Onion sets sending up shoots

Onion sets sproutingThe onion sets are sprouting nicely. Only three got pulled up by birds, which is a result; most years I can count on replanting 30% thanks to the magpies.

Less good news is that weeds are already rampant. I’ve decided that the World’s Worst Weed is definitely couch grass.

I know, I know: Marestail is ineradicable, but at least it’s fairly easy to control. Ditto brambles and nettles, which both hate determined cultivation.

Couch, on the other hand, is the Daddy of weeds. I hack it up, grub it up, pull it up and rip it out. I burn it, bury it, hoe it and bin it. Couch destruction figures in my dreams.

But there it always is, waiting for me every time I visit the allotment. On my plot, Couch is King.

What’s your most loathed weed?

11 Responses to “Onion sets sending up shoots”

  1. Simon Kirby Says:

    Contenders: Chickweed and purple dead nettle, because they seed so early and profusely, groundsel because it sets seed even when you’ve pulled it out the ground and left it in the sun for a week, black nightshade, thistle and dock because they refuse to be pulled up, bindweed because it kills what it can, fat hen and persicaria for their mass-attacks, corn spurry, scarlet pimpernel and most of all heart’s ease because they make me feel so bad pulling them up, forget-me-not and speedwell for being such pathetically poor weeds.

    On my light soil couch is just a bully – stand up to it and it buggers off.

    Most anoying right now is the duckweed in the pond because short of draining the pond there is no way to get get rid of it and it is increadibly rampant.

  2. Soilman Says:

    I’d forgotten about that wretched fat hen, Simon. It IS a bugger, isn’t it? I have it everywhere on my plot.

  3. Matron Says:

    My worst enemy has to be bindweed! grrrr! No matter how careful I am to get every tiny piece out, it always comes back!

  4. Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding Says:


  5. Soilman Says:

    Short and pithy, Lucy, but heartfelt. I know where you’re coming from.

  6. FlowerPowerGirl Says:

    For me, it is a toss up between couch and bindweed. Couch perhaps has the edge now as, touch wood, the bindweed seems to be under some sort of control after a couple of years of digging whereas the couch just keeps coming.

  7. Rachael Says:

    My worst is actually ordinary grass. It spreads so rapidly and thickly and you can’t get hold of it to pull it out, it’s too short.

  8. Rampant_Weasel Says:

    i find with normal grass the most effective thing is to chop out the sod and turn it upside down, in time it will rot down thru lack of light and any grass that does grow is easy to pull out.

  9. barbara Says:

    mine’s quite possibly nettles. we have hundreds and hundreds of them (or so it seems) and the whole garden seems to be surrounded by them so even if we sort out the garden temporarily seeds will inevitably blow in from the neighbouring pond, or fields…. I am waging war on them this year and I will win

  10. Suzanne Says:

    veterans on my sight recently took advice from a Spanish gentleman and started their onion off in the greenhouse in trays – result? – none pulled by birds and a head start with great results, so I think I’ll be trying that too next year. Mine that I planted direct are nowhere near theirs that took only 8-10 days in the trays.

    not to be left out of the great weed debate I’m afraid marestail has my vote, we are invaded by the stuff and it has now turned from ‘ugly snakesheads’ to ‘pretty little feathery things’ pah! it’ll be ripped out just the same!

  11. Soilman Says:

    Don’t despair, Suzanne: you never get rid of it, but marestail does get weaker and sparser with the years. It hates being determinedly attacked!