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BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction

Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 17 - 02:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jul 17 - 03:04 PM
Helen 02 Jul 17 - 03:28 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jul 17 - 03:48 PM
FreddyHeadey 02 Jul 17 - 03:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jul 17 - 04:26 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jul 17 - 05:55 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jul 17 - 06:15 PM
leeneia 02 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 03:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jul 17 - 04:28 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 05:06 AM
Michael 03 Jul 17 - 05:09 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 05:38 AM
Raggytash 03 Jul 17 - 06:14 AM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 06:22 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 06:40 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 06:56 AM
FreddyHeadey 03 Jul 17 - 07:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jul 17 - 07:53 AM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 07:53 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 08:03 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 08:30 AM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 08:33 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 08:54 AM
Donuel 03 Jul 17 - 09:11 AM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 10:52 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 11:46 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Jul 17 - 12:05 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Jul 17 - 06:27 PM
Senoufou 03 Jul 17 - 06:40 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Jul 17 - 06:54 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Jul 17 - 04:04 AM
Iains 04 Jul 17 - 04:42 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jul 17 - 05:25 AM
Iains 04 Jul 17 - 06:03 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Jul 17 - 06:17 AM
Iains 04 Jul 17 - 07:04 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Jul 17 - 07:08 AM
Senoufou 04 Jul 17 - 07:18 AM
Raggytash 04 Jul 17 - 07:26 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jul 17 - 07:27 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Jul 17 - 07:31 AM
Senoufou 04 Jul 17 - 07:37 AM
Senoufou 04 Jul 17 - 07:52 AM
Iains 04 Jul 17 - 08:41 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jul 17 - 08:46 AM
Jon Freeman 04 Jul 17 - 09:18 AM
Iains 04 Jul 17 - 10:40 AM
Jack Campin 04 Jul 17 - 11:00 AM
Senoufou 05 Jul 17 - 09:16 AM
Raggytash 05 Jul 17 - 09:33 AM
Jon Freeman 05 Jul 17 - 09:35 AM
Senoufou 05 Jul 17 - 02:01 PM
Joe Offer 05 Jul 17 - 02:51 PM
Raggytash 05 Jul 17 - 04:07 PM
leeneia 06 Jul 17 - 12:12 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jul 17 - 08:46 AM
Senoufou 07 Jul 17 - 09:00 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jul 17 - 10:06 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jul 17 - 10:08 AM
Senoufou 07 Jul 17 - 11:19 AM
Jack Campin 07 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jul 17 - 01:02 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jul 17 - 12:00 PM
Senoufou 12 Jul 17 - 03:40 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 05:33 AM
Senoufou 13 Jul 17 - 07:14 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 08:07 AM
Senoufou 13 Jul 17 - 09:02 AM
Senoufou 13 Jul 17 - 09:16 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 09:30 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 09:47 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 09:50 AM
leeneia 13 Jul 17 - 11:00 AM
Bill D 13 Jul 17 - 11:35 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 03:47 PM
Senoufou 13 Jul 17 - 04:02 PM
Bill D 13 Jul 17 - 04:52 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Jul 17 - 05:11 PM
gnu 13 Jul 17 - 05:26 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jul 17 - 11:35 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Jul 17 - 08:32 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 17 - 10:58 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Jul 17 - 11:37 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 17 - 11:48 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 17 Jul 17 - 05:16 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Jul 17 - 05:27 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 17 - 05:29 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Jul 17 - 05:48 AM
Senoufou 17 Jul 17 - 06:26 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 17 - 06:35 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Jul 17 - 06:40 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 17 - 06:43 AM
Senoufou 17 Jul 17 - 06:47 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 17 - 07:00 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Jul 17 - 07:06 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 17 - 07:11 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Jul 17 - 07:25 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Jul 17 - 07:10 PM
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Subject: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 02:49 PM

Mrs G has always done the weeding in our garden so to give her poor back a rest I bought her a long stemmed weed burning thingumy with a butane cartridge.

Well, I was out mowing the dandelion patch while Mrs G was going round the borders with her new toy. I am worried. I kept getting images of the Waffen SS or the Khymer Rougue. I think I have unleashed a monster.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 03:04 PM

The world record holders for mass destruction of vegetation, and people, weren't those you mention, who were amateurs in that particularly activity, but the USAF with Agent Orange.

Make sure you read the small print on anything you deploy...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Helen
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 03:28 PM

You bought your wife a flamethrower, Dave?

My prediction is that one day you will wonder WTF you were thinking as she points it at you and tells you for the third and last time to take out the garbage. LOL

I suspect - or at least hope - that those things would be banned in Oz due to the danger of starting bushfires.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 03:48 PM

I imagine it's a weed wand rather than a flame thrower, a far less aggressive beast. I use one too, also because it saves my back at times (expensive to use, though. Occasionally Lidl sells the cartridges far cheaper than anyone else so I stock up). They're quite good for making the straight edge of my grass against the gravel drive. You have to be careful not to burn your precious plants as well as the weeds. Once the cartridge is around half-used, it loses its oomph as the remaining gas gets very cold due to expansion. You have to give it a rest for half an hour. The weeds always come back. It's a stopgap really, and all that carbon dioxide released...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 03:52 PM

" ... a gardener set a tree, fence and electricity pole alight. ..."

" ... Fire service spokesman Steve Wharton said the aim was to expose weeds to intense heat, thus killing them, but not to ''burn them to a crisp''. ..."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11137388/Woman-sets-fire-to-electricity-pole-using-blowtorch-on-weeds.html 

~~~~~~~~
And I've heard of someone who set fire to a leylandii hedge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 04:26 PM

And I've heard of someone who set fire to a leylandii hedge.

