07 February 2006
Today I made a commitment to become responsible for ½ an allotment. I am really excited at the prospect but do have doubts about my choice of which one to rent. I like the idea of being at the far end of the allotments but I am not sure that Alan will cope readily with the walk from the car.
However should I choose the other one offered I will not get the shed for tool storage and the hedge which I can over plant with native trees.
There is also a dispute over the boundaries which means that the plot narrows as I walk down it until it is over 1 foot narrower than it is supposed to be.
Do I want to take a plot that has potatoes in the ground full of blight?
But I do really like the thought of having that open outlook from the end of the plot.
I am looking forward to seeing if I can cope with it.
13 February 2006
I put the first tool in the ground today and dug up 2 x ¾ rows of potatoes
They were interspersed with raspberry canes which seemed to be planted somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth. This is not going to be an easy task at all as the potatoes do not seem to have any sort of regular planting plan, some on in the earth below the ridges, some in the hollows and some on level ground.
I learned that the plot is 150 feet long by 18 feet wide AND couch grass is growing so strongly that turning to soil is like trying to turn thatch. Hmmm some challenge.
There is so much rubbish at the bottom of the allotment that I think it would take a skip to clear it out. ... Broken glass from the dismantled greenhouse lies all over the ground, house brick and gravel, corrugated galvanised sheets, rusting metal cages and a shed that looks ready to fall down litter the place. I sure hope I can keep up the enthusiasm and not get too disheartened by it all.
18 February 2006
What luck! Today we followed a small tractor fitted with plough blades into the allotment area. We learned that it was a young couple called Sarah and Joe, who took on their allotment last April. After second thoughts they agreed to plough my plot. I now have over ¾ of the earth turned into deep ridges which means that I can at last get marked out into beds ready for planting. Whoopee
Alan took lots of photos for me which is really good.
Tuesday, 21 February 2006
Yesterday I finished heeling in the fruit trees. I have made a scale plan of the allotment and made several plans to see how best to lay it out, so far I am leaning towards a no dig plot. This would entail lots of beds of approx 4ft wide but I can’t decide whether to have them running north to south or east to west, or how wide to make my paths.
Today I have ordered lots of weed control membrane to lay on the paths and any beds I don’t get planted before the weeds start in, also some agricultural black polythene under which to plant my potatoes.
22 February 2006
I really seem to have hit the ground running but it seems that it is all or nothing.
I have a plan for the allotment and suddenly there are loads of opportunities to make it happen. It is happening so fast I can’t keep up.
Today membrane and polythene arrived; I have the bench and a shed ordered for next week.
Tomorrow we go to see a potential shed for the relaxation area and I have a chance of cheap pallets for the bases, fences and compost bins. If it all comes together I can get rid of any unwanted bricks within the pallet slats, which will tidy the plot and any good bricks can be used for a stove bench and an incinerator.
The weather is bitterly cold but if it goes to plan I will have to work at it whatever the weather. The bonus is that I will be up and running ready for the start of the planting season.
27 February 2006
Things are coming together well. The pallets have been delivered and I have started clearing the ground on which to lay them.
The building rubble will be buried between the slats which I hope will act as extra support and reduce any effect when they wood eventually rots away.
Hedge plants are ordered, or already here.
My plan is now completed and printed out.
The shed should be here on March 1st which will let me take all the tools down there, and then I will be ready to go for it.
I can’t recall when I last felt so excited about a new venture.
Sunday, 05 March 2006
The shed went up on Wednesday as expected and work seems to be progressing well. I am building a dead hedge to attract as much wildlife as possible. The Blackthorn and Hawthorn are heeled in with the fruit bushes waiting for me to clear the area they are to go.
Two young lads, Ashley and Sean arrived at the site looking for work. They made some progress raking back some of the ploughed soil to fill the trenches.
I sure do ache but I look at my plot and I can understand why.