Small boats of fire cover the ground

Sunday 14th was a beautiful morning. I cycled to the allotment listening to The Silver Mt. Zion’s Born into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward, frost covered the cowered plants, making everything twinkle in the sun. It was one of those magical mornings with no one around.


I broke ice sheets which had settled on the plastic sheeting and carpet that covers part of my plot. The ground was too cold and damp to continue removing couch grass and horsetail so I opted to give the plot a tidy. The idea is to remove as much weed now, then when what is left starts to appear through the soil, it gets removed instantly which will eventually deplete the roots of energy.

Cow manure covering some of the allotment
Frosted cow manure

I’ve also got a small sample of heritage wheat which I can grow this spring as an experiment to see if it’s ‘stronger’ than horsetail.

In the pile of cleared weeds, I collected the broad-leaved dock roots, which apparently, you can kill by drowning (emerging in water) or drying out. I’m going to put them in a black bin bag and seal until decomposed, then they can go in the compost heap. As they are meant to be a good source of selenium and zinc, it seems a shame to not find some way to return these minerals back to the plot. Garden Organic have good factsheets on dockhorsetail and couch grass.


I saw plenty of cats run across the allotment, thankfully, the local robin visited later in the day, its quite boisterous in a cute way and I think there’s definitely space for a bird table around here.

The flask of coffee was an instant pick me up along with a square of Mary Berry’s Sultana and Orange Cake.

Lastly, I scavenged for cardboard in the recycling bin and built the main path (which will be about 1m wide) a little further.

Cardboard laid down to create a path
Cardboard laid down to create a path

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