Manchester Drive Forest Garden Project


The purpose of this blog is to document the development of the forest garden project that I have been setting up at Manchester Drive allotment site in Leigh on Sea, Essex, as well as any other random permacultural (or not) rambling thoughts that might happen to stray from my brain. I hope you enjoy it or better still, feel inspired to start your own edible food forest!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bramble attack..

Spent about 3 hours this afternoon down at the forest garden attacking the brambles- the third (or is it fourth??) such session over the last few weeks. basically the whole plot had been over whelmed over the last year due a lack of attention, and the brambles had certainly gotten the upper hand, engulfing many of the fruit trees, and making the paths totally inpenetrable. I'd previously slashed back alot of the bramble growth with the Chillington grass slasher, but as I hadn't actually tackled the roots it had simply returned with a vengeance while I'd been away.

But I have a new tool in the armoury now, a proper 'fuck off' mattock that I recently obtained from the BTCV catalogue. I'd checked out a few local garden centres for such an item with no luck, then made a request on Westcliff Freecycle in case anybody had one kicking about they didn't want any more. The only response was from good old Keith Baxter of the Famous Potatoes who offered to lend me one, but by now I had it in my head that I wanted to OWN one... I was chatting to my friend Adrian, a ex Southend lad, fellow Naturewise permaculture teacher and green woodsman who runs Wholewoods about this, again he offered a loan, but this would have meant carting the thing from, then back, to London on the train which didn't appeal, he did however loan me his BTCV catalogue which had exactly the thing I wanted. Unfortunately (or not..) the catalogue also has a really excelent plants section, so also ended up ordering quite a few trees and bushes for the forest garden, mainly wild cherrys, wild plums, bullaces, Sea Buckthorne, hazel, some wild roses, etc, etc. unfortunately I'm a sucker for a plant catalogue... AND I ordered a couple of the BTCV handbooks, the one on Woodlands and the one on Urban projects, which I have to say are excelent. the woodlands one is extremely comprehensive.

So anyway, the new trees are all bundled up and heeled in, ready to plant out just as soon as the bramble clearance is completed and provided the soil isn't too frozen solid, and the mattock has been brilliant for grubbing out the bramble roots, which has been really satisfying and hopefully a more permanent solution than just slashing back the top growth.

The only down side was having that bloody awful '9 to 5' song by Sheena Easton running through my head while I was working, due to a discussion I'd been involved in on the Idler message board earlier in the day; "He works all day, to earn his pay, so we can play, at night..."- so what is "his" job he "Takes the morning train" to??? Arms trader? Vivisectionist? Stockbroker? Sad little office clerk??? These I'm afraid were the thoughts that swam through my sad brain whilst the bramble roots were disapperaing 10 to the dozen! actually another downside was that i took my camera down to the plot hoping to get a few snow shots, but the batteries were flat- but if we get the promised/threatened snowstorms over the next few days maybe I'll be able to stuggle down and get a few 'Narnia' style pics...

At the moment I feel really on top of the project, its like I'm entering 'phase 2' now, especially once all the new wild fruit stock is in.

I also got this blog up and running as well, something I've been meaning to do for a long time, and it was quite interesting to retrieve the old Yahoo groups post below to see my 'summer attitudes'...

3 Comments:

At 11:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

 
At 12:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
http://home-gardening.blogspot.com/
If you have any good tips please post them on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,
Stan
http://yourebooksuperstore.com/vegetable/

 
At 3:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was out bloigging and found your site. It certainlhy got my attention and interest. I was looking for Chair information and even though this isn't a perfect match I enjoyed your site. Thanks for the read!

 

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