Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Dubdug rising - a new project

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a fellow Master Composter to see if I was willing to help out a friend with her allotment.
This friend has been experiencing back problems for the past couple of years and as a consequence, she has lost control of her plot, and needs some help to get it back in order.
I agreed to meet up with her to take a look and initially I was shocked at how overgrown the allotment is.
When I looked a bit closer though, I could see that under the bindweed, there is the bones of a really great allotment plot. My friend had experimented with straw bale cultivation, and I find that really exciting. The bales that are currently there need replacing, but they give a really interesting dynamic to the allotment.

My approach will be to break down the plot into task sized chunks. It is all too easy to look at the whole thing (the 'big picture') and to feel overwhelmed, so just tackling a single area at a time is something that works well for me. I started with the strawberry bed, it was so overgrown that you couldn't even see the globe artichokes over the bindweed that was strangling them.
I've now moved on to the area around the straw bales covering the ground with thick layers of cardboard. I really want to try to get the plot under control using 'no dig' methods. I want to help to create a plot that is as back friendly as possible.

My friend had also used some amazing large industrial sink type things to create really interesting planters. She'd planted them up with a range of mints. I've now weeded round them (they were full of docks) and planted an empty one up with some winter lettuce and an old rosemary plant I found feeling very sorry for itself in a pot.
So, I'm facing a new challenge whilst also managing my own garden, my daughter's garden and doing the final year of my OU degree. Oh yes, and I work full time in a demanding job....Work/life balance hey?




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