Week 58 – Baby Bindweed

We’ve had much better weather this week – we even managed a couple of sunny days.

Unfortunately, I’ve started to feel a bit overwhelmed by my plot. It feels like there are weeds everywhere that I can never get on top of and it’s in more of a mess now than it was when I took it on. I fleetingly considered if I should walk away and let someone else have the plot but then I remembered all the flippin work I’ve done and there’s no way I’m just going to hand that over to someone else! As it turned out all I actually needed was a swift kick up the behind (metaphorically speaking) to make me just get on with it.

On Tuesday, after college I took my 2 helpers to the allotment as usual. Earlier that day I’d picked up a couple of bags of compost and some plants with plans to replant the wheelbarrow. However, when we emptied the wheelbarrow I remembered I hadn’t drilled any drainage holes in it before I planted it last year and didn’t want to make the same mistake again (I’m looking forward to making lots of new ones!) so we had to abandon that idea. (I’ll need to borrow my friend’s cordless drill again) Instead, the 3 of us just pottered (and ate Minstrels…and took silly selfies!)

 

While we were there the neighbours put the fence back up. The lady came out into her garden holding her dog and watched while 2 men manouvered the fence panel back into position. The neighbour and I waved and said a cheery hello before the fence was back up – always good to make friends with the neighbours.

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Thursday was World Down’s Syndrome Awareness Day – a day to celebrate everything wonderful about Down’s Syndrome. Louis and I both wore our odd socks – Louis has really odd socks on, one from this year and one from a previous year because he wore the newest odd pair to college last week and when we went to put them on we could only find one. We wear odd socks because people with Down’s Syndrome have an extra chromosome on their 21st pair and chromsomes have an uncanny resemblance to socks, and odd to acknowledge and celebrate our differences. I held a coffee morning at home. We raised £100 on the day and I’ve had a few donation from friends and family who couldn’t make it to the coffee morning which takes the total to around £150, all of which will go to the Down’s Syndrome Assocation. Thank you to everyone who donated.

 

I popped down to the plot on Friday – this was the day I felt most overwhelmed by all the weeds. Where the fruit tree tubs are just seemed to be completely overgrown with weeds – mostly bindweed (of course) and it just looked like such a huge job to clear it I couldn’t imagine ever reaching the end. The only thing I could think to do was to move the fruit tree tubs so I would have at least a fighting chance of tackling the weeds. However, before I could move them I had to make space for them elsewhere on the plot. A while back when Michelle and I were digging in the extension area we came across what we assumed was the start of a foundation for a shed or greenhouse – a small patch of flat concrete. At the time Michelle suggested it would be a good spot for the fruit tree tubs. I agreed with her but hadn’t got round to relocating the tubs yet. This seemed like a good time to move them into, what will hopefully be their permanent home but I had to clear the area a bit before I could move them.

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You may remember I came across some spring bulbs in that corner the last time I worked on the extension and I had to dig them up and replant them in order to remove some bindweed which had grown near them. The poor things have been moved again. They would have been completely blocked by the tubs so I’ve moved them next to the shed where I’ll be able to appreciate them a lot more – assuming they survive their moving ordeal. I’m looking forward to some much needed colour at the part of the plot I spend most of my time.

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After I’d moved the tubs (only 2 fitted on the cleared concrete, the 3rd tub is just hanging around the extension area like a bored teenager!) I set to work on the bindweed with the shears. I realise cutting it back is not going to solve the problem long term but I felt this was the most efficient option for the time being until I have enough time to weed it properly.

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I came away feeling completely deflated, worried I’d taken on too much, concerned the plot is just one big mess with weeds and rubbish strewn everywhere and thinking I should have left some of it covered until next year when I would have more experience (catastrophic thinker?Me? Nah!)

I met Michelle on the plot on Sunday morning and explained how I was feeling and before I knew it she was on my plot with a fork and a bucket helping me to weed. To be completely fair to Michelle, she did way more than me – she weeded most of the area we covered because she is so much faster at weeding than I am! As it turned out, the bindweed wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Michelle explained because I’d weeded the whole plot last year most of this bindweed is new (Baby Bindweed!) with much shallower roots, hence easier to dig out. We spent just over an hour on the onion beds near the shed – they looked so much better when we’d finished. Massive thank you to Michelle for, not only helping me weed but for giving me the kick up the arse I needed to just get on with it. Can you spot Louis’ Alliums?!

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After we’d finished weeding I bagged up the wood ready for the tip next week and Michelle and I went to the local garden centre where I treated her to a scone and a cuppa as a thank you.

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This is how I’ve left the plot this week, still messy but at least I haven’t completely left (or lost) the plot this week which was a definite possibility earlier in the week! Plan for next week is to take the bags of wood to the tip and clear the rest of the bindweed (now I know it’s not as bad as I first thought)

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5 thoughts on “Week 58 – Baby Bindweed

  1. You can always still cover a section or plant a cover crop if you feel you’ve taken on too much to tend this summer. Don’t give up your plot, just cut back the area requiring care if need be.

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  2. Thank you Carolee. Luckily the feeling of giving up was only fleeting. I thought about re-covering some of the plot but now Michelle has shown me the bindweed isn’t as bad as I thought I think it will be ok but I’ll bear it in mind if it feels too much.

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      1. That applies to almost any weed. Bind weed is a serious challenge. I was able to get rid of almost all of it rather easily, but there were a few that would not die for years, and some STILL grows out of expansion joints in the concrete.

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