Monday, October 12, 2015

The NW Bed

It might not look much, but it's the fruit of 50 or 60 hours hard labour. The area at the back was once mounds of earth, covered in nettles, reaching beyond the height of the fence there. The middle and foreground were sunken to 2 or 3 feet below the level now. All of the earth from the mounds was grubbed out, shovelled into the barrow, and used to fill up the hollow bed and its multifarious wee ditches.

Once it was more-or-less level, started the work of digging it over and planting the field beans. 2 rows of digging equals one of beans. They're sown pretty thickly, about 2 inches apart in rows about 10 inches apart - just enough so I can get along them to weed over the winter.  The first row went in (I think) about a week past Thursday, so that's about ten days now, and not a sign of anything germinating yet.

Couldn't quite get the bed finished yesterday afternoon. The dull double thud of Red Road flats being blown up went off as I was digging, followed by a slightly hysterical cheer from one of my allotment neighbours. I'm left with two or three rows of digging to do, and maybe two more rows of beans to plant.

Near the edge of this area, more-or-less where I stood to take the photo, I've laid corrugated iron sheets, and started to cover them with rubble, as a winter refuge for the frogs. Going south past the frog's Winter Palace, there's the old greenhouse foundations, which I've made a start on. And then beyond that there's the outrageously unlevel and mostly unchartered territory at the south end of the west bed.

Shed, pond and poly-tunnel are going there, but I'm determined to make every inch of the allotment garden-able even if I'm going to put a structure on a given area later.  No middens, glass-mines and other atrocities. So if, say, I decide to move the shed, the uncovered area left behind it will just need a green manure and/or horse shit, dug over, and it's ready to garden. By next year, allowing for space taken up by the hedgerow and the path, there'll be 2 beds running South-North, about 4 yards by 28 each, with structures movable to keep the soil healthy. The pond, likely, will be more of permanent feature, but nothing to stop it being moved if necessary.