What a good idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 05:55 PM

I'll have you know that I studied Leylandii for my final-year university research project, comparing the morphology of two of the eleven then-known clones with the parents, which are in different genera, Chamaecyparis and Cupressus. The fact that it's an intergeneric hybrid explains its extreme vigour. It's quite likely that I had a more intimate knowledge of Leyland Cypress than almost anyone else at the time. It has a bad name for sure, and I hate to see it used as hedging, but if allowed to grow into a free-standing tree (and it's very quick to grow big), it makes a pleasant specimen. As long as you have a large park.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 06:15 PM

Sadly, I see that my work has been superseded by more modern investigation. Both parents are now regarded as belonging to the same genus. The Nootka Cypress has been moved into the genus Cupressus to join the other parent, the Monterey Cypress. There are now about forty varieties known. I worked on "Haggerston Grey" and "Castlewellan Gold." My favourite Cypress is the tall, dense, narrow Cupressus sempervirens, which gives the Mediterranean region much of its flavour. My very favourite conifer of all is the stone pine, or umbrella pine, Pinus pinea, characteristic of southern Italy around the Bay of Naples and the Sorrentine peninsula, my favourite bit of planet Earth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Jul 17 - 10:54 PM

Good for you, Dave. It's nice of you to think of your wife's back.

As a pianist, I find that pulling weeds is also hard on the hands. I try to keep weeds down with landscape fabric, Preen, mulch, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 03:31 AM

We had a massive Leylandii hedge in our last garden. It was 180ft long and 15ft tall, not to mention about 6ft wide. (We didn't plant it, the previous owners did, the fools) We had to use a huge scaffolding tower on wheels to trim it. Eventually we got a 'tree-surgeon' team in to halve its height. We burned the cuttings on a massive bonfire in our half-acre garden. (Leylandii burns well as there seems to be oil in the leaves)

The thing is, this blinking ugly, monstrous hedge never seemed to have any attraction for wildlife. No birds ever made their nests in it. No insects went near it. It never gave any type of fruit for birds during the winter. Nothing would grow beneath it as it rendered the soil bone dry like dust. Totally sterile and useless thing.

Compare that to a gorgeous 'mixed hedge' found at field edges, established for centuries. Birds' nests, insects, small mammals, fruit, (hips for example) and mayflowers if there's hawthorn. Wild flowers a-plenty using the shelter. Far better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 04:28 AM

Our Leylandii hedge (again planted by previous occupants)is not too bad but I would like to get rid of it eventually. Unfortunately it does serve as an extension to the colony of sparrows that live in next doors privet hedge so I am reluctant to just remove it.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 05:06 AM

"Lidl sells the cartridges far cheaper than anyone else so I stock up)."

We've got a reasonable stock of cartridges at the moment. Our previous weedwand had a very sort life (either a drop or something fell on it, can't remember which and the gas tap got bent - not something I could complain to seller about) and it and its replacement were bought on Amazon - around £20 for wand and 8 cartridges.

Drifting on to other garden equipment, we have a brush cutter on order and I aim to try to get a couple of long neglected areas clear so at least one can walk through. Having had (years ago) a couple of dead, never to get parts for cheap strimmers and one with a bent shaft I found clumsy, we've opted for a Husqvarna 525RJX which looks nice and lightweight and hopefully will be easy to use and long lasting. Time will tell...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Michael
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 05:09 AM

There is/was a Leylandii (spell checker wants'Disneyland'!) hedge down the far side of our neighbour's garden that was allowed to get out of hand, both gave it a severe pruning and now they have a dead hedge; but at least it will never need pruning again.

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 05:38 AM

And on Leylandii, our neighbour had a row of tall trees. They came down either or both when he started renting an extension out as a holiday home or added a sort of summer house. Te benefits to him were obvious but I was surprised how much difference getting rid of them made to our evening sun in the field round the back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:14 AM

On the day we moved into our present home, I tore down the leylandii hedge which obscured the view down to the harbour and out to sea whilst the men were still unloading our furniture!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:22 AM

I reckon my husband would love that 'weed-burning thingummy' - he adores gadgets. But here in Norfolk, everything is often tinder dry, and after witnessing that awful fire, where our neighbours' house across the road went up like a torch, I'd be very wary of having anything that burns on our property. Also, he can't tell weed from plant (nor much cares!) so he'd be blasting the entire garden to ashes.

I've been trying Weedol Lawn Weeder (sprayer thing, doesn't kill grass, only broad-leafed weeds) and it hasn't done anything. Used it ten days ago, weeds laughing their heads off. 'Verdone' was better, but they don't make it any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:40 AM

Ah, S. We nearly had a disaster a number of years back with parents rushing to get me to help. A bonfire got a little out of hand and started tracking to a field of golden wheat. We don't bonfire there when things are dry anymore....

Weedwands are quite controllable though and Pip's main usage is to burn weeds out of areas were weeds are coming up through paving slabs, pea gravel and the bricks in the old pigsties.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:56 AM

(but your husband may prefer this type of thing)


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 07:42 AM

I've learned to love (most) weeds(/wild flowers) in the lawn. Daisies*, clover, speedwell...
Dandelions get dug out but I might start to allow buttercups again.

* I had a grudge against daisies after I slipped and pulled a muscle. Now I wear better shoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 07:53 AM

Weedol is Verdone re marketed. Or so they say!

Stephen Fry's joke has tickled me for years.

"I was walking through a meadow and stooped to pick a buttercup. Why anyone would leave a buttock in a meadow is beyond me..."

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 07:53 AM

Oooh Jon, I just showed that to him and he says he'd love one!! Lord help us all, the whole village will be going up in flames!

I really hate using any chemicals in the garden, and when I was younger and stronger, I virtuously dug all the weeds out by hand, and used the hoe regularly. I'm not into emerald green velvet lawns, but some weeds are a real pain, and I have to try weed killer nowadays.

