29. APRIL

It has been very dry and quite cold during April, I have been mainly working in the greenhouses and weeding. The lack of rain certainly didn’t stop the weeds growing. The same goes for the grass on the paths. One of my paths is covered with woodchip but the other two have got grass. That has grown suddenly and I decided to tackle it. I borrowed a strimmer and got down to it.

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I was used to do it with my shears in the past but they are quite blunt so it had to be the strimmer. I’m pleased with the result.

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Of course my friendly robin was very close to me, not sure though if he managed to get any worms.

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The sun came out in the afternoon and as it will be the last day of April tomorrow I’m hopeful that the weather will improve. I will be planting some more cabbages and kale plants. They have been standing in the open veranda so they are quite used to the weather by now.

LEAFMOULD

This is the best part of autumn gardening – recycling as much as possible. I had a lot of leaves on my path from the Asian pear. I waited till all of them were on the ground and then I was going to put them into the wire enclosure I made last year. The old leaves there have almost disappeared. This didn’t take very long so I continued with the second part of my plan.

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On my way from home to the allotment I walk through an alleyway beside the local primary school. It is always covered with a mix of different leaves. Each year I think that it would be a great addition to my leafmould pile but never do anything about it. Until this year. It took most of the morning and about six trips with a large sack full of leaves but I think it is well worth it.

I have got a lovely pile of leaves to compost and in a couple of years  I will have something to add to my raised beds in the greenhouses.

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SALVAGE/RECYCLING

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.

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Waste not, want not!

MAINTENANCE

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.

Happy days!

ANOTHER PATH

This time I’m working on renovating a path between one of my plots and my neighbour’s plot. Dave hammered in some sturdy supports along the whole length of the path on his side – because our site is sloping down, there is a deep step between my plot and his. This path was always a bit problematic but I think we’ve sorted it out now. Dave has got some soil from his back garden at the back of his property so we’ve been taking it in wheelbarrows to the allotment. Fortunately he lives very near but all the same, it is quite tiring.

This will make our lives much easier from now.

PROJECT PATH

I have finished repairing the main paths on the allotment site, I’m happy.

It was in doubt for a while as I didn’t have enough wood for the edges and also we ran out of wood chip. All is well now – yesterday was the hard work – finding wood and fixing it in place

Today was the day to finish the job but the weather wasn’t kind to me. Never mind, it was only water – and the last path is done! I wanted to get it to this state because everybody can see through our gate and the first impression is important. Now our site is an example (I think ) of a working and well maintained site. Long may it continue!

SOME MORE

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.