The wild areas in the walled garden at Marsh Hall have been receding as we push forward, year by year. It is often said that potatoes should form the first line of attack on uncultivated land. But, as Sharron says, potatoes do not clear the ground - gardeners do, and even then the ground is not perfectly cleared. Yesterday she pulled up plenty of bindweed root along with the specimen above (weighing just under a kilo). Sharron is the ideal volunteer on Thursdays because she knows what's she's doing, which cannot be said of everybody. Harvesting versus spearing.
In clearing the ground this way, the gardener forks it over, digs in muck, and later digs deep holes in which to drop the seed potatoes. Then comes the earthing up. This regular attention forces the gardener (not the potato) to keep on top of the weeding, and the disturbance of the soil naturally impedes the weeds' progress. While harvesting, the ground is forked over again, leading to much improved soil and a few barrows of spuds.
Mr Potato Head is available for ground clearance and odd jobs.