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  • : frank beswick
  • : The blog of Frank Beswick. It deals with my interests in religious, philosophical spiritual matters and horticulture/self-reliance
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September 19 2017 3 19 /09 /September /2017 12:29

The first point to make is that I am not going to over-work. A day or two ago the allotment  chairman approached me to say that the man who shared the now neglected left side of my plot, a lovely man and an expert gardener, but plagued by cancer, had given up his plot. I am deeply saddened by the departure of this wise and well-balanced man whose friendship has meant so much me, but time moves on. The chair asked whether I wanted to take over the full plot, as my doing so made sense. But on discussing with Maureen she made it clear that she did not want me doing too much, so I will decline. 

But what to do? I have decided that the soil on my new plot is badly neglected, so I am creating a container garden. I have bought in three raised beds, six by four feet,  fourteen inches deep, and begun putting them together. Knowing that I would be doing the job alone I decided to hold their frames together by nails, so that when I screw the sides together the job will be easier. But that raised another problem, my drill runs on mains power. We do have mains electricity at the allotment, but it is some distance away from my plot. So I have\ had to get a new drill. Fortune struck! I won fifteen pounds worth of gift cards for  the local d.i.y superstore, so the drill cost only forty five pounds. The salesman was honest enough to tell me that it was not powerful enough for masonry, but I want it for the garden, and that means wood. Thinking back, lacking such a drill has meant that I have been under-tooled as a gardener, for some purposes at least, though on the whole I am well-tooled. 

The next problem is going to involve timing. I would like to paint the beds, but this is now Autumn [Fall] and the weather is rainy. So I must await the right time, but as they already have preservative my table and benches take priority, when it is dry. But in North West England in Autumn, when will that be?

The new raised beds will not cover the whole front half of the new plot, so I am going to move some tyre planters and other raised beds from the old plot to the second one. This is part of an ongoing process of redesign which must take place in all gardens, for no garden stands still.  

But then I have the area round the lovely damson tree in the middle to sort out. This will mean clearing grass  and digging and replanting rhubarb crowns. This is a heavy job and I am going to have to seek some help from Andrew, but there is time yet. Clearing the area at the rear is the final job. But that will involve some heavy lifting and digging. Fortunately, my predecessors left two disused compost heaps. Their contents can be used to fill in the raised beds. But I am having to purchase  some compost to fill them. I will mix compost and pelleted manure, as I find it an ideal mx, the compost giving bulk and the pelleted chicken manure giving high strength nourishment. 

I find the pellets preferable, as redesign at the allotment has meant that the area where manure caan be left is limited and the rules require that it be shifted within forty eight hours, which is not always posssible in our Autumn weather.  


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Derdriu Marriner 09/20/2017 15:57

Do you grow only edibles -- many of which are ornamental, such as damson -- or also ornamentals -- some of which are edible, such as some lily petals? What is "mains electricity"?

frankbeswick 09/20/2017 17:52

Every plot holder has to have a flower bed, but other than this, I grow mainly edibles.Damson is grown as an edible. This emphasis on edibles is part of my commitment to self-reliance.

Mains electricity is the British term for electrical power that is carried by the national grid, the county's electrical power system and is accessed by plugging in to the power lines through sockets in buildings. I did manage to use the allotment's access to the mains today when the battery on my drill ran out of power. I used mains power to power up my battery.