Saturday, 5 May 2012

A break in the storm (allotment update) ...

I have finally managed to get down the allotment, what with the rain and other things I haven't been able to get anywhere near a spade or a fork.

Not much has changed since I last visited the plot, apart from the weeds, they seem to be doing quite well, some of our spuds have started to grow, and some of the other things.

This is what greeted me -

Not as bad as I though it was going to be.

 The top section, a few more weeds.

I should point out that the large expanse of green to the right of the pictures is the other half of the plot, which isn't managed by us.

As it turns out it wasn't too hard to get things in order, the rain has made the soil quite easy to dig, that and the almost constant digging over of the unused areas (we dig it over each time we visit) we finally seem to be winning against the weeds, although I did notice a fair bit of bindweed coming up in places, will have to keep an eye on that, evil stuff, but has quite nice flowers.

After about an hour I'd cleared the spud rows and the strawberry bed, which is doing quite well.

The spuds -

The green bits you can see are spud plants.

The top section -

Ready for growing stuff.

The strawberries we got from freecycle last year are doing well, I had to do a little weeding, and I found a use for the wood shavings I've been collecting.

The strawberries - 

Before weeding, some good plants, some quite small.

After weeding -

All nice and tidy, with a layer of mulch to help keep weeds at bay.

I knew I'd find a use for the waste from turning wood in the shed, I had 3 bin bags full, which is now being put to use at the allotment, I also used a load to help keep weeds under control around the raspberry plants, which we have many more of now, I keep finding them.

The raspberries - 

Still looks messy at this end of the plot.

And I even managed to make a start on clearing the section where the polytunnel will go, it's very over grown, so much so that because of the roots of brambles, hogweed and various other things I couldn't get anywhere with a fork, so a went at it with my spade.

Polytunnel area (if I ever get it built) - 

There's still a load of raspberry plants in there.

And this is as far as I got - 

Getting there.

It seems that whoever had the plot before us had some bits of paving slab, which over time had gotten buried about 6 inches down, unfortunately as I was having to be a little brutal with the weed roots I rammed the spade straight down on one of these bits, which caused a fair bit of pain in my hands ( I had them operated on a few years ago, they still aren't as strong as they used to be) so I figured I'd call it a day there.

The last job was the plot number, according to the rules the plots have to be clearly marked, and apparently writing the number in permanent marker isn't really what the council meant, who knew, anyway I made a sign.

The sign - 

It's just burned into a bit of scrap wood.

I found a font I liked and printed it out on a bit of a4 paper, then I traced the outline onto the wood (a bit of pallet) and then burned it into the wood, and then gave it a coat of varnish, it should be more acceptable than permanent marker.

All done - 

Should last longer than the marker pen ;-)

And that's about it, I'll be down there again soon, it's a fair bit of work, but worth the effort in the long run, I have two small raised beds to make, one for each of the kids so they can grow their own stuff, and there's the polytunnel as well (I've even figured out how to collect water from it) and of course the endless battle between human and weed, least now I can get on with my small wind powered garden light without feeling I'm neglecting the allotment.

Thanks for reading.

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