution of glyphosate in, say, a perfume bottle, and spray each individual plant, close up, as it shows itself. I've got a feeling that the root systems are so massive, a single spraying of glyphosate won't kill the whole plant, and enough of the root will survive to put out new shoots, but I'm hoping it must give up the ghost after several doses. 

Most of this area, let's call it the SW bed, was under a sea of 4ft high nettles and thistles. I've had a go at the ground with the HDGH. There's a thick carapace of roots from the nettles. What I've learned about them is, they pull up quite easily, but that's deceptive because they leave most of their roots behind. With the hoe, I was pulling up root systems, which in the twilight and the glow of the bonfire, looked like aliens. They went straight on the fire. 

But the good news is, the soil itself in this area is lovely and loamy. It seems a pity to stand a shed on it, which was the original plan for the SW corner. Maybe the shed could go on the SE side, on top of the old midden? And there's still the question of the pond or ponds on the old greenhouse area... 

Also last night, I took the heads of about ten borage and the same phacelia, and put them in a bag, (the sort you use to put presents in), in be-hopes of getting some seeds for next year. And I've ordered a sickle on eBay. That's to cut down the rest of the phacelia in the next week or so. I thought the bees had given up on it, but there were three very dark honeybees on the phacelia yesterday afternoon. I know I'm going to get loads of volunteers next year if I compost the phacelia and borage, but I can live with a random pollinator magnet or two around the place.