Our last big garden was lovely, because we merely mowed broad paths through the grass (ride-on mower) and let the wildflowers grow, only mowing at the end of the summer so that thugs like nettles didn't get a hold. That garden was a wildlife sanctuary. I dug a huge pond too, and the newts, dragonflies and frogs were all over the place. Wish I had that energy now, but... I'm just thankful I'm still breathing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 08:03 AM

No area here even suitable or a formal lawn even if we wanted one. And the main grass strip in the field (at a guess 30-40 x 3-4 metres) is also a (never used) farm right of way and is used by a truck delivering logs... It would seem very wrong to have it other than an area that allowed the flowers you mention. Another place we lived had a great spread of cowslips that looked amazing but you had to mow round.

Probably drifting a little from there but if a foxglove sets itself somewhere and you like it, why not leave it there - and Pip even likes a patch of mostly cow parsley as well as bits with mixed wild flowers. I think one (not you, just the principle) can get over excited about "weeds".


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 08:30 AM

Yes, the slowing up with age is a tough one, S. Pip, in her 80s, is facing that one and like it or not, even if I was gifted with her strength, stamina and energy of old, I don't have the same degree of dedication. So were are on some degree of wind down. Things like my "watering project" bought some time. (As hinted at in an earlier post), I'm looking at taking on mowing and strimming (altough much wasn't done with the latter) which should free the guy who does 1hr a week here more to things she needs a gardeners help with) and a couple of veg squares now have pear trees instead. Not abandoning the garden but changing plans...

As or ponds, I used to like the one in the field. I ran a pump ro a solar panel on a shed to that one and and it set to cycle on/off every few minutes and turn on and off day/night/dawn/dusk as needed. Leaves from a Silver birch and blanket weed both put paid to that one in the longer term, it reached a point even after draining and restarting, we didn't keep on top of it. It's now more of a bog garden with iris growing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 08:33 AM

They're busy constructing the Northern Distributor road not far from us, and the upheaval of the land looks like the Somme at the moment. I'm sure it will be fine when it's finished (hmmm...) But the beautiful wild flowers that have been stimulated to seed and grow are amazing. My husband was looking at the poppies, campions, cornflowers etc along the roadside and remarked that it all looked far more attractive than our feeble efforts with our garden. I wonder if he's not hinting that we leave our weeds so he can have a nice rest with his feet up, plugged in to his music?


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 08:54 AM

It's amazing the way poppies for example can seem to be dormant or years and then flourish. As you know, it's not uncommon to see that in parts of Norfolk. Circumstances have been such that I've not yet (and there are sessions I enjoy there) got towards Norwich this year and haven't yet seen how the nearest side to me of the road has progressed in a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 09:11 AM

The kids will love it


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 10:52 AM

Blanket weed is a never-ending problem in a pond. I used to use a wide-headed rake thing to drag it out. It's aptly named. The green 'blanket' was amazingly thick. One leaves it on the grass around the pond to give any wild life a chance to hop back into the water. Then about a couple of days later one can dispose of it.
But I got a good tip from a TV programme of putting a small barley straw bale into the pond. (One can get miniature ones) It will float about and in some mysterious way stop blanket weed and also render the water clear.
Some beautiful fallow deer often came to drink at our pond, but they would go in for a paddle and their sharp hooves pierced the liner. The water level descended and had to be topped up. As we were on a water metre, this wasn't good...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 11:23 AM

We even one or two years collected a few bags of barley straw S. Wheat this year sometimes spuds, a recent year they tried peas (though I'd not think they would make frozen peas from here - apparently the time to get to processing is short) but barley is the nicest to look at (says me going into the reel, the wind that shakes it..)


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 11:26 AM

(forgot beet in the above - that's a boring crop to watch..)


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 11:46 AM

I like a nice field of wheat myself Jon. They seem to have spuds everywhere here (boring) But there's a huge field of that blasted oil seed rape behind the village, and back in the Spring my poor husband was on his knees with hay-fever from it. He really was ill.

One of our neighbours has won prizes for his honey, and apparently if one has a spoonful per day of local honey, it conditions the body to the allergens. As his honey must be largely made from rape flowers, we're going to try that over the winter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 12:05 PM

I've seen rape down the A140, S but not in the field behind us. Anyway, I gather it can be bad for those (not me - I've always seemed to be immune to the pollen things) with allergies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:27 PM

Hmm. Oilseed pollen is heavy, sticky and not wind-blown so is unlikely to be a major cause of hay fever. However, the crop requires inputs of many chemicals ending in -cide, far more likely to cause ill-health. I find the perfume overwhelming and a bit sickening. It's an environmentally-unfriendly crop for other reasons - it is nitrogen-hungry yet occupies the soil for a relatively short time, so leaching or runoff of nitrogenous fertiliser is common. Maize is probably even worse in that regard. You'll never seen oilseed grown organically. The flea beetles it harbours will infest your garden and the oil is third-rate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:40 PM

Interesting Steve. But if the stuff has heavy, sticky pollen, what is it that actually arrives in the nose that one detects as 'perfume'? It's certainly a sickly smell, like cheap Avon scent!

I reckon my husband is allergic to many different pollens, as his hay-fever goes on and on from Spring right through to the beginning of Autumn. He's been driven mad by it this year. Our pharmacist says it's the worst year she's ever known.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jul 17 - 06:54 PM

Well, like most things we'd call perfumes, the smell is caused by volatile organic compounds, in the case of oilseed given off by the flowers. When you smell a fragrant rose, it isn't pollen you're smelling, or even nectar. It's those pesky volatile compounds. The fragrance is to attract insect pollinators. The insects are the only way that oilseed pollen can get around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 04:04 AM

fwiw, Wikipedia seems to leave that question open:

Rapeseed pollen contains known allergens. Whether rape pollen causes hay fever has not been well established, because rape is an insect-pollinated (entomophilous) crop, whereas hay fever is usually caused by wind-pollinated plants. The inhalation of oilseed rape dust may cause asthma in agricultural workers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 04:42 AM

http://www.oilseedrape.org.uk/html/uk.html

I would agree with Steve as regards the potential toxicity of certain agricultural sprays. I am not sure to what extent the latest EU regulations have been implemented in the uk.
