Why won’t these weeds die?!

Pootled down to the allotment this morning dragging the other half with me. I was worried that we may find ourselves with fewer chickens than yesterday – luckily the remaining seven were alive, kicking and extremely hungry.

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Whilst the other half cleaned out the coop and looked in vain for eggs (they really are a lazy bunch at the moment!), I tried them out with cooked potatoes left over from last night’s dinner. It went down a treat! So much so that I was able to sort out their usual food in peace – a real achievement considering I am usually fending off chickens right, left and centre!

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Next we grabbed our forks, gloves and weed buckets and headed down to the bottom plot to deal with the largest remaining section of weeds. I swear the weeds think it is mid July – they haven’t even started to slow down! Just as we started (the husband busy loosening the soil, me following behind pulling out the offending weeds), the work phone rang with an urgent request for the other half. Brilliantly however, and completely unknown to his colleague on the other end of the phone, he proceeded to continue to use a fork in one hand whilst holding a detailed work conversation into the phone in his other hand. Who says men can’t multitask?

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We finished nearly half the offending weedy area before stopping for an allotment lunch, one of our favourite things to do on a Saturday. A lunch of Angus beef burgers in ciabatta rolls, sitting outside the shed in the sunshine – bliss!

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After lunch it was back to the weeds, with redoubled determination which always follows a full stomach! We cleared the top section of the biggest bed enabling us to have more room to redesign the plot once clear.

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Barely pausing for breath, we cleaned out the quail coop – a quick job now that the quail can be shut in the outside part of their coop. We collected several eggs and refilled their dust bath. I use chinchilla dust and bath for them and they have great fun cleaning themselves in it. They dig a hole in the dust with their feet then sit in it and flap their wings to pull the dust up onto their bodies. It is hilarious but very hard to catch them at it – they must know how silly they look and be self conscious about it!

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Onward to dealing with the rat issue – earlier I found a massive dead rat on the main walkway through the plot. I called the other half and he arrived armed with a shovel to remove it. It seems like we are making progress with the rats on site! To discourage the pests temporarily, I have been all around the coop squashing their tunnels and moving the food bins to ensure the rats don’t constantly have easy access to whatever they wish to put their grubby paws on. I will speak to Cliff when he reappears in site and ask about rat poison, it seems the only way to get rid of them. Although the other half is quite keen on shooting them with his air rifle – if only we had it here.

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And so what will tomorrow bring? We plan to clear the remaining section of weeds on the bottom plot before discussing and reorganising the beds allowing room for the new greenhouse. Geoff swung by with a genius idea about asking the new people on site (one of whom is a landscape gardener) to help us build a base for the new shed as well as sourcing a new shed for us. He is a genius! Let’s hope they are on site tomorrow!

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4 thoughts on “Why won’t these weeds die?!

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  1. Love your blog. I am new to reading it and have some questions. Based on your spelling of words I take it that you are somewhere in the UK? What is an allotment? Is that like a community garden? Or is it a lot of land that you rent or own separate from the lot your home is located upon?
    And you have quail? Outstanding. Do you eat their eggs? Quite small aren’t they?
    Hailing from America…. Dan

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    1. Your guess is exactly right – I am based in Crewe (Cheshire, UK) hence the English spellings!

      An allotment garden is similar to a community garden in the USA. Each plot holder rents a part of the site to grow their own food and sometimes bring up small animals like chickens, ducks etc. Our allotment site is literally two minutes walk from our home.

      The quail we have are (I think!) Japanese quail which we inherited from another person on site. Their eggs are very small and considered a delicacy in the UK. Each quail can lay between 1-3 eggs a day although ours usually only lay one apiece. The birds themselves are fairly small, about the same size as your fist. Ours aren’t tame and don’t really like to be held but some people manage to tame them fairly well!

      Let me know if you have anymore questions – I will take some photos of the quail eggs and put them up for you to see!

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      1. When I was in high school a friend raised quail. He tamed them and held them. I saw the eggs but that was 40 years ago so it has been awhile! Thanks for the great reply. We have a community garden where I live but it is too far from my home to be practical and besides our back yard is large enough for a garden so I do not need it. I did get a plot one year but it was too difficult to drive there all the time. They only allow one to plant a garden, no animals allowed. I like your allotment better especially since it is a quick walk away.

        I look forward to more of your posts… as a side note I love to read things written in the UK because of the way you use the language. You would never see “whilst” written here, or at least it would be very rare. I love that you use words like that and the over all elegant way you use the language. Happy gardening…. Dan

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      2. Thank you for your flattering comments – I shall endeavour not to descend too deep into the fanciful world of the quirkiness of the English language as I suspect I may loose readers, including the English!

        I am in the process of trying to upload little video clips to this blog to make it a bit more interesting for everyone.

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