End of year work on my new plot
Saturday, 31 Dec 11 Cloudy 12°C / 54°F
It has been a lot of back breaking work digging out the old Raspberry roots & the Couch grass roots! Still, the great majority is now done & much earlier than I expected, thanks to such a mild November. :-))
I certainly hope it will be worth the effort next year as each bed has been dug over twice, once to get rid of the Raspberries & Couch grass, then a 2nd time to dig in the horse & chicken manure. Then I covered the beds with the soil conditioner to try to stop any weeds from coming through before I plant anything in them & to keep the soil a little warmer so as to speed up the rotting process of the manures.
I haven’t kept any of the Raspberries, I dug them all up & as much of their roots as I possibly could in the hope I won’t have to do any more in the future. They were really old plants & very overgrown. They looked as if they hadn’t had any attention for some years. Nevertheless there are a few plants that I haven’t dug up – yet! These are plants that I cut back with the hoe when I first started trying to clean up a portion of the plot around the bean stand. The plants started to make some growth again but I haven’t touched them any more. They are sitting in a “sea” of Couch grass so I’m afraid they will have to come up at some time, when I don’t know, but I can’t allow the grass to continue or it will overrun what I’ve already put a lot of effort into cleaning.
There are lots on Gerry’s plots & last year I ate so many my face began to look like a raspberry I’m sure! LOL!
I spent a few hours on my new plot yesterday & today. I haven’t got any more horse manure at present although there’s lots of chicken manure still. I spent a fair bit of time digging out the compost heap. When I took over the plot in September from the previous tenant the heap was very badly overgrown with Bindweed, as you will have seen from the photo, it also had a wasps’ nest in it! I decided that I was in no hurry to clean out the heap, now that I had plenty of manure so I left it until I was sure the wasps had died with the cold of winter before starting to dig it out.
As I dig out every spadeful I put it in the small wheelbarrow & then do my best to remove even the very smallest piece of bindweed root before dumping the compost on an old carpet Gerry brought down a few weeks ago to my allotment. He said perhaps I could cut it up into strips to use as paths between the beds. As I hadn’t got around to doing that I thought it would be a good idea to use the carpet to keep the compost off the soil till I decide where I’m going to use it. I’ve discovered that by dumping it there I find pieces of root that I didn’t see in the wheelbarrow. I have cleared out about 1/3rd of the heap & will have to continue during the next week or two or three, depending on the weather.
1st Photo: Compost heap as it was when I took over the allotment from the previous tenant!
2nd Photo: View along the allotment when I took over from the previous tenant in September 2011!
3rd Photo: View along the allotment in December 2011!
4th Photo: Compost heap being emptied January 2nd 2012
5th Photo: Soil from compost heap dumped in a temporary location January 2nd 2012.
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