Well, I have been thinking about it for a while, and now I have taken the plunge. To add to my 250 square yards I am adding a half plot of 125 square yards. It is the right half of a long plot as you look from the path.
So what are the problems and benefits. We have plenty of spare land since the council raised the rents, and this plot had been neglected. It had been taken by a young couple with a family, who had not the time to deal with it. Now I am fortunate, as my eldest son, in his thirties, is now free to help, and on our first session we split the tasks.He cleared the surface of weeds, while I cut the bushes on the flower bed that were overhanging the area where we are to grow vegetable. Then I began the digging. The soil at places showed signs of not having been dug much, and there were deep rooted weeds, such as dandelion. I got some out with the garden claw, a tool that enables me to twist out deep roots.
But the November soil is heavy with water, and in Greater Manchester we have had double our annual rainfall this year, so the digging was heavy. Today I did not bother to dig, as we have had frost,and it is not considered good to dig frosty ground; moreover, my back is not very good at the moment. I am coping, but the pains are not going away.
What are my plans. As I have not only my own house, but two married sons, each of whom wants and needs vegetables, I am keeping the plot for staples. Growing a large area of potatoes will have the advantage of breaking up the ground and getting the soil into better condition. I am also going to grow onions and marrows. Leeks are a possibility. But the potatoes will be first and second earlies, as these are not susceptible to blight.
Further to the rear, which is overshadowed by large trees, I am probably going to plant fruit bushes and rhubarb, the latter of which has large leaves that can compete for light. The rhubarb will be turned into jam by my daughter-in-law.
One of the big tasks is to get the soil into top condition, and this will be done with plenty of compost. There is an unused compost bin at the rear, whose wood is decaying, so I will need to clear that and then spread the compost. I think that I wil use plenty of pelleted chicken manure, which is great for the ground and easier to use than dubg, which contains much water and is very heavy to shift.
Lots of hard work, yes, but I love it.
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