Thursday 14th June 2012 – Raised beds! (and digging…) and planting!!

Well, the digging is almost over… this is one of the last beds to get a good dig before planting from some of the members of the project…

Here we are taking the couch grass and the weeds out, knocking the soil off and putting them in bags ready to be composted over the summer. Any big chunks of grass are simply turned over in the space they came from to kill the green part, and expose the roots to the dry air and the sun to kill them.

Measure twice… cut once


Its taken a long time to get going, but today we moved forth, and all leant a hand in building, moving, digging, and finally filling the new raised beds on the allotment…

Each one contains around 20 bags of topsoil, moved by hand and van from Queens Road Peckham to our allotment…

Preparing the raised beds

And after a fine combing for stones, a good composting, and a good raking ready for planting…

Finally! We have reached the point of planting some of the seeds which have been loitering around in their propagation trays for weeks… some of the group had to go home early, others were able to plant their pea’s, broad beans and marrows out in their shared raised beds.

It was good to eventually plant some of the plants outside, they were as relieved as us I think…

Thursday 7th June 2012 – Digging, digging… TOPSOIL!

Well, like the title say’s, today involved a lot of digging… loads actually, but in good humour and with a smile…

We are getting there…

We also had a help from a couple of friends who helped us to shift almost 70 bags of topsoil from the gate to our plot in preparation for the raised beds: thanks Gemma! – and also Ed who helped me with bags from the van.

We are marking our boundaries and tidying up the edges of the site to make it more of a defined area, so we know where the paths are, and where other peoples allotments start and end also.

May put other people off their lunches but not us! This find under a bag of topsoil was made by one of the guys on the project;

Visiting slug…

Our efforts were beaten back by the rain, but a quick picture before we left the site;

It’s taken a long time to get to this point, with a lot of effort from everyone involved but the site is ready for a good sowing and planting in a couple of weeks, and will benefit from the rain that chased us from the allotment early and into Steves Cafe…

Thursday 31st May 2012 – Seedlings, potatoes, more clearing

Less sun than last week, but just as warm.

The morning consisted of checking out the seedlings again, which are getting ready to be planted out in a couple of weeks…

Seedlings, getting ever bigger…

Then clearing more of the plot. I’s almost done now, as everyone (especially the clearer’s) will be happy to know…

After the clearing, we dug some trenches for some potatoes we brought, it was very difficult to dig the soil as it was hard clay.

Trenches with compost at the base

Using an old tool to measure the distance between the potatoes

Planting the spuds!

Then finally, covering the planted potatoes…

And that was it! The soil is very heavy with clay, so we will not be guaranteed potatoes this year, but fingers crossed we’ll get a few…

The potato variety we planted – Wilja

We then took a break and observed the allotment before heading home.

Thursday 24th May 2012 – Seedlings, raised bed making, sun and a frog…

Again, late update, but here it is!

The morning was spent checking out our lovely new trays of… seedlings! The seeds took their time but are now growing up to become seedlings, the heat of the sun and the glass roof on the shed have helped their progress…

Some seedlings…

…some more…
and some more!      

Then, onto work! Some cleared the inside of the raised beds…

Raised beds getting in place…

Others turned the grass in chunks, on top of itself as to stop the green top part getting to the sun, and exposing the roots to dry in the sun, killing the plant and turning it to good compost!

Digging under the roots…
…and turned upside down into the hole.

We then had turns knocking nails into the raised beds to make them solid…

Oh! and a couple of us (including a very helpful visiting member of Rathbone) fixed the felt to the second half of the shed roof…

Measuring the length of felt to be cut…

…fixing it up with roofing nails.  

And finally, in other happenings, we had a visit from a frog – as seen here;

Lost frog

We returned him onto a plot with a pond where hopefully he’ll be happier than out in the sun on our plot…

And then time for home. Lots to do next week…

Thursday 17th May 2012 – Seeds, sun, sheds, strawberries, and mud

Hi! Been a while – been away and neglected to update the blog last week – apologies…

So! Down the allotment this week we all undertook some manual labour after navigating up the hill through some sticky mud – not ideal conditions, so we started by planting the remainder of our seeds…

Seed trays almost completed…

After lunch (and spotting this little fella here…)

Unknown caterpillar – maybe a moth or a butterfly…

We continued the biggest part of the project – clearing and digging the site…

Everyone getting stuck in…

We also transplanted some strawberries which were in the way of the clearance and needed to be moved to the strawberry patch…

 
Transplanting the strawberries

After a hard days grafting, we were all happy to get going home.

Oh, and the shed now has a glass roof giving the seeds a bit more heat!

New shed roof!