Allotment visit 8th April 2016

Despite the weather being a bit hit and miss, Ashley and I spent several hours at the allotment today. We emptied out the compost bin in the back garden and took it all down to dress the beds. We thought a whole compost bins worth would be enough – how wrong we were! We’ve managed to give about half the beds a meagre covering each. It’s a good job we have another compost bin at home that should be at least half full of well rotted compost! There is another compost bin full down at the allotment, but it is barely a month old so won’t be ready yet.  It’s amazing just how much compost is needed to refresh each bed. I will have to check on our bags of leaves soon to see how well rotted/broken down they are so far. We took the chickens with us today and they  were more that willing to help by scraping the freshly laid compost around!

Ashley had the good idea of using the damaged poly tunnel frame as a frame to net our raspberries. We considered trying to fix the rips in the cover, but they went pretty much the full length and width of the cover in some places. We have brought it home to try and reuse some of it to make a cover for our little seedling bed. We also thought that we might be able to find some suitable material to re cover the frame, but it is quite bent and leaning to one side. One of the base poles has also snapped. I thought that the only remaining conclusion was the tip, but Ashley doesn’t like to waste a thing and so came up with his idea. We got as far as moving it and placing it over the raspberry bed today.

Ashley built another compost heap at the allotment from some old wooden pallets that had been hanging around. We’ve never had an open compost ‘heap’ rather than an enclosed bin before; I hope it’s efficient enough to break down the vegetation in a reasonable amount of time.

I was so pleased to see that the rhubarb is starting to grow again. You may have seen in a previous post that it disappeared completely over winter and just a few weeks ago, there was still no sign of it reappearing. My little gooseberry bush that I got last year has produced lots of new leaves and I can even see some very tiny gooseberries beginning to form. The small plum tree is also sprouting – these are both in pots and I thought that I may have neglected them too badly last year and over winter for them to survive. They seem to be tough old things! I must remember to add some fresh compost to all of my potted plants soon!

Today was very much a day about finding uses for old, damaged and previously unused (by us) things. There is a certain satisfaction in finding you have all the things you need by just being a bit creative. Admittedly, Ashley is much better at this than me!

Thanks for reading!

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