This is a post about gardening activities that must be and are performed on a regular basis, year round.
Under the denominator “Bottom surface maintenance” we have brought together a whole list of activities. A number of these are very specific, like for example
Keeping the groundcovers out of the gravel.
The ground-surface area’s are very different and all ask for a special treatment.
Here we show a more or less random selection of activities that took place in the last couple of days.
The nice thing is that these activities can be done ad-hoc and only for a short time. It is mostly not something that needs to be done now or that you do want to finish in one go. Even with the hot Summer we have now you can do this for 30 minutes or an hour and then stop for a cool drink and a good book.
The above photo shows the tools we used to clean-up under and behind the Larix (Europeaus) decidua and the Prunus laurocerasus “Otto Luyken” shrubs that grow under and close to it.
Here we collected lots of dead leafs but also a diversity of weeds. Not only weeds according to the general definition but also plants that do not belong there, because we did not plant them.
To my surprise some specimen had grown very large, e.g. a holly, Ilex (Dutch: Hulst), that we had as a hedgerow in the past and died in 2007/2008 and got replaced in july 2008. We still find sprigs of it everywhere. One specimen was almost 30 cm (1 foot) and I had difficulty to remove it, including the whole root (hence the gloves to pull them out).
And then of course we found lots of ant nests spreading from the low garden wall into the surrounding area, hence the pressure sprayer.
Now, the waterfront is a whole other ballgame. The left side has mostly bamboo while the Water-terrace and right side have a low growing cotoneaster cover.
The waterside bank is rather steep. Here you see me literally hanging on the wall to be able to just or just not reach the low growing, closest to the water surface, weeds. Some of these are genuine Alder trees that blow over from the golf course and that can become real big trees quickly. Pulling them out as early is possible is the best remedy.
With only few exceptions, where we use chemicals if at all possible (see Horstail later), gently pulling them out as close as possible to the ground taken along as much as possible root, is the general treatment for everything that grows and we did not plant here.
Unfortunately at the time of construction we kept the original reed that later became a problem. After having eliminated the reed we planted the Cotoneaster dammeri, which does fine.
Our big mistake was that at the time we just forgot about laying weed control fabric. One reason for forgetting that was the fact that we already had the waterside wall and that this should have been done during the wall construction.
Let this never happen to you ! It now frequently takes us a substantial amount of time to get rid of the weeds. Well, not getting rid of but to get them out of sight for a while.
A variety of weeds all with their own unique characteristics, fast growing, fast spreading, poisonous, overgrowing, etc.
These photos show some of the weeds that grow in between the bamboo. The bucket on the right show a part of the “harvest”, showing some of the diversity. And again, very few get fully removed in most cases roots or root-parts are left in the ground and will show up happily ever after just a few weeks.
Only when treated with chemicals for some there is a good change to have them removed fully and permanently.
This photo was taken in 2009 and shows the first time that year of waterside weed removal.
What you see is the very fast growing, persistent, invasive, visible and rank “Field Horsetail” or “Common Horsetail”, Equisetum arvense (Dutch: Heermoes, “Paardestaart”) Most of the modern herbicides are not effective against this weed. Pulling it out is a visual measure of short duration. Every tiny little piece of root that is left in the soil will develop a new plant.