Friday, 13 March 2009

Pavement Blockweed

I have an allotment. Keeping the weeds under control requires prompt and regular attention: failure to deal with weeds can make them extremely hard to eradicate, and many spread rapidly, popping up suddenly in other places due to fast growing underground suckers.
Vehicle parking seems to have parallels: This is Upper Cheltenham Place, Montpelier prior to 'pavement blockweed action day'

As detailed on this blog the aggressive attack on this 'pavement blockweed' led to weed free pavements (below)

....though neither bike nor pedestrian have adjusted to the new weedfree space and prefer to use the road. The pedestrian in particular seems to be wandering in a state of shock)

The purge lasted for around 10 days, then as always the green shoots reappeared...

and in three weeks it was fully regrown.

The local police unit are no doubt doing their best but the growing season is upon us:
it takes a lot of resources to keep weeds under control. On neighbouring Ashley Road, patrolled by a different police unit, a lack of weeding over the winter has allowed the pavement blockweed to take hold in several places:

This weed W659VGC has been allowed to take root here for five days without any attempt to uproot it. Possibly this is the front garden of the flats next to the pelican crossing but fortunately hasn't yet spread onto the zigzags, which are there for the safety of those crossing the road.
Similar weeds (Y403WDO) have taken root outside the Criterion pub -the manager clearly isn't a gardener.

We do not resource the police to do pavement weeding more than occasionally, which is why we also pay the council to do it. Bizarrely, some people have been complaining that Bristol City Council Parking Services are completely useless at dealing with this problem. Really? Seriously? Obviously, its the Allotment office we should be calling.
So what are the options?
The traditional approach is to spray with chemicals: Not for me, I prefer organic approaches, but in weeding terms that means dig it out. No thanks.
I like the permaculture approach: call it a 'Pavement Blockweed Control Workshop'.
All you have to do is provide free cider, decide to work with nature instead of against it and watch your friends cover it with fruit bushes, comfrey and nasturtiums.

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