Monday, April 23, 2007

Construction completed!

Boy, am I feeling knackered today. No one would seriously contemplate doing 7 hours of hard slog in the gym, so why do us gardeners do it on the allotment or in the garden?? (Because it is more enjoyable of course!)

One final push yesterday, saw the completion of the last two wooden raised beds. The last four at the southern end of the site (beds 6, 7, 11 & 12) have been made with bought pressure treated timber, as Freecycle did not have anything to offer.

The area was rotivated a week ago (2 hours) and 2 beds constructed. (2hours) I hired the allotment association’s rotivator for the bargain sum of £2 per hour and spent 2 hours wrestling with it as I tried to force it through the solid crust of clay. Although a cheap loan, there was no reverse facility and I had to keep the throttle full open to stop it stalling, so the peace of the Sunday morning (from 10am) was shattered for the allotment’s neighbours- sorry!

Yesterday I worked from 9.45 until 17.30 with only an hour off for lunch built the last 2 beds, laid the pathway fabric and planted 70 organic seed potatoes, leaving a gap for the sweet potatoes which have yet to arrive from T&M.
10x each of varieties as follows:
Charlotte, Orla, Valor, Desiree, Sante, Sarpo Mira, Pink Fir Apple.

I now have to stand up from sitting very slowly, as my muscles creak and cry out in protest!

83 Onions – started in modules- have gone into bed 9; 51 Red Baron and 32 Centurion. (30 spare Centurion to be fitted in else where)

The permanent fruit bed is made but not dug and my 2x redcurrant, 2x blackcurrant and 2x gooseberries are waiting to go in. The raspberry bed has been neglected and I might just see whether they crop this year. If not I will cut my losses and start again in the autumn with fresh new canes and re-conditioned soil

Bed 2, with over wintered garlic, shallots and broad beans is doing well, but has cracks in the clay that I can fit my finger into! It’s strangely exciting to see the pods forming on the beans, so I will have to start watering, if it doesn’t rain soon.

All we need now is some rain- whatever has happened to the ‘April Showers’? We’ve had no rain here in the south of England for the whole of April!

I’ve also been pretty busy in the garden at home, dividing perennials and filling in the gaps where last year I grew my wedding sweep peas. I’m aiming for a low maintenance garden with no pots which require watering daily.

We are planning on having the patio levelled, but can’t agree on exactly what to do! We can agree on the type & colour of the paving, but not on whether to keep the patio ‘L’ shaped or turn the far most bit in front of the camellia, into a raised bed.


Frankie Baby said...

Holy cow! That's a fantastic amount of work. The beds look great, very neat and tidy and with stuff growing already. said...

Congratulations! Amazing transformation in one year. Hope you have some rain soon. Happy gardening

primrozie said...

Whew! Great job!! What will you do with all that food? Do you preserve a lot of it?

I try to put some up in jars and in the freezer.

My raised beds are much smaller (4'x4') and I have 6 of them. In order for me to grow enough for my family, I use a "big bang" approach. Where a mass amount of veggies are harvested at one time, preserved, and a whole new planting of something takes its place in the garden. Each bed will produce 2 - 3 mass plantings per growing season.

welsh girls allotment said...

The raised beds are stunning I can't wait to see them full of things to eat !!