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turnips anyone?

June 24, 2013 Gotalottie 2 Comments

Those of you who have previously ventured onto this site will recall our undaunted fight with Equisitum Arvense, the lowly – but effectively stubborn – Horsetail.

In a previous post, we described our latest cunning plan - the use of chemistry, allelopathy to be precise, to counter this dastardly little weed. We’d read on the interweb, that there are a couple of plants that are really loathed by Horsetail and we made the decision to give this a try. If successful, all would be well on plot 36 and if not, then we could disprove the idea as an old wives tale. In one long and especially boring evening, we sowed 350 French Marigolds and 500 turnips into modules and threw the trays onto our hotbeds to do their stuff.

That stuff was quickly done and 5 weeks ago, we planted the turnips, in groups of 2 or 3, alongside our paths and in various corners. Mother nature has obliged and now we fight through swathes of Purple Top Milan…

 Unfortunately, we are also still fighting with Horsetail.

they look ok at the moment, but we'll regret it later methinks

they look ok at the moment, but we’ll regret it later methinks


It doesn’t work, cries I.

If there was an allelopathic reaction, I missed it and now the Horsetail happily grows up through the turnip plants. A failure, but it dispels the myth. One day, in the future, allotment folks will be googling out of despair and thank us for this experiment.

At the weekend, Tanya planted out the Marigolds, most of them anyway and all will be revealed in a future instalment.

Of interest, the Horsetail grows very weakly amongst Broad beans and we have a lot of them too. We like our broadies but alas, not enough to turn the whole plot over to them.


On a positive note, the poached egg plants have attracted rather a lot of bees.

our gay companions

our gay companions



Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. At least you tried. Will be interesting to see what happens with the marigolds – what variety? I tried it a few years ago with Tagetes Minuta (mexican marigold) which is supposed to have an affect. But the trial inconclusive. It might have had some effect, but it was a small area and the garden got flooded several times which messed around with everything. And then we moved, so problem solved…

    • royw says:

      Julieanne, Hi

      we’ve planted simple French Marigolds (Tagetes Patula) which are extremely useful for a host of plants, except Beans. They give off thiophene – a natural pesticide – from their leaves and roots which will ward off aphids and whitefly and might kill off root-knot nematodes. It’s probably best to leave their roots in the soil for a very long lasting effect.

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