They would require annual certification of sprays units(probably exempting back pack sprayers)
Formal qualification and registration of operators
Bunded storage of liquid chemicals
Complete records of type, dosage rate, location, date.
Registering of all commercial sales of agricultural chemicals.
Non compliance would attract a variable penalty taken from the SFP
Even with all the proposed legislation there would seem to be little account taken of spray drift and proximity to houses or schools.
Perhaps account of wind direction and strength should be more than "advisory"
http://adlib.everysite.co.uk/adlib/defra/content.aspx?id=000IL3890W.16NTBWTW6M4U3


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 05:25 AM

I live surrounded by farmland and let me tell you that the average farmer doesn't give a stuff about spray drift or advisory this, that or the other. Regulations are seen as having been drawn up by ignorant bureaucrats who "don't understand country ways." In thirty years here as an ex-townie with a bit of biological science background I've seen it all. Farmers are generally a long way from anyone watching or assessing. Welcome to the real world.

Oilseed rape can't be grown successfully without large amounts of chemical input.

Obviously, dust from a gathered-in crop could contain some pollen, though by that time flowering has long since passed. It will also contain lots of chemical residue and fungal spores as well as tiny bits of plant fibres and so on. All of these can cause irritation or allergies. The case for hay fever resulting from exposure to oilseed has not been made.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 06:03 AM

Steve with some farms in the UK making over £1,000,000 from the single farm payment and non compliance putting at risk some or all of that payment the risk of being caught in a spot inspection is very real.
Spraying regulations have been tightened dramatically in order to reduce environmental damage. If you see a contravention there is nothing to prevent you reporting it. A few seconds of video clip of vegetation swaying in the wind would enable anyone to assess if conditions were conducive to spraying, as would vegetation dieback in your garden.
I spent some years trying to get a hawthorn hedge established on my boundary surrounded by by successive crops of rape and wheat. I had thirty % dieback to what I can only assume to be toxic sprays. The failure rate was too high to be anything else.
The revised regulations are now in force. If you think you are getting sprayed you can insist on the COSHH sheet for the chemicals used and make noises as to why you were not given prior notice. It is no longer a free for all. You could always stir up your local defra, I am sure a man of your wit could generate sufficient grief to force compliance in your area.
Note the date at the end of the second link when opened (effective 2016)

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/topics/using-pesticides/spray-drift.htm

http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/prepare-for-new-pesticide-regulations/


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 06:17 AM

On your first point, whilst reluctant to start it off in this thread, I'm afraid I imagine the EU regs Iians mentions as being a type of "red tape" we need to get shut of.

OT but as for were I lived, I've mostly lived in farming areas (although close to towns, eg. Cromer is only a couple of miles from me). Quite different though, the part of N Wales I lived in was mostly small tennant farms (largely Mostyn Estates) and here in Norfolk it's the big fields. I'm not sure ow attitudes may differ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:04 AM

Jon Freeman.
I assume you would be quite happy to reintroduce ddt on the basis of there being too much red tape. And you would be happy to wind back all chemical controls and health and safety regulation in agriculture.
What planet are you on? These regulations require to be tightened or perhaps you prefer your drinking water flavoured with monsanto's latest creation. Why should agriculture be exempt from the regulatory regime that covers all other activities? Regulations put in place for your benefit and safety.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:08 AM

Sorry Iains, My attempted sarcasm was not put well enough. My fault and I agree with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:18 AM

This is all absolutely fascinating. I'm sure you're all right, that farmers spray all sorts of stuff on their land and crops, none of which is terribly good for us (or for wildlife)
I'd give anything to know exactly what it is that causes my husband so much suffering every year. When we've visited Cromer or Sheringham, he feels so much better for an hour or two, especially with an onshore breeze.

It's not good for him to be doped up with anti-histamines and decongestants for six months each year. And he has to work in that state, poor chap. We've even considered moving to the coast, but house prices are horrendous up on the Norfolk coast.

On a more cheerful note, I've been out in our front garden today and manually (round of applause please!) pulled a ton of weeds out of our gravel drive and front borders. The buggers will no doubt be back soon, but I feel rather virtuous. Time for a toasted crumpet dripping with butter and a nice cup of tea I feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Raggytash
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:26 AM

The sun's over the yardarm Senoufou, treat yourself to a G & T as well!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:27 AM

I assure you that no small to medium farm in this neck of the Westcountry is getting anything like a million quid. I have never, to my knowledge, been affected by spray drift. I have been affected by the nauseous smell of fresh pigshit from a nearby intensive pig farm whenever the wind comes from certain points east, the sickening odour of freshly-spread chicken shit from the alleged free-range unit nearby, washing covered in dust during silaging, an escaped herd of goats devastating my garden, a herd of cows transforming my front lawn into a swamp in thirty seconds flat and have nearly been asphyxiated by a tractor left idling for two hours just outside my garden when the wind was a gentle sou'-westerly. I've had a plague of pollen beetles and flea beetles too, both from oilseed rape in the field next door, and that crop also drives up the slug count big-time.   I wouldn't trade it for the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:31 AM

Trying to think in relation to rape, S. I think if I was to follow the A140 (I'm right at the start), it's probably past Alby towards Aylsam where I've in past years noticed it the most.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:37 AM

Hahaha Raggytash! Might just think about it!

We too adore the countryside Steve. The peace, beauty and village life are priceless. And I say that after being stuck behind a procession of TWELVE silage trucks towed by tractors trundling along the Fakenham Road early this morning. It took us over an hour to get to the shops (about two miles!) And our conservatory is full of poor little damsel flies from the nearby lakes, bashing themselves against the windows to get out again. Takes me ages to save them every day.

I've never minded the smell of genuine manure. Our riding stables here deposits tons of the stuff outside our house every Saturday. Good for the garden if well-rotted first.
