Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Digging it.

Digging over the NW bed at last. Lovely soil at the north end, first time in this allotment I've dug over with the spade rather than the fork. I might have it dug over and sown with field beans by early next week. And then I'm moving on to the old greenhouse foundations. I took a look at them last night, and said, spontaneously, under my breath: This is going to break my heart. That's in the shipyard use of that phrase, meaning it's going to be bloody hard work, digging out a mountain of rubble and old wood and - of course - plenty of broken glass.

On the plus side, I've got twenty-odd Papaver somniferum legacy volunteers which are starting to yield absurd amounts of seed. The borage and the phacelia are like Piccadilly Circus: honey bees, mostly, bumble bees, some other kind of bee which I can't name, hoverflies, and a tiny moth. I don't yet know how to do it, but I plan to harvest a rake of seeds from them, too, and, somewhere, sow a 9 square yard patch of all three plants mixed in together... or maybe spread them around somewhat. The comfrey is also flourishing and attracting insects. I'll split them again and get a good big patch somewhere.

Got mice (or maybe rats) in the "shed". Some poppy straws I'd left in there were tumbled all over, so something has ran over them. That bloody structure must get emptied and demolished asap. I keep banging my head as I go in the door, for one thing. It's an eyesore for another. And now it's a home to vermin. I'm under a lot of pressure to get a jack russell terrier, and I'm yielding to it: just the smell of a dog at the allotment will give rats and mice pause for thought. And if it catches a rat or two, word will go round the rodent community that this allotment is to be avoided.

I can see now where the hedge is going to be, and started to research best place online (there's nowhere in Glasgow) to buy bare-root trees. I'm aiming for 400, up to 2ft high, at about 25p each. Mostly hawthorn. I'll transplant all the soft fruit bushes into the hedgerow too. And next year, fill any gaps with the gorse that I'll be starting from seed. I don't think I'll need much alder or willow, now that the flooding seems to have been solved by levelling.

I didn't need to relay the whole path, it was actually in pretty good nick, with a course of brick underneath most of the slabs. I had to extend it six feet to reach the boundary fence at the bottom, and I did that with three courses of bricks. It's not very good workmanship, being uneven and a bit wobbly, but it was after all a first effort. It'll do for now.

And now, I'm off for a dig.