Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Rakes and Hoes

We've had three whole days off and only managed to spend around six hours on the allotment, which is disappointing. Trouble is, I've mail-ordered my seeds (along with a few tools, a John Yeoman book and several other goodies) and I can't afford to go out too early in the day and miss delivery!
However, we have managed to finish digging the first 8ft section of our plot, clear a load of rubbish from the site, and build a beautiful bin round our compost heap out of pallets. Eddie also found a frog, which was very exciting. A chase ensued and the lady three plots away looked at us in a very strange way...

The weather continues to be beautiful; today was the best of all and it hurt being stuck indoors at work until after dark. I've even got a tan from these last few days (a little worrying considering it's only March I suppose)!
The 8ft strip we've cleared is to house the compost bin (soon to be compost bins), our asparagus bed, fruit bushes and raspberries in the autumn (though looking at it now I'm not convinced there's really room) and some comfrey plants, which should arrive in May.
It's also to be for storage, though we haven't quite figured out how. We have two options really; either a small upright shed, or a horizontal plastic trunk, both costing around £60 we don't really have. I'm reluctant to get a shed for several reasons; (a) it must look more inviting to theives and vandals, (b) you have to get planning permission, (c) it's tall, so it'll block off some of next door's sunlight, and (d) what an effort to build and treat it! (I know; I'm lazy.) The trunk would take up more groundspace than a shed, I can't find one long enough to put rakes and hoes in, and isn't lockable (I'm not really sure if it needs to be round here). We'll probably go for the trunk option in the end; there's a good one in B&Q that doubles as a bench (and we really need somewhere to sit down!) But that means the rakes and hoes will have to stay out in the rain... A decision must be made soon; at the moment our tools are living in a cardboard box in the communal shed (and our gloves, nails, tape measure and other bits and pieces in and upturned bucket on our plot!) but they cannot stay there!
Tomorrow I have another day off and I hope to dig the next 8ft strip. I marked it out yesterday and made a start but didn't get very far; it's painfully slow work picking out all the pieces of root left behind. When we move on again I won't try to remove any of the grass before digging and hopefully the soil won't be full of broken roots. You see; already we're learning from our mistakes and refining our methods. (And I expect there will be plenty more mistakes along the way to learn from!)

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