Death to Dandelions. The upside of staying put.

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oldtimer

Full Member
Another thread discussing raised beds interested me greatly. This year, although not really a keen gardener, I'm following the Homestead thread with heightened interest.

OK, I know dandelions are a valuable resource but it is possible to have too much of good thing. If anyone wants dandelions for wine, salads or root coffee, they are very welcome to as much as they like, but only on a pick-your-own basis. Our vegetable plot is bordered by a water meadow used for hay and occasional sheep grazing. It was flooded this year for longer than anyone in the village can remember but has recovered quickly with lush grass and also with more dandelions than I have seen in the ten years we have lived here. I've spent the last two days trying to root out the pests just from the paths of my vegetable plot although the raised beds help to limit the spread to the vegetable plots. The neighbours and I fight a seasonal war against the invasion of our plots from this yellow peril.

Lest I be accused of speciesism, I hasten to admit that many other weeds give me grief too. The main reason for this is that I plant vegetables then clear off to France for the summer only to return in the autumn to a rich crop of thistles, chickweed ground elder and dandelions relieved only by bolted salad plants with a few stunted beans and beetroots if the rain has watered them enough. Why do weeds thrive whatever the weather while food plants have to be petted and cossetted? This year, with lockdown, I expect to spend much of the growing season tending the plants I want to thrive and eliminating the weeds.

My next door neighbour and I were discussing all this this morning. He has given up vegetable growing having left his father's plot to revert to woodland and concentrates on giving his lawn a quick mow then sitting on his patio for the rest of the day sunbathing with a cold drink while watching me weeding.

" I'm afraid this year I can't offer you the usual invitation to pick any ripe vegetables while we are away in France," I told him.
"Never mind," he replied, a bit ungraciously I thought, " I've never managed to get any because I've never been able to get through the weeds!"
It's a pity the local is not open or I could have refused to buy him a pint.

We do all agree round here, over the hedge at a distance of more than two metres, that we are fortunate in being able to work in our gardens and grow our own food during the present crisis. I know that many are not so fortunate. I imagine with horror the situation of those confined to a gardenless flat in an inner-city high-rise. I know from posts I have read on the Forum that some members are in this position. I sincerely sympathise and hope you can hold on to you sanity by following the up-beat posts and photographs published here. It will come to an end. Stay healthy!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,643
1,736
S. Lanarkshire
I see your dandelions and I raise you Lesser Celandines.
I have been rooting them out for two days. I know they're edible, an occasional munchy, and they're pretty, and bright and cheery, but they are rapdily taking over every flower and herb bed that I have.

I am minded of the old poem about, 'I'm a weed, I'm a weed, one of the old untameable breed,' that ends with, "I won't ask for pardon, but when you're all dead, I'll take over the garden"..... aye, mine are trying hard though I'm still living :rolleyes:
Right now lesser celandines are out competing the dandelions by a factor of at least a hundred.

You stay healthy too :) we'd miss your company :)
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,368
2,560
Mid Wales
I see your dandelions and I raise you Lesser Celandines.
I have been rooting them out for two days. I know they're edible, an occasional munchy, and they're pretty, and bright and cheery, but they are rapdily taking over every flower and herb bed that I have.

I am minded of the old poem about, 'I'm a weed, I'm a weed, one of the old untameable breed,' that ends with, "I won't ask for pardon, but when you're all dead, I'll take over the garden"..... aye, mine are trying hard though I'm still living :rolleyes:
Right now lesser celandines are out competing the dandelions by a factor of at least a hundred.

You stay healthy too :) we'd miss your company :)
Is this a particularly good year for celandines? They seem to be everywhere!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,643
1,736
S. Lanarkshire
I thought it was just my garden that they were taking over. I haven't been past the garden gate for (just checked the calendar) 30 days. That said, the woodland along side my gable fence line looks pretty yellow with them too.

It's been very dry, and relatively bright, maybe that's encouraging them ?

M
 
Another thread discussing raised beds interested me greatly. This year, although not really a keen gardener, I'm following the Homestead thread with heightened interest.

OK, I know dandelions are a valuable resource but it is possible to have too much of good thing. If anyone wants dandelions for wine, salads or root coffee, they are very welcome to as much as they like, but only on a pick-your-own basis. Our vegetable plot is bordered by a water meadow used for hay and occasional sheep grazing. It was flooded this year for longer than anyone in the village can remember but has recovered quickly with lush grass and also with more dandelions than I have seen in the ten years we have lived here. I've spent the last two days trying to root out the pests just from the paths of my vegetable plot although the raised beds help to limit the spread to the vegetable plots. The neighbours and I fight a seasonal war against the invasion of our plots from this yellow peril.

Lest I be accused of speciesism, I hasten to admit that many other weeds give me grief too. The main reason for this is that I plant vegetables then clear off to France for the summer only to return in the autumn to a rich crop of thistles, chickweed ground elder and dandelions relieved only by bolted salad plants with a few stunted beans and beetroots if the rain has watered them enough. Why do weeds thrive whatever the weather while food plants have to be petted and cossetted? This year, with lockdown, I expect to spend much of the growing season tending the plants I want to thrive and eliminating the weeds.

My next door neighbour and I were discussing all this this morning. He has given up vegetable growing having left his father's plot to revert to woodland and concentrates on giving his lawn a quick mow then sitting on his patio for the rest of the day sunbathing with a cold drink while watching me weeding.