I think I'd die if we had to live in London or any other huge city.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 07:52 AM

Ha Jon, we're not far from Aylsham as the crow flies. My husband works in Reepham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 08:41 AM

Steve. FYI
https://fullfact.org/economy/farming-subsidies-uk/

I see that Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING is available as a pdf.
I highly recommend reading it. Over 55 yers old but still relevant. It made a deep impression on me back in 1964 when I first read it.
How many lessons are still to be learnt?

An interesting study vaguely related to the thread
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095809917301583 '


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 08:46 AM

Don't get me started on those bloody tractors clogging up the roads. Round here they are mostly contractors who are going for miles, not local farmers just going short distances to get to their fields. They rarely give a damn about the jams they cause. There should be a law that forces them to pull over if there are three or more vehicles stuck behind them. And how many have you seen with no rear lights, no number plates, no signalling. Bales of straw teetering dangerously, the bits flying off getting into your car's air vents. Roads covered in enough shit to plant spuds in. And Iains thinks farmers worry about regs! Then there's that cheap red diesel being used illegally. Nowhere near enough spot-checks done. In thirty years round here I've seen about three, if that. Ah, country ways...

We know to avoid Wednesday mornings round here as that's the day of Holsworthy livestock market. The real cash cow round here is tourism, not farming. Wonder what the tourists think about trailing at 15 mph behind a tractor for miles in a convoy on a stinking hot day...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 09:18 AM

I think the bad agricultural route I remember in Norfolk dates back to the 70s when we (from N Wales, there was a bit of from Tunbridge Wells and a different route in my childhood part of time) used to visit grandad in Norwich. One could even make good time over the Cat and Fiddle route to cross the Pennines and I think, come up against a wall of beet wagons and other kit past Kings Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Iains
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 10:40 AM

Steve the legislation already exists concerning slow moving vehicles and debris on roads. When I had kit coming out of fields many years ago we had to jetwash mud from the vehicle prior to allowing it on the road or hire a roadsweeper. That situation was policed both by the local authority and the consulting engineers. If you think local enforcement is inadequate do something about it, give out to your local council and traffic police..


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jul 17 - 11:00 AM

One of the best domestic weedkillers in existence is sodium chlorate. Very effective on a small area for a short time, no long term effects on the environment as it just degrades into salt.

Problem is it's rather easy to use it as the basis for seriously effective explosives (you don't want chlorate itself since perchlorate is more powerful and safer, but making perchlorate from chlorate is not difficult). So it's been made unpurchaseable under Prevention Of Things That Go Bang legislation. The last lot I used must have been sold more than 20 years ago.

I think it may be possible to make it yourself by electrolysis of hot salt water. I haven't tried but I'm sure ISIS and the EDL have figured it out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 09:16 AM

Yet more of those tractor processions this morning. Do you think they're heading for the methane bio-gas plant thing? (in a village fairly near to us, with huge domed constructions that stink of vinegar) At first I reckoned it was just loads and loads of silage, but this is getting ridiculous. It seems to be hay, chopped up small (and blowing all over our car and into the air vents, as you say Steve)

I want some of that Sodium Chlorate. If it doesn't actually kill the weeds, it might blow them to bits anyway.

They've emptied our garden waste bin this morning, so back to the grindstone hacking, slashing, chopping and tugging to get the weeds out and the overgrown shrubs under control.
Sigh. I sometimes dream of a nice tidy little window box...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Raggytash
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 09:33 AM

"Sigh. I sometimes dream of a nice tidy little window box..."

And singing crocodiles !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 09:35 AM

I remember sodium cholrate (and sugar mix?) making bangs in childhood but I think it was older kids than me. Memory at the moment seems confined to match ends, keys and a bit of string.

Paraquat's the stuff you (No, not really...) want, S...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 02:01 PM

Haha Raggytash! It's much more fun dreaming than weeding the blooming garden. Maybe those crocodiles could get stuck in after the performance is over?

Before he headed off to work, my husband kindly (?) placed the garden wheelie bin round the back for me to get going with the toil.
It's still sitting there totally empty. Can't face it I'm afraid.
He hates gardening if truth were told. I have to wait until I'm in the mood and feeling like Morgan the Mighty. (a rare event)


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 02:51 PM

If you have trouble with weeds, hire my stepspn to water your garden while you're off on vacation. When you get home, everything will be dead.
We took no chances on our recent vacation. We put automatic timers on all the hoses, and everything got watered despite my stepson's best efforts to kill the garden...

But hey, he took good care of the dogs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Raggytash
Date: 05 Jul 17 - 04:07 PM

Unfortunately Joe with the amount of rain we get in the UK the garden has normally gone on a rampage in a VERY short time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Jul 17 - 12:12 PM

Salt is bad for the environment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 08:46 AM

I have a half-acre garden that's been growing like mad this summer. The drive and parking space are gravel. That's the only bit of the garden that's allowed weedkiller. Sodium chlorate, which you can't get now anyway, had a nasty habit of spreading sideways so it was hard to judge how close to the grass I could go. These days the gravel gets a couple of doses of glyphosate per annum from those little bottles of spray from Poundland. It doesn't spread and is rapidly inactivated. Apart from that everything is organic. I suppose I'm disqualified from bragging that my garden's organic, but sometimes I think it's OK to indulge in a very limited transaction with the world of technology!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 09:00 AM

It's a problem isn't it Steve? I hate chemicals too, and feel awful resorting to Weedol lawn weeder, Pathclear and Roundup (which contains glyphosate, a chemical with a bit of doubt about its safety. However, there's been a 'stay of execution' on banning it for 18 months until further research is undertaken. Possible link to cancer)

We had an ants' nest on our front doorstep. Husband wanted to paint the step a cheerful red, but the ants kept making little piles of sand. I got an ant-killer powder, but watching the little creatures busily marching about, I just hadn't the heart to murder them. We gently brushed them aside with a soft brush and he quickly painted before they returned. Luckily the paint dried rapidly in the heat. Daft pair of softies!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 10:06 AM

Well anything that ends in -cide is going to be tricky. My solution is to use it in small amounts, only in suitable weather conditions and only in places where I never want any vegetation to grow. I can't even begin to think of hand-weeding the drive. Using a weed wand would be expensive, results in metallic waste and releases copious carbon dioxide. I could pave the drive but that would create serious runoff. Glyphosate in strictly limited amounts is my compromise. I've been following the glyphosate with concern for a good while and, as far as I can glean as honestly as I can, the jury is still well and truly out.

