Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day Off

Last night I had the idea of getting rid of the auld wood from the shed and the midden by burning it in the torrential rain. The reason is that, in a rainstorm, no-one keeps their windows open or tries to dry washing on a line outdoors, so none of the neighbours complains about smoke from the bonfire. Which is fine and dandy, but actually getting a bonfire lit in a downpour is another matter, and last night I didn't succeed despite a whole box of firelighters. I think it's going to take a can of petrol.

But it's not urgent. And that's the point about the allotment, everything connected with it should be wholly lacking in urgency. I had been worrying: what if I don't get the levels done in time to start planting? Hey man, chill. It's a hobby, the whole point of which is to relax a person, give them a nice place to visit corporeally, or in the head when waiting for a bus or nodding off to sleep. Deadlines and shit, they're for the working/studying times, not the allotment times.

When I went last night, the pond was filling up, but not as much as I would have expected after (at that time) 4 or 5 hours of heavy rain. I mention it because I need to see how well the drainage is working, and how long it takes the pond to fill. I'll add a new label "pond fill rate" and try to build a picture of how long it takes. I may have to tweak the system, extend the pond, or dig out a new channel from the path.

I noticed a few areas of standing water on the NW bed, but I'm not too worried about them. They were in the levels which haven't been raised, and which have had some clay and/or compaction. They've to get good earth on them (overall it's working out about a barrowfull from the East side covers 1sq yard on the west, and adds about 9ins depth, which is what I need on overage to raise the bed), and then I'm thinking something like winter field beans to put down roots through to the clay or compact soil and loosen it up.

I've still got a couple of kilos of the field beans, which I'm planning to use up this spring, in some sort of combination with the white clover which is to be the principal holding/cleaning green manure throughout the allotment as it comes into cultivation, especially from the onset of spring next month, and the last of the frosts in early May.