For years allotments were out of favour. No-one wanted them, and patches of mud with a shed at one end and weeds everywhere else went to waste. Then suddenly gardening became the new rock and roll, and everyone who didn't want to dig up their lawn wanted their own council-run patch of mud. The waiting lists grew faster than the cabbages. Now, after more than three years on a waiting list, Neil Shaw has been given his own patch of green and pleasant land.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Mint - it absolutely will not stop, ever.

Weeds have developed a range of strategies for ensuring their survival; scratching, stinging, poisioning, stinking - even biting.

Mint seems to have gone down the route of tasting good, and smelling great when you rip it out of the ground. Not particularly effective.

It did make the weeding job last week more fragrant than usual. Perhaps the mint was thinking that by making itself useful we wouldn't pull it up. But it spreads so quickly and so far that unless you have use of industrial quantities of the stuff it must be destroyed.

I did briefly consider trying to sign a deal with Wrigley to supply flavouring for their gum, or bulk-buying vinegar to produce a liftime supply of mint sauce, but there isn't enough lamb in the world.

I'm certain it will be back, like The Terminator (though hopefully not as rubbish as Terminator 4), but for now the patch of ground between the compost bin and the potatos is clear.

It took five hours of solid digging, hacking, slashing and ripping to get it clear. Then more digging, a bit of raking and I managed to get eight more plants in - sprouting broccoli donated by Chris the Gardener.

Half of that patch is still weed-logged, but I hope to get back up there this week and finish that bit off - probably to be greeted by a patch of mint grinning back at me like I'd never picked up by fork in the first place.