What's your worst weed? Sept 28, 2018 8:43:43 GMT
Post by murrayc on Sept 28, 2018 8:43:43 GMT
Coming to the end of this extraordinarily varied growing season I have been clearing my plot of weeds that have sprung up since the end of the hot spell and in particular in the potato rows and onion beds where the soil has been loose and easy for them to take hold. Fat hen and milk thistle are easy enough to clear and compost well, dandelions and deeper rooted thistles I have bagged up and taken away from the site. But the most persistent and therefore the biggest volume of all the stuff that I have taken to the tip for heating and composting - at least 12 bin bags so far - are of two kinds, both pernicious in different ways.
Redshank or persicaria maculosia is a pink spired, sprawling plant with bare red stems and a habit of spreading a carpet of roots. It isn't greatly harmful to people or plants, but it spreads at an astonishing rate and if it isn't uprooted and disposed of completely at this time of year it will come back in force next April. Don't compost it: it will only lay dormant and when it flowers next your plot neighbours will curse you for making them an unwelcome present as it takes over their producive spaces.
Although much less prolific than the reshank I've been quite alarmed this summer to find quite a number of these members of the nightshade family. They could be solanum nigrum (white nightshade) or possibly solanum douglasii white nightshade).I haven't waited till the berries have formed, which would tell the correct identity, but in neither case are they wanted on the plot. Berries are usually quite toxic and the sap can also cause reactions. I have dug each one out carefully and taken off ther plot.
My advice to others is if you see something like these on your plot, get rid of it now. Covering over with membrane is no guarantee that the plant will die.