Ok, a short and sweet update! After weeks of toiling over a fork and spade (and eventually a large, heavy duty rotavator borrowed from an agricultural supplier!) we finally began planting and hoping for the best. I had BIG plans for a polytunnel and started to mark out the footings as soon as I possibly could. This proved to be one of the best things I've bought! More on that later.
Armed with a petrol strimmer, there was no weed that could stand in our way! Here's Henry re-instating the original pathways between the beds.
All that digging is thisty work! Essential sustenance break, hot soup, baguette and tea. Lots and lots of tea.
Starting to see the rewards for all our hard work! Recognisable pathways, borders weeded and mostly root free. Lots of trips to the tip to get rid of bindweed root. Those are 1 tonne rubble bags FULL of weeds. I do not miss this!!
Finally a neat looking bed. Here you can see the black membrane being used to kill off the grass before digging over. This bed was the toughest of the lot to clear. The fruit cage certainly came in handy over winter as an extra weight. In Spring we gradually uncovered the rest of the bed bit by bit and worked each section throughly before moving on to the next. Slow process but it worked really well. As we went we dug in chicken pellets to give the soil a nutrient boost before planting.
Tedious work digging over this last bed. We were given an absolute golden nugget of advice to help nature do some of the ground breaking: Plant loads of potatoes and they will break the soil for you. So we did! And I'm pleased to report it worked a treat. Yes there were HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of pretty small potatoes which were really fiddly to peel, but as the ground was so tough and compacted this was hardly surprising. However - the point of the exercise was to break up the soil and once the last of potatoes were harvested, the ground was almost a pleasure to work!
Things were slowly starting to take shape at the end of 2015. At least it looks like an allotment now! Stay tuned for next update.