Don't get me started on neonicotinoid insecticides though. Unbelievably, you can still buy them for garden use. Not only will their continued commercial use see off all pollinating insects, it will also threaten human food supplies big time. It's insane that they are allowed to be used at all. Look out especially for imidacloprid on the label, though there are others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 10:08 AM

Following the glyphosate controversy is what I meant to say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 11:19 AM

Some elderly neighbours up the road have had all their lawn taken up by a machine, the drive broken up and a thick plastic membrane extended over the lot. Next, a massive pile of broken slate chips (in a dreary grey) arrived and was spread over the entire area.

I suppose it's completely labour-free, but it looks horribly stark and brutal. The slate isn't even a local stone. And of course, nothing will grow there.

They got the idea from a man further along, who did the same, and who has now proudly placed a tiny pot containing some geraniums right in the middle.
A sop to Cerberus!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 12:34 PM

Bad news about glyphosate, at least as used by agribiz. The tone of this article is crazy Greenpeace-like scaremongering but there is a core of plausibility to it.

http://www.realnews24.com/the-real-reason-wheat-is-toxic-its-not-the-gluten


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jul 17 - 01:02 PM

It's shocking. I knew that "dessicants" are used on linseed so that the crop is completely dry before harvest but I wasn't aware of its use on cereals (and potatoes). However, the outrage doesn't really extend to my use of glyphosate on my gravel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 12:00 PM

"Drifting on to other garden equipment, we have a brush cutter on order"

And am loosing patience. Tried replying to the order email address to no reply and today (still no reply), have written this to Radmore & Tucker on their "contact us" form:

I did email the rtorders address on Monday but have received no reply, perhaps you don't answer that one?

The order was placed on Sunday 2nd July 2017 and I did receive an email on Monday 3rd July stating that the order was delayed, you expected stock in 2-3 days and that you would endeavour to inform me of further delays. It is now 12th July and, to put it plainly, your endeavours appear non existent.

Please can you advise me (via email, anxiety problems make the phone difficult) what is happening with this order and at least *endeavour* to provide some modicum of customer service.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 Jul 17 - 03:40 PM

We had a super petrol brush cutter for our last garden, to keep the long ditch clear, and allow the primroses, various frogs and Hissing Sid the grass snake to live there without being overgrown by massive clumps of unfriendly weeds. It had a sturdy leather harness, and once a year was enough to keep the habitat under control. We really didn't want to use chemical herbicides. I loved using it; we often fought over whose turn it was!
One has to watch carefully so as not to injure creatures with machinery like that though. The Hedgehog Hospital I support is forever taking in poor little hedgehogs with terrible injuries caused by strimmers etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 05:33 AM

I've been promised delivery for tomorrow.

I don't share your enthusiasm, S, but I am all too easily drawn to "gadgets" of several types... I know though that the novelty will wear off and strimming will soon become a chore... We will wind up with 2 trimmers. The one on order is a lightweight one with a U handle which I think will stay with the line head on but there is some heavier brambly stuff to clear too.

Not too much, the area of the field with a set of pigsties covered in brambles and blackthorn, etc. seems particularly enjoyed by blackbirds and (perhaps rather oddly) I think provides a home for PussPuss. Good excuse for only widening and keeping clear the access track anyway. That plus that area is outside the patch we rent but logs are delivered here and the septic tank needs emptying and the "road through" gets overgrown. There is a barn between our patch and the hidden pigsties but I can't remember the last time the farm used the track that far or used the barn.

Hedgehogs: Again, I can't remember the last time I saw one. There was one coming to our front garden a few years back which we tried to encourage with some cat food but it didn't stay around for long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 07:14 AM

Hedgehogs nowadays face a whole host of dangers to their existence. Gardens are fashionably 'landscaped' to include little cover or habitat for their food; people put down poison pellets for slugs and the hedgehogs gobble up the dead ones then get poisoned themselves; they suffer from Hookworm, even Tuberculosis. And then there are the strimmer injuries mentioned above. They also fall into water features/ponds and can't get out if the people haven't made a gently sloping 'beach'. They swim desperately for hours then drown.

The Hedgehog Hospital has open days (I help to make the tea!) and one can visit the various 'patients' and learn about hedgehogs. Very good for children to learn about wildlife.
We had a ride-on mower in that last house. When we weren't fighting over the petrol brush-cutter, we were jostling for a place on the ride-on! It had various items one could tow along behind; distributor for lawn feed; a mini-harrow; a high-sided cart for all the weeds and bits of wood; fun for everyone!

Weedol is useless. Not a bit as good as Verdone. Waste of money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:07 AM

Always fancied a garden tractor (amongst other tractors - I'd quite like one of those old grey Fergusons...) AND one of those quad bikes to ride round our imaginary estate... I can get sold on that sort of thing but our (3 collective) financial resources wouldn't stand it and they wouldn't really have practical use here.

Any tips on persuading a hedgehog to come and stay?

Re weedkillers, etc.: We do use Roundup but try to keep its usage minimal. We again are not organic in that we eg,. use phostrogen. We avoid insecticides but I don't know what goes on the farm worked part of around 90 acres...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 09:02 AM

Oooh tractors! Our lovely neighbour next-door works on the land, and owns two or three tractors. His son is an agricultural mechanic/engineer. Sometimes they park a massive, gorgeous tractor in front of their house (Last time it was a lovely red-and-yellow monster with gigantic black wheels.) I drooled, and the dad offered to let me ride in it and have a go at the controls. But I'm too darned old and decrepit to clamber up into the cab. He and my husband pushed my bottom from underneath (providing amusement for the entire street; my face was as red as the tractor) and I tried and tried, but we had to give up.
