Monday, 6 August 2012

Balsam Bashing - or failure to launch ...

This weekend we decided to begin the process of bringing the Himilayan Balsam under control ... 

Himilayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is actually quite pretty, so we didn't think too much about it on our earlier trips - we thought we'd maybe cull some of it back but happily keep some of it ... as, I said, it is really quite pretty.

Unfortunately, it is a bit of a beast - spreads like wildfire, takes a few years of regular "Balsam Bashing" to eradicate, which you ought to do in order to stop it eradicating other flora by sheer dominance.

Balsam plants are easy to remove - just whack 'em with a stick and they die; or just yank out of the ground, they really don't cling to the soil like the Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) we decided to cull instead. Unfortunately, their seeds can lay dormant for up to 2 years ... and as we've both missed the window to kill the plants before they seed and, well, fail to 'bash' any at all on our last visit ... well, it looks like we have a few years to establish a new trend: Balsam Bashing BBQs.

Shortly, we'll take a strimmer to the jungle of Balsam, thistles, nettles, brambles and whatever else there may be and hope (perhaps slightly delusionally) that next year, it won't look quite such a daunting task (oh, and bring a LOT more hands to help!) And maybe stock pile some sticks (aka Balsam Bashers) in a bid to out-manoeuvre our flora fiend.

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