Weed Suppressant Paths And Parsnip Crisps

When I had my first allotment in 2005, I decided to have four rotational areas which I separated with Michaelmus Daisys and I must say they look beautiful in September each year when they flower.

.

At first, I would walk all over the soil to plant things and dig it all over each winter.  This was easy to do with one plot but when I took on more plots four years ago, I had to re-look at how I did things.

I decided that in between each row of Michaelmus Daisys I would have four ‘fixed’ beds separated by paths, so I didn’t need to walk on the soil.  The only exception was my potato bed, where I would remove the paths each year and dig the whole area over.

I used weed suppressant that I cut to size for my paths and held it down with small tent pegs.  However, the wind had other ideas so I had to resort to holding it down with bricks instead.

SAM_8494

The bricks were not ideal as the slugs love hiding underneath them and I have often fallen over the bricks when I am not looking at my feet.  Also, the wind still blows the weed suppressant about, as you can see in the photograph below, but the worse thing is the weed suppressant frays like mad where I cut it and I have strands of it everywhere, which gets tangled up in my trowel, fork and even around my legs sometimes.

SAM_8493

  On the plus side however, the paths have been great as I didn’t need to walk on the soil, which meant I could weed when the ground was really wet (as I could just reach into the bed) and all I’ve needed to do each year is lightly fork the soil over if I wanted to and it doesn’t get compressed.

So I decided I needed to do something different.

I thought long and hard and considered the usual options of slabs (which would be far too expensive), wood chip paths (again expensive for the wood to edge the paths) and just plain soil paths (I tried this before and I spent ages weeding them).  In the end I decided to have another go at weed suppressant paths, but this time I was determined to do them properly with no edges to fray.

SAM_8482

I brought the weed suppressant from our allotment shop as it is only £2 per meter (with a width of four meters wide), so this is really good value, though it is a low grade weed suppressant that does need to be doubled.

I cut it into strips that were large enough to be doubled over and I left a couple of inches extra to sew the hems.

I found the weed suppressant would not pass through my sewing machine as it keep catching underneath, so after a whole morning of trying every way possible, I unfortunately had to edge the top and bottom of it with duct tape before I could manage to machine sew it.

SAM_8484 SAM_8485

I sewed the sides together and then turned the weed suppressant inside out

SAM_8486

I then ironed the path flat (I was supprised I could iron it without it melting, but it was fine)

SAM_8480

I then sewed the ends up

SAM_8481

And then I used some Eyelets to stop it from fraying when I pinned it down onto the ground.  I also used a bit of duct tape before putting each eyelet on, to give the weed suppressant a bit more strength.

SAM_8488 SAM_8489

I spaced the eyelets just wide enough to fit the double pins that I had bought, to hold the weed suppressant down.

SAM_8490 SAM_8491

I’m hoping these pins will be better than the small tent pegs I used originally… but I will let you know when it is next windy.

I laid the paths at my allotment and I am really pleased with them.  I think the paths look much better without the bricks and fraying:

SAM_8496 SAM_8497

If the new pins hold the paths down, then I will try and do the rest of the weed suppressant paths around my allotment over the next year or so.

.

Parsnip Crisps:

I’ve not written a recipe on my blog for ages, so I thought today I would.

I like to use everything I grow in as many different ways that I can.  At the moment I still have parsnips at my allotment and it won’t be long before I need the space for something else.

SAM_8324

Parsnips are lovely roasted and I especially like them in a spicy parsnip soup or a nice parsnip cake.

You can also use parsnips to make ‘parsnip crisps’, which is something a little bit different and they taste wonderful when they are served warm.

  This is how I make them:

.

Parsnip Crisps

.

800g parsnips

6 teaspoons olive oil

Salt to taste

.

Preheat your oven to Gas 3 / 160C /325F

SAM_8381

Wash, peel and slice your parsnips finely (I used my food processor for quickness, as it has a slicing attachment)

Rub the olive oil all over the parsnips

SAM_8383

Lay the parsnip slices on greased baking sheets

SAM_8384

And bake in the oven for 25 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time

SAM_8385SAM_8386

While thay are still hot, sprinkle with salt and then enjoy!

