So it appears my last post was in March, ahem. Sorry about that. Despite appearances I have been busy digging and planting, the allotment has battled through the dry weather and it at last starting to produce food. This year has turned out to be incredibly busy; I changed jobs, went to Manchester, went to Dudley, went to Croatia, saw numerous friends and even managed to fit in a few concerts but despite this my allotment is relatively weed free. The reason is simple; my hoe.
Rarely mentioned, my hoe is quite simply my can't live without allotment tool (well ok, I need my fork and spade too, oh and I use my watering can a fair bit as well). Coming quite late in my purchases I finally had my "Ah Ha" moment a few weeks ago when a fellow allotmenter kindly offered to "Hoe up" a weedy area for me, I finally realised that waiting until I had time to dig the ground and clear the weeds properly was exactly where I was going wrong, everyone else is simply hoeing them down.
Oh course they come back, if it's hot and wet they'll be back before the day's out but it doesn't matter, clearing an area with a hoe is so quick and easy that you can whizz round and clear the worst of the weeds* in half an hour and if you persist, the weeds not only don't self-seed everywhere but are also weakened so when you do finally get around to digging them up the tangle of roots stands no chance.
So next time the ground is so dry you can't get a fork into it, or you're rushing to get home in time to feed to family reach for the hoe and enjoy the beautiful, if temporary, weed free allotment**.
* - Couch grass remains annoyingly resistant to my hoe
** - obviously I still have some weeds but compared to last year...well lets just say it's much better.