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Day 1

Apart from early January when I planted some Asparagus, visits to my plots has been out of the question due to, oddly enough, what else but rain. After 2 dry and sunny days last Monday & Tuesday I decided to begin this seasons first task last Wednesday on N1 Plot which is the drier of the 2 plots. The majority of ground on both N1 & N2 Plots was still mainly wet and sticky but the standing water of  late has drained away. Too early for sowing my favourite veggie, sweetcorn, I decided to prepare the ground where my 2nd favourite veggie, runner beans, will be situated this season. The main support framework of scaffolding poles is permanently erected, running down the length of the L-shape bed. The intention was to take out 2 trenches, 1 running each side of the poles, which at 8 inches (20 cm), spacing of the plants/seeds, gives me enough growing room for 110 bean plants. I dug out the first trench, taking the top soil out, down to just over a spits depth. Approximately 4 inches (10cm) of sub-soil was then loosened, removed and mixed with the top soil being stacked alongside the trench as it was dug out. When the 1st trench was dug out the base of it was lined with cardboard and shredded paper (brown waste), 6 bin bags full in all was used and will hopefully aid water retention during the long hot dry Summer months ahead. A layer of soil was then added on top of the card & paper. I then retrieved a couple of barrow loads of green waste from one of my soggy poor excuses for a compost heap, mainly brussels sprout stems. These were chopped and crushed with a bill hook and deposited on top of the first layer of soil in the trench. Another layer of soil was then added over the green waste. A marker was placed at each end of the trench to indicate the central line of the trench. This will ensure the plants/seeds are planted/sown immediately above the compost in the trench. By mid-afternoon the rain clouds were gathering again, so I held off on starting the 2nd trench and decided to turn my 2 soggy compost heaps instead, in an attempt to assist them to dry out. With another day of rain and hail today (and an earthquake next door in the Bristol Channel), I doubt if the compost heaps are any drier, but at least one task has been completed. This coming weekends weather is forecast to be dry here, so hopefully the 2nd trench will be finished by the start of next week. 

It was nice to hear several birds twittering and tweeting away, during my visit to the plots, whilst they were hiding away in the nearby hedgerows. Not exactly in full song but the sunny weather for the day, must have been a relief for them. Some wildlife I saw down the plots. 1 large common frog, 3 ladybirds, 1 very large bumble bee, 5 Cole tits and several male blackbirds.

Runner bean trench N1 Plot
1st Runner Bean Trench Dug 19/2/14
Brown waste in trench
Brown Waste Added to Trench 19/2/14
Soil & green waste added to trench
Soil & Green Waste Added on Top of Brown Waste 19/2/14
Trench topped off with soil
Green Waste Topped Off with Soil 19/2/14

There's Always Tomorrow!!  


  1. Doesn't it sound odd thinking about taking measures to retain moisture? :)

    1. It certainly does Sue. One thing we a constantly reminded about on our allotments is water conservation. Also if I can keep the soil a little moist then its less bother lugging full watering cans back and forth. Paying for a meter/hoses is too expensive.


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There's Always Tomorrow!!