Saturday, April 14, 2012

All from nothing... (part 10)

Our efforts to transform an unused piece of land into a productive vegetable garden. 

There's only so much one can write about regarding the digging of soil. I want this blog to stay fresh (and hopefully interesting), so I haven't posted in a while. In some ways, activity at the allotment has been more of the same - forking the soil, breaking it up and removing the largest of stones and all the roots I could. There's progress being made slowly but surely, and I've enough soil prepared to plant out some vegetables. Meanwhile there's an ever growing mound of stones which I've yet to remove. 
The photo doesn't do the cairn justice!

This is all "by the way" information. I'll get it all done soon, and the allotment will be all the better for it. Not to mention that I'll feel better myself for having done the work properly.

More than endless digging and forking has been going on however. I purchased several stake posts that I'll need to keep the fencing up. I also bought "bull wire" to prevent the chicken wire that I'm using as a fencing from sagging. 
The posts are 5'6" in height, as they need to be hammered into the soil at least a foot and a half in order to remain stable. Finally, as some of the posts will be running along side an electrical fence, a farmer that I'm friends with kindly gave me a couple of plastic hooked screws to "hold" the electrical fence against them without the danger of it being grounded. 

I enlisted the aid of my father to help me hammer the posts into the ground. I got the lend of a post-driver off my brother in law, and with this tool, we were able to erect the posts correctly in short order. We then worked out the height the chicken wire will sit at (after allowing for burying some of it to stop rabbits digging under it). We then ran the bull wire along this height, keeping it in place using U-shaped nails that we hammered into the posts. After this, we made the bull wire taut by pulling it with a hammer, and tied it off tightly. Later, I screwed in the plastic hooks, and placed the electrical fence into them. 

We were unable to finish putting up the bull wire, as the pile of sod at the bottom of the allotment was in the way. As this has to be removed before I can continue with the fencing, I started to remove wheel-barrowful after barrowful of sod. Just as I was getting thoroughly fed up doing this, Clare showed up with Thomas and Isabelle, which provided a welcome diversion to the toil. 
Clare got busy painting the gate, and soon moved onto the compost bin. We're painting the gate not only to protect the wood, but to also make it blend into the existing fence more cleanly.  

The compost bin was painted purely for cosmetic reasons. 

Thomas insisted on helping me out! As I threw the sods into the wheelbarrow, he'd throw small stones he found on the ground into it. He wanted to come with me to where I disposed of them, but as it's a bit of a difficult walk for a kid who's only going on two, he took a ride in the barrow. It was great craic, and Thomas had the time of his life doing it. He was fairly disappointed when it was time to go home for dinner. 

Finally, after Clare had finished painting it, we hoisted the compost bin into its correct place on the allotment. A good days work, all in all. 

The allotment as it looked this evening. 

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