We woke to a lovely sunny day today (although it was quite windy and cold too) so we decided it needed to be an allotment day - and this time I had my digger with me! Mr Locket is quite happy to dig wherever directed although as an archaeologist he wishes I wanted deeper "excavations"!
There is so much to do at the allotment right now and it is fairly overwhelming but I asked my friend Alison's advice as she is a natural gardener (her allotment is next to mine and is stunningly beautiful even when hardly anything is growing). She suggested we dug in the bed of green manure - so we did, and then she suggested that I weeded one raised bed at a time - but, um, I didn't and went off on a whole different tangent and decided to change the layout of the plot instead!
We were originally criticised by some of the traditional allotmenteers for creating the raised bed system on our plot because we were apparently "wasting half the growing space with paths".
But at the time it was the only way we could face tackling the huge and totally derelict space we had taken on - one small bed at a time. We also needed space for the children to be able to walk around without trampling on the crops. So raised beds worked for a few years, and looked very nice too.
The downside of this system was that the paths in between got very weedy and with the last two long damp summers the weeds were definitely winning. It was also getting very difficult to get the weeds out that were sending their roots under the edging boards.
So today I decided we should join up each set of three beds at the front of the allotment so they only had paths longitudinally. Which meant that Mr Locket and Fred needed to get busy with the saw......
The beds originally measured 6 foot square but by removing the cross-paths I have probably added another 4 foot to the whole length making each long bed about 22 foot by 6 foot wide.
It will be much easier to dig the weeds out and I now have a larger area in which to grow my crops - it just doesn't look as pretty now!
So it was a good second day at the allotment for 2009 and the children had loads of fun playing with their friends.
P.S. What I forgot to mention was that I nearly didn't achieve anything at the allotment today because the first thing I did was go and check the pond. This was before I changed out of my crocs into my NEW BOOTS(!) and because the ground was quite wet I slipped and fell and nearly landed head first in the pond!!! I only just managed to save myself and my hand went in and so did the lapel of my cardigan! It would not have been a good start to the day if my head had gone in too!!!