Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Old Greenhouse Floor, Clear at Last, Temporarily

I notice I started working on this area back in September, I got it clear then, and used it to pile up excess earth. That pile at last got cleared and has all now been through the big riddle. I lost count of how many barrows full it involved; a lot, anyhow. But now that it's clear, this morning I've rigged up a new improved version of the big riddle on the old greenhouse floor, and when Storm Doris has done her worst and moved on, I can at last get started riddling out the rubbish and glass infested no.5 bed.

That will likely take up most of March. Already, following a few days of mild weather, the weeds are re-appearing. I get a bit stressed about this, but tell myself that 2017 just isn't going to be pretty. Dad said, when I first got started on this plot back in summer 2015, spend a year just getting rid of weeds. And that's what I should have done, but decided instead to plant a potato patch and a few rows of other crops, which got trampled by the dogs, or choked by weeds whilst I was at Greenwich University last summer.

So heigh ho. This entire year is to be given up to clearing the weeds and stones and glass. No crops apart from the garlic I've already planted. Things have to follow a natural course here. Charles Dowding points out that it's far better to have plants get a head start in the greenhouse (though I'll use a potting shed and poly tunnel), before putting them in the ground, (which reinforces the conclusion I came to last year). And I can't build a potting shed until I've got all the rubble out, because I get rid of said rubble (not to mention the bloody glass) in the shed foundation. Likewise, I can't yet put up a polytunnel, because I need the old greenhouse floor as a workspace, mostly for piling up earth as it gets riddled.

And so, as I said, heigh ho. I may have to break off from riddling to fight a rear-guard action against the weeds, making sure none of them this year grows big enough to give seed. The bloody well did last year when I was away, and that summer in London is going to haunt me in the form of "one year's seeding, seven years' seeding". Mostly, then, I'm working out the logistics of weeding, and the green manures I'll sow onto the riddled beds for this year. But sometimes I glimpse, dimly, the plot in 2018, with my shed and poly tunnel and 5 beds with rows of crops, edged with perennials...