Yesterday I poured weedkiller all over my allotment. I had been in a quandary about it, because I didn't really want to use excessive chemicals, and I don't really think it was getting off to the best start by beginning with chemical deforestation. I reached this difficult decisions after consulting some of the more experienced guys down at the allotment, ad referring to Mr Alan Titchmarch, no less, who recommends using a weedkiller like Roundup in his book, but just once, to clear an area, and then in future he uses a chemical free gardening technique. That said, there are advantages to using weed killer at this early stay. The weed killer I have used does not stay in the soil, and it is safe to plant into it in just three weeks. This way I can be sure that the plants and roots of the weeds are destroyed. Rotavating a weed-ridden patch will only propagate them further, making the problem much worse in the future. I suppose I could have dug them out, but that would have taken ages, and I would have missed the beginning of the growing season. The only other method is to cover the whole area in thick black plastic or old carpet and wait for two years for all the weeds to die. And I am way too impatient for that.
I know I will get disapproving looks from some of the organic gardeners, and I do feel suitably guilty about what I have done, but it is done now, and I stand by my decision. The only thing I can say to them is that I promise, in future, to use as few chemicals as possible.
This is a picture of my Mum and Dad, and our cat Rusty, inspecting our allotment. They don't look to impressed.
- ▼ 2009 (17)