Saturday, May 14, 2016

Getting Down & Dirty With Maris Peer

I weeded the tattie patch last week with the hoe, but there's nothing quite like getting right in amongst it, squatting on the planting board and going to it with the trowel. It's important in this part of the garden, because apart from the usual ground elder, there are a couple of horsetails showing their carboniferous faces in this part of the plot. My first ever allotment on Pig Sty Avenue was wick (as we say in Jarrow) with them. The only way to keep them in check is to try to get all of their unbelievably long root out, (usually impossible, it seems to go down several feet), and keep at them every time they appear. They WILL come back from the root, but the trick is to not let them mature, because they also propagate by spores, and if that happens you're in a Japanese knotweed kind of situation.

That's comfrey in the foreground. I'm planning to edge all the paths with it. Every allotment needs plenty of comfrey, and it seemed like a good idea to let it, and not the weeds, have the exclusive benefit of the path-edge effect.

These 5 rows of maris peer were planted on Good Friday, but are just coming into their own, now. Remember, these were just regular supermarket tatties from Lidl, not "seed" potatoes at 4 or 5 times the price per kilo. The rest of this bed needs dug over in the next few days for the main crop, and I'm going to give Lidl another go, see what they have.