|Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden|
Recovering Plot 17
|A Good Day’s Work Was Had!|
|Arriving on Friday to review the compost units and l discovered it was just a swampy mess with water everywhere, however, we managed to get it all sorted and now the area whilst still wet, will be drier and finally workable with the new weed matting carpet. |
The new tarp lids were also finally secured to the boxes, this will make things much more manageable too. It looks tidier now.
|Last week was wet. There is no nice way of saying it. It wasn’t just wet, but really wet. The ground was soaking, and the water table was also soaked through. Of course, it still needed more water to keep certain folks happy. Farmers, for instance, were complaining about the rain but still saying it wasn’t enough. The water reserves will still be in shortage until the spring of next year.|
So despite all this water falling for twelve hours non-stop on some days, it wasn’t wet enough!
However, l am not a farmer in the traditional sense of the word, and l am not someone who monitors water shortages in the UK! I am, however, an allotment gardener, and l can say hand upon the heart – that the ground wasn’t just wet, it wasn’t just saturated either, oh no, the land was soaked and sodden!
The grounds on Plot 17 were just shy of swamp land when Suze and l arrived there last Friday. I learned that day also that the reason that some of the allotment plots looked waterlogged was on account of the underground streams that lie not far beneath the surface of the grounds there! That would explain a lot. I am lucky that my plot is up a slight incline and thankful that l am not at the bottom of the same slope!
The woman who told me, Beth, my immediate neighbour next door on Plot 18, told me how she used to have Plot 5, which is way down near the entrance and after heavy rains, her lands would disappear
beneath waters like Atlantis! It was the reason she transferred to Plot 18.
Ironically, l seem to recall being told that plot 5 was ‘an excellent plot’ by the council, which would make for a nice bit of land to start with!”
I am glad it was too small for our needs. But it is a bit disconcerting that they say these things, given how bad the flooding is.
Anyway, banter aside – Friday the 4th was the day that Suze and l managed to finally return to the allotment after an absence of some time. We had dropped bits and bots off between the last working day and the Friday, but we hadn’t stopped for long enough [well, aside from the 30 minutes setting up the compost bins] to do any proper work on the allotment since the middle of October.
Working the garden, sorting compost, and sorting the worm farms out and bad weather had slowed progression. The list l wanted to get done for the day was long, and we still need to finish it. We managed to get some done and some that weren’t on the initial list.
One of the primary jobs to achieve was to transfer the content from the big compost bin to the four smaller compost bins. That couldn’t be completed because the grounds around the compost units were sodden, swampy and slippy. Although l also wanted to improve the working lid functionality to the whole compost operation and that was covered.
In an ideal world, we would have had three tons of dry bark chippings outside our gate, ready to spread between the pathways and around the composting area. However, we live in the real world and not the fantasy one! Which means they weren’t there!
This further meant that walking between the compost units would prove treacherous and so was not viable. We had two other jobs: re-mat the raised beds and mat up Polly or the Polytunnel area. The latter was weed-ridden, so Suze weeded that, and as she was doing so, she also managed to lay the tarps to the ground and peg them in so that they would act as weed suppressants. She did a cracking job on that.
While she was doing that, l did what work l could with the compost and decided to start fresh hot batches when the area was drier or at least more work-friendly.
I did, however, notice that the compost bin was manufacturing internally high heat and had reduced its overall weight since the last time l had attended to it in mid-October and had reduced its volume by a good eight inches.
That’s pretty impressive, but l had fed it with leaves, greens, coffee, and bokashi during my shorter visit times, so it would have created a very high heat to achieve that. It shows how well the closed-box systems work with heating compost.
Once Suze had finished the Polly area, we then attended to the raised beds. The job was to pin the weed mats down to the soil properly and, where required, cut new mats to replace old and tired matting left by the previous plot renter. During this replacement task, Suze and l decided to use the old matting as a floor for the compost area!
This would further mean that once we did have a surplus of bark chips, we could then more easily bark chip the area anyway, but also, as they are 1] weed suppressants and 2] a firmer surface, it means that l can safely walk around this area with ease and not become bogged down with a foot of mud on my boots.
We didn’t get everything done that was on the initial list, but we still managed to achieve a good amount of stuff that was and some that needed to be added. So, all in all, a good day’s work.
Now we have to wait for the rains to stop again ….
|Suze did a cracking jon on Polly, she weeded the space out completely and managed to mat it up all very nicely too. This matting will suppress the weed growth.|
|We did really well on the raised bed area also. Of the 15 functional beds 8 had to have new weed mats cut to fit and this meant that we could pin them all properly to the soil and remove any tiles or planks of wood that were holding the older mats down.|
|Thanks for reading – l’ll catch you next time.|