Monday, 29th July 2013:
Well bloody hell. I said in my last post that it would be hard work. It's slow going. Weeding and harvesting are straightforward enough, but digging the beds to about a spades depth and bagging the soil is hard work. In about 3 hours this afternoon, I managed to do perhaps 1% of the digging.
Once all that digging is done, laying membrane, filling bags, and planting stuff in them should be much easier.
I'm wondering about having some kind of allotment party. Anyone that wants to come along and do a bit is welcome to, and I will provide a barbecue and drinks and what have you. Not sure how many people would or could take part, but it might be worth an ask on facebook or something. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the people who'd be prepared to help.
Tuesday 30th July 2013:
I managed to get a couple of hours in this evening. Yesterday, I tried filling bags directly as I dug soil from the ground, but this is an exasperating experience on your own. The bags flop this way and that, and as much soil tends to end up on the floor as in the bag. I had a large flexible plastic bucket and spading the soil into that was much quicker, and I could then transfer the soil from the bucket into the bags. This though, is extremely inefficient. Kicking sand from beach to beach. The solution was obvious. - Go buy a load of big flexibuckets. I ended up with about 7 or 8 of these buckets, and made much quicker time after getting them. That's about all I need of them. As I dig out a square metre or so, I have space to extend the membrane, and plonk down another big bag, which then gets big buckets chucked into it. Thus freeing the buckets for another load. All these buckets have cost me over £40. The membrane cost about another £40. The builders bags have so far cost about £50 quid or so. For that I've ended up with, I think, 28 or 29 of them. Enough to cover 28 or 29 square Metres of plot. So far that's a total of about £130, but I need a lot more bags yet. Perhaps as many as 100. At an average of even just £1 per bag, that's still another £100. More likely £200 unless I get lucky with freecycle. About £300 to really turn the plot from nothing into something.
I've managed to get a couple of big bags down and filled this evening. Pictures follow...
The bags, being more or less uniform is size and construction, can be modified in standardised ways. Different plants have different needs. It will be simple to construct some kind of cage for things like berries and cherries that the birds like to scoff. Some bamboo poles and a bit of mesh or chickenwire will work. If something needs to climb, constructing a trellis or other support should be simple. Bags that are not being cultivated can be covered over with a lightproof cover to prevent weed growth. One square metre at a time.
I feel pretty good about this. I just know it will work well. I am motivated both to get to the plot, and with a clear plan in place, to word hard when I get there. Tomorrow, my car is in for a service, and I shall spend most of the day there.
driving lessons in North Wirral? learn to drive in Hoylake? driving instructor in Birkenhead?