Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Tues: brambles....

... blood, guts and gore everywhere. Well, blood everywhere, at any rate. Today I spent most of the morning scrambling around on what we call The Grand Bank, attacking brambles. Or rather, being attacked by brambles. And there's still a lot more to do...

..but, great news, I was greeted by happy smiling faces and "We did the bonfire!"  Sure enough, the massive bonfire pile was mostly gone, and this means I get a pile of ash with which to fill in the steps up to the bonfire plateau. Ash, and the soil underneath the ash, is great stuff for packing out earthern steps in gardens, as it's sterlised, so you don't get masses of weeds springing from it. So, a quick ten minutes with the spade doing that, then a couple of hours doing my best to re-fill the bonfire heap with brambles and pampas grass.

I'm thinking I might add Pampas to the list of Plants Hated By Gardeners: the proper name for pampas is Cortadera, and apparently that means "sword" in Spanish. Yes, I can see why, said she, dripping liberally from any number of saw-toothed slashes on the arms....

But enough of that, we have a question:

"Can I plant veg after using weed killer on the ground?"

This is a good question: put simply, it depends on what type of weed killer you used.

Without going into a long lecture about the different types of weedkiller, the simplest way is to look on the pack of the weedkiller you used, and read the small print until you find out what the active ingredient is.

If the weedkiller contains Glyphosate - brand names include "Round-Up" - then you are safe to plant veg, as Glyphosate is inactivated once it makes contact with soil.

If you used a defoliant such as Paraquat, or Diquat - brand names include "Weedol" -, then you will be ok to plant veg once you have removed all the dead foliage. Personally I would advise you to wait a couple of weeks, remove all dead foliage, then dig over the top layer of the soil.

Finally, if you used a "residual" weedkiller such as Pathclear then you cannot plant veg, or anything else for that matter, as it stays in the soil for 3-6 months, killing all seeds. 



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