" I'm afraid this year I can't offer you the usual invitation to pick any ripe vegetables while we are away in France," I told him.
"Never mind," he replied, a bit ungraciously I thought, " I've never managed to get any because I've never been able to get through the weeds!"
It's a pity the local is not open or I could have refused to buy him a pint.

We do all agree round here, over the hedge at a distance of more than two metres, that we are fortunate in being able to work in our gardens and grow our own food during the present crisis. I know that many are not so fortunate. I imagine with horror the situation of those confined to a gardenless flat in an inner-city high-rise. I know from posts I have read on the Forum that some members are in this position. I sincerely sympathise and hope you can hold on to you sanity by following the up-beat posts and photographs published here. It will come to an end. Stay healthy!
Well I have to admit that I encourage the growth of dandelions & nettles as a food source, one never knows when one may have to rely on them as the only food you have!
Regards, Keith.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,380
1,451
McBride, BC
I've got dandelions over the old veg garden plot the size of Romaine lettuce. Mow them down, more flowers next week.
I'm a firm believer in trying to provide nectar-producing flowers for the sake of our wild bee species.
The dandelions are important and so are lupines (outside the 50' back fence, perennials.)

If you live in a flat, container gardening is the way to go. Green onions, even carrots. All kinds of herbs.
You want ginger like green onion? Plant store-bought ginger root = 48" grassy looking condiment in your lounge window.
I've just replaced mine, they get "tired after a few years". Best sprout is 5" tall already. Fine dice the ginger-tasting leaves with scissors.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,365
595
Lancashire
Couch grass so deep I lost a foot in soil height when I got it out. I got an allotment plot that the allotment the previous owner hadn't tended for over a year. That would have been enough to kick them out but another plot holder rotorvated the plot to leave bare soil.

Anyway I spent a lot of backbreaking time clearing it and planting seeds. I went away for two weeks and the kale and chard bolted. The rest was weeds. Seriously. It had been dry for weeks before and I had been watering with a massive water container brought from home because the site had no water supply. Nothing grew much in those weeks. Then we had a week b of rain and chaos ensued.

The worst thing was an allotment worthy had taken a dislike to me. So I they used thoseb two weeks as an excuse to kick me out!!! The previous tenants they did nothing but me they applied rules based on two weeks of rain when I was away and the obvious growth that caused. It was totally down to the miserable, middle aged man who took a dislike to me.

He often blocked the access paths between his two plots I used to get to my plot. Plus other petty things. He was the idiot who rotorvated my plot that obviously had couch grass in it. You don't rotorvate couch grass. Anyway I got a freezer full of gooseberries, blackcurrants and rhubarb. They were in the plot already and once I'd uncovered them from the bindweed and other weeds that had completely covered them, they really gave a good crop. One seasons worth.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,365
595
Lancashire
He had two full plots. They subdivided plots due to demand so he had 4 times my plot and at the better end of the allotment.

Still, I had turned down a full sized plot earlier that year. It had a pigeon loft on it and no space to grow anything. They allowed me that pass without knocking me off the now 28 long waiting list!!!
 

oldtimer

Full Member
I made this awful blunder on the first allotment I ever had. It had been left derelict and I had the bright idea of hiring a rotovator and neatly chopped up all the roots of the couchgrass some they could happily multiply.
The other problem was trying to run an allotment and a job. When I had a weekend free it was raining and when the weather was ideal, I was at work. All the old boys who had beautiful, well-tended and productive plots were retired and spent mot of their working hours tending them. I went before they threw me out.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,365
595
Lancashire
Sounds like my situation except someone else did the rotovatore thing leaving enough time for it to grow thicker before I got there. Seriously they wanted banning from allotments for that!

I was living on my own and balancing work, play in the hills / rivers, allotment and being knackered.i was often busy at the weekend and you really can't clear a site of foot deep couch grass quickly. Hard work that you couldn't keep up for hours at a time. I got it cleared apart from a small corner, planted and ready for cropping. It was a dry spell so nothing really grew and it's not easy watering when you've got a water container filled with water from home as your only n supply. I had my usual, annual may/June wildcamping trip with mates in Scotland for one or two weeks during which home had rain. Then it was very heavy rain for my first week back. So 3 weeks without attention and it was overgrown with bolted greens and weeds.in cleared n it all up and then thought I'd give it up. Before I'd told the organiser they'd voted to kick me out. They'd handed it over to someone else before even telling me I'd lost it. Not kidding they were a bunch of rude word deleted!!!

Best out of it and I had a very good summer getting into the hills a lot and even finished the Wainwright's that year. Plus my first 30 plus Wainwright's in one weekend in a group charity thing for MRTs. So I'm not totally narked about the allotment.

Btw I had emailed my councillor prior to getting offered a plot. If councils get 5 or more letters or emails asking for allotments then they've got to by law consider or discuss how to do that. There's certainly a need for more sites locally. Lists waste generally into double figures n for plots with local allotments.
 

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,109
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Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
My kids love dandelions, they get a penny for every 2 they pick so that's pocket money for them, although the fun definitely wanes as they get older :D
 

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,109
677
49
Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
ha ha, we mow as well so they need to get out there or the opportunity is lost!

Saying that, our Mower just died and the parts company is shut for the lockdown so we're a bit scuppered.... Maybe they will bankrupt us!