Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Ragtime

Last year I was pulling ragwort on the farm in the places where diggers had disturbed the ground and created a lovely new seedbed. This year, only a couple of plants re-emerged, so the yanking up by the roots, removing and burning process seems to have worked. And there is not a trace of the stuff anywhere near the hayfields which is good news.
But the wood is a different matter. A year ago there were just a few plants but as it is closed off to livestock, I didn't think it too important to deal with them, after all, if there was a problem there would be a sea of yellow, not just a sprinkling. Humph. I have just heaved the fifth heavily crammed sackful back to the bonfire. It's the usual story; look after the pennies (or the individual plants) and the pounds (the heavy sack) will look after itself. Lesson learned.
Trouble is, although I always mean to take an old carrier bag or similar on all my walks across the farm to pick up any rogue plastic, litter, baler twine or other foreign body, I remember, say, once in every twenty walks, and I often return home with a length of wet, muddy twine in my now begrimed pocket. But you can't pull ragwort safely without gloves, and it won't fit in my pocket, so it requires a special trip loaded with refuse sacks, gloves and a keen eye.
There may be one or two plants left, but I will be bold, fearless and focussed, and get rid of the deadly weed before they go to seed. And perhaps I should hum this for good measure.

6 comments:

mountainear said...

'One year's seeding means seven years'weeding.' Somebody told me that once and it rings horribly true.

Hope those apostrophes are in the right places....

paula said...

This year it's appalling with us - blinking oceans of yellow. But it is marsh ragwort (not as toxic as the other) and tends to explode after wet years - last and this me thinks?

Jay said...

There is a 'set aside' field near us and each year they drench it with weedkiller and then mow it but it does little to deal with the problem. There is now far more ragwort in that field than there was before it was left fallow.

And there's a hayfield next door, and horses in another direction. I bet those people just loove their neighbour!

Winchester whisperer said...

Poor you. My (smaller scale) bete noir is bindweed

Mopsa said...

M'ear - I've learned my lesson!

Paula - I think the stuff in the wood was the marsh variety too, but ain't taking no chances!

Jay - let that be a warning to us all

WW - bind weed is a real problem this year in the veg garden - it was the bringing in of some topsoil; must have had seeds lurking.

KAZ said...

"Trouble is, although I always mean to take an old carrier bag or similar" ... This sounds like me when I go to Tesco.

Pulling that ragwort will give you great arm muscles - eat your heart out Madonna.