We came armed with our new tools, at £29.99 this seemed like a great deal from Argos, and I knew that because I read someone else’s blog where they hare bought the same tools for the same cheap price. They won’t last a life time, but it would mean we would be all set. We found from previous visits that one spade between all of us was never going to work well.
Myself and Tom went today with the idea of preparing a bed to put garlic in, with the idea that you plant it on the shortest day and harvest on the longest. It made sense to make this our first bit of planting, and so while I prepared the bed, Tom dug out old crops on the other bed and did a bit of hoeing between the raspberry canes.
You read so much about no-dig and raised beds, but I like digging in flat beds. I like it so much that last time we had an allotment I double-dug most of it to get it started. I decided to do the same here, a one off event that will mean following years will mostly be no-dig. Today it would be just a small bed, mix in some compost, then plant in a couple of days time.
Being a week day we found two or three other people on the site which is the first time we have really seen anyone. I had a small chat with the bloke on the plot next to ours who was busy having a bonfire and a small tidy up.
It wasn’t really the right weather for digging, the clouds were low and which meant back at home we couldn’t see the top of the hill that the allotment is on. The mud stuck to our boots just a little bit too much. Tom put down some planks for us to walk on, which helped a small bit.
Being the shortest day of the year meant we could tell the light was turning and it was still mid afternoon. We had bought a massive roll of damproof membrane to cover as much of the plot as we could, but we ran out of time. The roll is 4 metres wide which means we need a clear space to roll it out, this looked like a job for another day too. We cleared off a load of grass and weeds from one of the beds, unwrapped a blackcurrant bush from dying grass – and then called it a day.