Monday 21 July 2014

A Happy Hopper and a Hoe Hoe Hoe

It's amazing how quickly a deserted, abandoneed plot can begin to take shape, the simple act of clearing a few meters of weeds and planting the cleared area made it look much better.

The next task was to tackle the long grass and ground weeds...

Cutting back the long grass was harder than I had anticipated, the hot sun had dried out the top inch or two, but underneath was still very wet, soggy and extremely tricky to cut, this was not the only unexpected problem... Every time I cut or removed the grass it continued to move long after I had stopped.

A quick inspection revealed not only hundreds of the biggest, fattest and ugliest slugs I had ever encountered, but a number of other inhabitants that were far more welcome.

Lizard                                                                  Frog                                                                 Slow worm
Along side a very friendly frog and several slow worms we have a small brown lizard, which was quite unexpected, but great to see... On every visit to the allotment to date we have seen the frogs and slow worms, but the lizard is far more elusive, showing himself just twice...

During the time spent clearing the worst of the site, a number of fellow allotment holders have stopped to chat and see how the we are getting on, but consistantly tell me that its faster and easier to strim or rotivate the site. I wonder how much some people know about gardening... I am not a complete novice, but even I know the benfits of not doing so.

Getting your hands into the weeds, soil and environment allows you to connect with the land, find out what you are dealing with at a much more personal level. Knowing what is growing is paramount to being able to plan your clearance strategy and with so many maretails / horsetails on the plot the last thing I need is a rotivator as this would rip the roots into tiny pieces, each of which would regrow making the problem infinately more difficult.

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