I had the day off yesterday to enjoy the Bank Holiday. The weather has held and it’s been a nice weekend. I went back on the plot this morning and started digging. I had a helper with me in the shape of my two-year old, so I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped initially. I was later joined by a friend who has agreed to help out with the plot in exchange for a bit of growing space. I’ll write a post about children on allotments another time.
The ground is heavy clay soil. I used the hoe to remove the rest of the surface debris and then a rake to clear the area. Covering it with the tarpaulin meant that it had retained some moisture and so could be turned relatively easily with a fork. I use both a full size fork and a border fork. The border fork is slightly smaller which means you don’t lift as much soil, making it a bit easier with heavy soil. The green foliage of weeds and last years crops were added to the compost bin, but roots – especially from the mares tails were put in a separate bin for burning. You don’t want to spread those weeds by adding the roots to your own compost. They need to be destroyed as they can regrow from the smallest part of a root.
I’ve got those seed potatoes to plant, so I’m digging over this top section of the large bed next to the raspberries. I’ll hopefully get a couple of rows planted soon. Dividing the plot up into smaller sections is a good tip for making it more manageable. Anything that wasn’t dug over today was covered again by the tarpaulin. Some people use old carpets, but many sites today don’t allow that, so it is worth checking with your site warden before you do.