Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Phew, that was hard work.

Many apologies for the lack of posts over the last week or so. Life has been hectic in the kitchen lately due to a combination of ill children, a small child deciding she's not dry at night time after all which resulted in a series of 3am wake up calls and a stag weekend closely followed by a hen weekend. The end result was the reduction of a formerly robust human being (ie me) to a mere husk, wont to seizing child free afternoons as an opportunity to nap rather than blog.

But now, the hangovers have been slept off, the germs have been banished, nappies have been bought (much to my frustration), smallest daughter is slathered in sun cream and is frolicking outdoors in the sun while brandishing a gushing hosepipe so here I am again.

I'm pleased to say that Norfolk Kitchen has been mentioned on the EDP's new 'Norfolk Food Blogs' list. I'm disproportionately excited about it, so "Hello!" to any new followers.

I've just about managed to keep the allotment watered and reasonably healthy but the weeds are on the verge of getting out of control. Horsetail is rife in one corner of the plot which isn't as bad as it could be to be honest. Our allotment site was left derelict and grew wild for almost a decade so the perennial weeds have a real strangle hold, some other plots are almost carpeted in horsetail so I'm quite fortunate in comparison. It's horribly depressing though, to be continually digging it up, only for it to reappear what feels like seconds later. I've tried weedkiller on some bits (away from crops obviously) but all that happens is the end looks a bit singed but the rest of the plant soldiers on like a wounded horror film villain.

There's not much else going on in the affected corner, as the raspberries failed I'm left with just 3 redcurrant bushes. I'm wondering whether to isolate the area and cover it with carpet or similar for a year or so, though I wonder whether horsetail would survive even that. Another option could be to weedkiller the whole area thoroughly, though I'm not sure how far away from the redcurrants I'd have to stay to avoid killing them too.

I'd love to hear any other horsetail stories, is it possible to beat it or am I stuck with it now?


  1. Congratulations on getting a mention in EDP. I think it might be against the law to beat horsetail, someone might report you for cruelty to horsetail weeds.

  2. Fortunately I've never had to deal with horsetail but at the end of my plot where the weeds took more of my time than the whole of the plot put together I put some rough ground cover down and then graveled it....Yes quite costly tom start out but I haven't had to weed since....once it was done I just parted the gravel, cut cross marks in the ground cover and planted fruit bushes and trees...they are doing really well and the area is very low maintenance. You could do something to this effect without buying gravel....maybe you could fill it up with stones off your plot.....carpet works but can put stuff into the ground you really don't want there.....nice to see you blogging again and congrats on the mention.

  3. Yes, I've been wondering if some sort of thick mulch would work, I seem to remember reading something about 'lazy beds' which involves layering up straw, cardboard and horse muck. I'll have to research it a bit.

  4. I had a couple of years dealing with Horsetail....we just kept digging it up as much as possible - I think its a long term battle.
    There was a membrane with bark chips on top - it still kept growing under that making lumps in the membrane.

    I'm now in a different property fighting ground elder on a much larger scale & seem to be losing:(

  5. Noooooooo!!!!! :( digging it out is a losing game atm, it's springing back up really quickly and the rock hard clay soil makes digging hard work.

  6. Try speaking to a local farmer and seeing if you can buy or scrounge some Roundup from them. The agricultural stuff is totally different to the stuff you buy in garden centres. When I did some work on a farm in the past, we used "weed wipers" to spot treat potatoes re-emerging within a bean crop, so it's presumably reasonably safe, even within food crops. If you can get some, brushing it directly onto the growth at a strong concentration should hopefully do the trick. Potatoes used to visibly wilt before the end of the same day.