I was catching up with some more digging yesterday afternoon and today. It was the right kind of weather, especially today, it turned rather cold and grey, just as the forecast predicted.
This piece of land was used to be in my care a few years ago but I gave it up when somebody in charge of adults with health problems expressed interest. I thought it a great idea but it never took off. My friend on the site took it on but this year said that her own plot was enough work for her and didn’t want to carry on. So it came back to me.
As I enjoy digging it was not difficult. It is all done and this way I can grow many more pumpkins and squashes because all the other land is already earmarked for other things. It would have been the case to fit them in wherever there was a bit of room.
The soil is lovely, the larger part of it was covered with tarpaulin and we kept some woodchip on it. All that was gone now and it will be back in production. I can’t wait to see all my huge Maltese pumpkins growing there.
The last path to be filled with wood chip is ready, the edges are built with planks of wood from a dismantled fencing panel so today I could concentrate on the fruit cage. I’ve had this cage now for a good number of years and it needed sorting out. Some of the blackcurrant bushes were getting too old, they had to go. Blueberries are a super food, I like them and we put them on our porridge every morning so I bought a few new bushes. Early and late varieties and planted them in the cage. I already had some of them there. Now I have two standard red gooseberries, a redcurrant, two white currants and a jostaberry. That is only a cutting, I haven’t had any fruit from it so I live in hope.
I’m always amazed how well the weeds grow – even though I thought I managed to pull them all out, they came back. I cleared them again. That done, I wanted to put pieces of wood all along the bottom. The netting is buried in the soil and pinned down but this is for extra security, in case some little bird or a mouse should find a gap to get in.
Spring is here, I just hope my Asian pear tree isn’t bursting into flower too soon – we might get some late frosts.
Quite a lot of houses in the neighbourhood are in process of being either renovated or, more the pity, turned into houses of multiple occupancy, eg. student accommodation. That means the workmen are removing a lot of fitted cupboards and such like and this is where I come in. My motto – if you don’t ask you don’t get – works every time. Rather than putting the planks etc in the skip, the builders usually keep it to one side for me and I take it to the allotment.
All this will be used in renovating the paths – not all of them, some are fine with grass surface but some are too narrow or uneven to maintain well. Having the wood chip on will keep them tidy and mud free.
Waste not, want not!
We managed to win third place in the Coventry Allotment competition, our site looked fine but we are determined to do better this year. We shall hold a trophy for a year and also get some money for our troubles.
I contacted the tree surgeon again and he gave us a truckload of wood chip with the promise that as soon as he’ll have more we shall get it. Amazing how much was needed just to fill these paths – all the wood chip has gone there. We shall store the next lot and use it as and when and where we need it.
Thanks to my friend I have got more wood – a dismembered large pallet so I was able to continue with my path renewal.
However I shall have to stop for a while, I don’t have any more wood chip. Never mind, I could just prepare the sides and fill the path as and when I get some more.
At the same time I sorted out the raspberry patch and as I was finishing it started to rain. Perfect planning.
I can confidentially say that I’m an expert on path renovation. I found another two pieces of wood and mended another path.
I just need a steady supply of scaffolding planks
The back hedge was half done yesterday – our two workers had to stop because our hedge is beside a road leading from a primary school, health and safety and all that.
I went for a walk after lunch today and there they were, finishing the job, sweeping and making everything neat.
Wayne Allen and his mate did a fantastic job! The hedge has never looked better and thanks to their effort we have a nice mountain of wood chip and I have already used some.
I’ve got a few more paths waiting for the same treatment.
My work will resume tomorrow, the weather forecast is good.
Finally! The back hedge is being done, almost as I write this, and as a result I have more wood chip.
Also I managed to find some more wood and was able to finish the edges of my main path. It wasn’t easy because over the years the path became uneven so before I put the wood chip down I had to shave off the edges. Now I know exactly how to repair paths, just get me more wood and I’m ready to carry on….
The weather has changed rather dramatically so I was able to continue with the upkeep of my main path.
The next task is to spread the wood chip on it and I’ll be happy.
I just need to find some more wood to finish the job – a couple of scaffolding planks would do the job…
…are very useful. Apart from a few parsnips still in the ground all my digging is done. It is maintenance time now. The second greenhouse is done, beds are ready to start growing so now I have to get down to repairs etc.
This path was always to be the next one to sort out. It is between two of my plots so it is important that I can walk there without being afraid that I’ll slip.
I had some more pieces of wood left (most likely salvaged from someone’s demolition of a bed), they were just the right size to support the edges and the rest was easy. We’re in the process of having the trees at the back of the site, outside the new-ish fence trimmed to the height of the fence and at the same time we have the wood chip deposited in the top corner of the site, on an unused plot. A win – win solution.