He said, "Oi reck'n yer tew owld fer this caper, mawther!" My husband laughed so much I thought he'd need an ambulance!

Hedgehogs can be enticed into the garden if one provides corners of wild growth, little 'hedgehog houses' of wood, a compost heap or pile of leaves etc in which to hibernate, and also one can put out saucers of water and small amounts of catfood in a dish. You can tell if one has visited because their poo is very black and a bit sticky (yuk!)
Of course, the food might encourage rats. But they are ever with us sadly...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 09:16 AM

By the way, does anyone know that massive plant called Giant Hogweed? We had one down by the ditch in the last house and it was absolutely magnificent. About 15ft tall and positively HUGE. I know the sap is dodgy and can cause terrible burns and blisters (so why touch it?)
We called it The Triffid.

But when I was last in Scotland, my sister showed me some areas of yellowed, dead foliage by the side of the main road where the council workmen had sprayed and sprayed Giant Hogweeds with extremely strong herbicide to completely eradicate and kill them. It seemed rather a shame. We'd never suffered any burns or similar because we're not daft. However, I believe it's not native to UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 09:30 AM

I want to like rats, clever creatures that they are, but we have ad to be at war with them a few times. Parents invested in some guarding (the 1st row of tiling was removed to fit it) a couple of years back but they still got in the roof space. I think that year may also have been the year we had losses I'd not seen before or since, apples chewed and our handful of sweetcorn chewed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 09:47 AM

I think I'd get rid of it, S. Not sure off hand if I've seen that one but the common variety is familiar and probably to Pip, likeable in the right places. I think it's a relative although maybe toxic in a different way. We did have hemlock start to grow when we were in N Wales.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 09:50 AM

(opps, I think hemlock is related to hogweed, a parsley/carrot?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 11:00 AM

Dave the Gnome, how is the weed burner working out? Does she like it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 11:35 AM

Since this discussion is mostly UK right now, I offer this

http://www.greenworkstools.co.uk/

I have the US version of one of their hand drills and, since May, a 40 volt chainsaw. They seem to make anything not chemical you'd want to cope with botanical intrusion.

I have spent so many years dealing with long extension cords strung across the lawn that I yearn for a lottery win in order to buy one of everything using battery power.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 03:47 PM

I'd not heard of greenworks tools, Bill.

I have a couple of Ryobi cordless drills (hammer and drill/driver) that have met my own occasional diy needs for a few years.

Pip used to use a mains electric mower for the strip of grass I mentioned earlier and, yep, a 30m extension plus whatever cable the mower had did look to me a bit of a bind. We have a petrol mower available now.

Having got belted in the face by a big (but properly guarded - I only got a bloody nose) angle grinder, I'm scared of tools that can kick back in that way so that puts me off a chainsaw (OK you can wear protective clothing, anything not ancient will have a break but I still have visions of one clobbering me). Still, I'd be interested to know how yours worked out. Does it do as well as mains or petrol one that I'd guess you had before going cordless?


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 04:02 PM

I know two men (brothers) who are tree surgeons. They have all the qualifications and the correct protective clothing for the use of chainsaws. They've told me some ghastly horror stories about accidents with the things. I wouldn't recommend any 'amateur' buying one.

Our aforementioned neighbour was far out in the countryside working alone years ago, and he sliced the tops off all his fingers on one hand with a chainsaw. He had to run to a nearby cottage dripping blood and get them to call an ambulance. He now has very short fingers and no nails on that hand. Makes me shudder...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 04:52 PM

I did..(still do) have a petrol saw, (husqvarna ) which requires careful gas/oil mixing and several choke/throttle adjustments and the 'art' of holding it still while yanking on the starter cord. I suspect that experts 'tune' them for ease of use.
   This chainsaw is as 'gentle' as possible. It has a button to turn on the power, a button plus trigger to start the chain, and a chain brake to stop it almost instantly. It of course requires basic safety procedures... basically keeping the anti-kickback teeth in touch with the work...plus just getting used to the 'feel' of a power tool. I have a workshop with many power tools, so the habits are fairly well ingrained.

   When I got the Greenworks saw, I went out and quickly caught up on reducing a pile of useless timber pieces to manageable sizes. It is MUCH quieter than the old saw and lighter and better balanced..

   I assume there are videos about using chainsaws... if one is not sure, I'd suggest watching some...or even better, finding someone local to demonstrate and/or show the tricks.

I also have a Ryobi battery 18 volt circular saw for smaller jobs on limbs up to maybe 4 inches....

(Yes, I have heard sad stories of chainsaw accidents, too. Almost anything that whirls or cuts can get you. I have a small scar on my thumb from hurrying on a band saw! 30 years of woodworking, and that's my only real injury beyond scrapes & splinter.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 05:11 PM

I won't be getting one but that it is, for you, a better tool than your older petrol Husqvarna sounds a pretty good recommendation for the Greenworks saw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 05:26 PM

Glyphosate. You'd better read up on that. CA just labelled it carcinogenic.

As for mass weed destruction... https://www.volcanovaporizer.com/us/en/

Weeds? Vinegar, dish soap, water, pump spray canister. Bob's yer cheap eco-uncle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 07:21 PM

Giant hogweed is an alien in this country and is a dangerous plant if it comes into contact with humans, especially children. It should be eradicated as soon as it's seen. It's in the same league, though for different reasons, as Japanese knotweed. Sentiment be damned.

