This is where I show you things that can happen with plants and gardens where all you can do is

throw your hands up and say ” Oh No! “


Salt Wars

I recently heard about a neighbour who didn’t like the shrubs from next door shooting under the fence and coming into his ‘garden’. His solution was to cut into the roots and tip herbicide under the fence into the neighbour’s garden bed. As if this wasn’t enough, he then bought a large bag of swimming pool salt and deposited the entire amount under the fence around the shrubs.

There is a reason the Romans used to salt the earth of their enemies. It is toxic to most plants and would mean that no food crops could grow in that soil for many years, perhaps even decades. Their enemies facing starvation, would therefore no longer be a threat.

This person has knowingly done this to his neighbour and his own garden, for which he cares not. He has also polluted the ground water and possibly contaminated any runoff which may affect the surrounding area. The living soil biota will be harmed and the soil could become sterile.

Any time people ask me for salt for their garden, it rings alarm bells and I always ask why. The answer is always “to get rid of weeds”. This is one of the old methods of weed control that still seems to be handed down through the generations. It is time that this practice stopped. There are plenty of other, safer ways to control weeds. Ways that will protect your soils.

Apart from hand pulling, weeds can be killed by the application of boiling water, by smothering with mulch or by solarisation with plastic sheets. Glyphosate is still the quickest chemical method, though I would not recommend its use where food crops are to be grown. These methods will allow you to grow plants in the bed after weeds have been removed.

Always think before going for the ‘sledgehammer’ effect and ask yourself what other ways are there. The man I mentioned at the beginning chose a method that was illegal and will end up being costly not only for the environment but ultimately for him if he is caught.