Monday, September 21, 2015
The Path of Righteousness
The bottom of the allotment, once a mound of earth across the whole width of the garden, (30ft) and up to 5ft wide and 4ft high, has now been cleared, and used to level the big NW bed - which is now pretty level. The old path stopped at the foot of the mound. The photo here shows the northern end of the garden, where the mound once stood, and the first stage in a new path. The old one consisted of paving slabs on top of a couple of bricks or broken bricks. The soil underneath has a very high clay content - it may be the original soil, as the subsoil is heavy clay, and it would make sense if the original topsoil contained a lot of clay.
This might be why I'm getting flooding, if the water is running down the slight slope to my plot, and getting held up by heavy soil running right down the middle, under the path. So, the plan is, lift the path, dig down, and re-lay it on a 2 or 3 layers of old bricks and other rubble - you can see where I've made a start. The rubble should, theoretically, act as a French drain under the path, and there'll be no more puddles after rain on the (now raised) NW bed.
The clay heavy soil is also going onto that NW bed, but that's ok: the earth from the mound suggests it was an old compost heap. It wasn't christmas-pudding mix compost, exactly, but it seems to have a higher humous content than the ordinary garden soil. So, dug in with the existing soil, and the really old soil from under the path, it should be an interesting mixture, with the winter field beans to help it all get acquainted.
In between bouts of digging and levelling, I stop and look at this area and say to myself: next year, there will be neeps here!