Hemlock and hogweed (giant or not) are in the same family 'tis true. But so are carrots, parsnips, angelica, coriander, parsley and chervil, among other comestibles. Potatoes, aubergines, peppers, chillies and tomatoes are in the same family as deadly nightshade, mandrakes, thorn-apples and tobacco.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 11:35 PM

Just need to add in my experience of glyphosate: Asked to get rid of thos weeds in a garden; someone just sprayed them and left them. Yeah! Sprayed them with Roundup! With gloves, long sleeves, long pants, I racked them up, put them on a sheet and wrapped them upp and put them in the back of my car, took the sheet out and dumped the weeds over the bank, never to be a bother again. Except that I ws sick for a month. I really do not care if it is carcinogenic or not, anything that takes a month out of my life should not be on the market. It is known to cause birth defects in frogs and lots more - KNOWN.

15% vinegar.
I had a weed burner that had been made to be a burner for a pottery kiln, hooked up to a propane cannister, did a great job of killing weeds in paving and the like.

As for chain saws - treat with respect. Here in the wilds of logging country Canada, I do not hear horror stories. There are frequent safety trainings. For several years, a friend and I cut up a full truck load of logs in prep for winter - VERY carefully. But we did it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Jul 17 - 08:32 AM

In fairness to R & T, having posted my anger earlier in the thread, I feel I should note that they company kept their word, the trimmer has been delivered and the matter was, ultimately, dealt with professionally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 10:58 AM

Coming back to managing things, Pip reckons a couple more hydrangea instead of whatever goes in there would make the upkeep of the back bed at the front of the house easier. Apparently they should fill an area nicely and not need too much attention. We'll get a couple of Hydrangea macrophylla Magical Coral for her birthday then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 11:37 AM

If you visit Trebah garden in Cornwall in August or September you'll see a most impressive show of hydrangeas growing en masse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 17 - 11:48 AM

I've found Hydrangea Valley it does look pretty impressive!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 05:16 AM

Genesis did "The return of the Giant Hogweed". Not sufficient to move this thread above the line!

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 05:27 AM

I think this one belongs firmly in the Bullshit or other manure and all's going well down here...


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 05:29 AM

Some alien weeds aren't too bad. More like visitor wild flowers really. In the south-west the roadsides in May and early June are adorned with beaked hawksbeard, which is quite jolly. There's Oxford ragwort, a native of Mount Etna, that cheers up the railways in the London area. I went up Etna looking for it a couple of years ago and couldn't find a single specimen! We have three-cornered garlic, impressive enough en masse but which is too aggressive and which ousts native hedgerow plants in Cornwall and Scilly.   But Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed? No thanks. They are unalloyed menaces. Exterminate!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 05:48 AM

Thinking of things spreading, I have been surprised by mint. Lovely herb but it is capable of taking over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:26 AM

Oxford Ragwort came here from Sicily in about 1700. It's very toxic to animals, and a small amount getting into silage can cause irreversible kidney damage. Farmers are obliged by law to get rid of it from their pastures (but we see it everywhere here in Norfolk) It is a habitat/food for the Cinnabar Moth caterpillars however.

Giant Hogweed just sits there. If one doesn't touch it, it does no harm. It doesn't run about chasing people. One might as well command that all adders are exterminated, and all yew trees uprooted and burnt. Children should be educated about these things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:35 AM

You're mistaking common ragwort for Oxford ragwort. The latter grows only in waste places, never in meadows or pastures. It is unpalatable to animals, like hundreds of plants, but is not a threat. .


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:40 AM

Steve knows more than me, S. I'd take his advice with the Giant hogweed.

Beyond that, yes, there are dangerous things growing - you'd not even want to eat the fruit of the potato and of course there are some toadstools... We'd never be totally safe from anything you might touch or eat but I think some things can be special menaces all the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:43 AM

Giant hogweed can grow in places where children have access. Its impressive appearance can be attractive, its huge flower heads forming a canopy that looks like a den, and its tempting thick stems make nice sticks to play with. Skin contact with it is capable of causing severe scarring that can last for years. That isn't the kind of alien we need in this country. The common hogweed, in contrast, is much beloved by herbivores and the young shoots can be cooked and eaten. I've tried it but I didn't like it one bit, though I'm still here. I also tried Alexanders, a related plant that grows a lot round here. Don't know what those Romans ever saw in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Senoufou
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 06:47 AM

Oxford Ragwort (Senecio squalidus) is just as toxic to livestock as Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea). All the ragworts contain alkaloids which damage the liver and kidneys.

Oxford Ragwort is very common here in Norfolk as it colonises dry pasture but avoids rich, dense grassy fields. Most of our fields are dry, with spare soil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 07:00 AM

I've never seen Oxford ragwort growing in pasture. It simply can't compete in dense grassy swards. I'm not arguing against its toxicity, but I simply can't imagine it getting into hay or silage except via extreme wanton carelessness. Common ragwort, on the other hand, needs be be removed before haymaking or silage-making. Senecio is a very large genus (it includes common groundsel) and the level of toxicity among the species is widely varied.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 07:06 AM

Alexanders was quite abundant in part of the garden where we were in N Wales. I've not tried to eat it though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 07:11 AM

You're supposed to boil or steam the young shoots just before flowering, then eat them with butter. I found the taste to be strong and pretty unpleasant. Could be I did something wrong!


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 07:25 AM

Different plant but a local (Norfolk coast) wild growing delicacy is samphire. I don't know why but I've tasted it delicious and not so pleasant on different occasions. May be the time in the season with that one?


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Subject: RE: BS: Weapons of mass weed destruction
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Jul 17 - 07:10 PM

Well, Jon, you've just illustrated why we botanists prefer Latin names! Samphire can mean Salicornia, the saltmarsh plant known as marsh samphire that posh restaurants serve their fish on top of, or rock samphire (Crithmum) that Henry VIII sent his servants to Cornwall for and which used to be pickled, or golden samphire (Inula crithmoides) that grows on sea cliffs or salt flats, which you can eat raw or boiled when young. I find marsh samphire to be a bit pointless. Give me tenderstem any day! I've tried both the others and I find their taste to be far too manky. I suppose tastes change through the centuries!


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