SAM_8387

.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at my usual time.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Weed Suppressant Paths And Parsnip Crisps

    • Hi Angela thanks for asking, I love my new kitchen so much. It has become a family area where the kids do their homework while I cook and it is so much easier to cook in as there is so much more space than I used to have. I finally feel like my house is my home now and after all these years I finally feel settled.

  1. I didn’t think you could sew that fabric. Glad you like your kitchen. I cant wait to get a new kitchen the oven went the other day. there were some pops and a bang and when I went out, the oven was covered in white powder… ho hum

    • Oh no, how are you managing without your cooker? It took me a few hours to figure out that I couldn’t stich the weed suppressant in my sewing machine lol, but the duct tape made it possible to sew thank goodness

    • The weed suppressant that I have down on my paths at the moment has lasted approx five years, but I’m sure it will last an awful lot longer as it is the thick stuff. It does fray a lot where it has been cut, which is why I have ‘hemmed’ mine lol

  2. Wow that is some unique way to suppress weeds. You have a lot of patience to do that! What a great idea. We only have a small section of our back yard dedicated to a veggie garden (small yard) but we still get so many weeds. It drives my husband crazy and he gets very frustrated with the whole thing. He says every year that he’s not going to do it any more but when spring comes around, he is already planning the little garden. I try to help too but it’s so daunting to keep up with those weeds. My husband claims some of it is from stuff that falls off the tree in the yard. Is that possible? We seem to have more weeds than other people in my neighborhood. I know that sounds wacky but can it be? You are such a great gardener so I thought I’d ask you. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. Is there anything we can plant around the garden to stop animals such as squirrels from attacking our garden?

    • Hi Kearnygirl, squirrels are really annoying…in fact I have just been watching one in my garden now while thinking about your question. I find they are most annoying when they are burying their nuts in my pots which disturbs my plants. I have read all sorts, like putting chicken wire over plants, putting holly leaves around plants to sprinkling blood, fish and bone around your plants and even feeding squirrels…i’m not sure if any of these will actually work though. I would be fed up too if it was disturbing my vegetable plants…I think I would cover my plants with netting (making sure the side are pegged down well) to see if this helps. Please let me know if it works.

      Your husband is right about trees, some can cause weeds. Our neighbour has a ‘pussy willow’ tree which I find growing all over my garden. Saplings can grow from other trees too eg. sycamore

      Weeds can also get you down. I hoe each and every week from when I spot the weeds growing in early spring, until Autumn and this kills the weeds after they have germinated. It takes only a few minutes per bed to do and it keeps my soil clear. I even hoe perrennial weeds like dandilions etc and eventually they will also lose their strength and die too (though this takes longer). So tell your husband not to give up but hoe, hoe hoe and he will really see a difference.

      Hope this has helped you

      • Thanks so much for all your advice. I really appreciate it. We will not be starting a garden for some time yet here in the Northeast of NJ (USA). We still have snow on the ground and everything is still frozen, although today was a nice spring like day. So I will see how it goes in the future and check back with you and let you know. Thanks again.

    • It is much better when you don’t walk on the soil as it makes it so much easier to plant in the soil as it doesn’t get compressed. I can also weed when it is wet without standing on the soil (which you can’t normally do), which can be a bonus when we have a wet winter like we have just had.

  3. Thank you so much for the parsnip crisps recipe, i love those packets of vegetable crisps i wonder if the same could be done with beetroot and swede? I do admire you perservance with the weed suppresent it works a treat and looks so much better.
    Sue

  4. Your ground cover is amazing! I am in awe of you. No way I’m doing that, lol!! Me and my ssewing machine do not have that kind of relationship!
    The parsnip crisps sound yummy! Another one to put away for future use, thethinks 😉

    • I hope so…that’s the idea anyway. I must say it’s lovely not to have bricks holding my paths down as well…I hope the pins do their job well and hold it down in the wind….only time will tell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s