This weekend we managed to get down the allotment (having been called out on ambulances or it being so wet n’ windy I’d have needed to peg myself down from being washed or blown away…) and got my project underway. Our last experiment was to break down some pallets and build our beds out of pallet wood. It’s a bad idea and I don’t intend to repeat it. The problem is wood is so expensive! Managed to buy some untreated softwood from the local timber yard with a fairly big discount on top (thanks to one of the guys being a local I drink with down the pub – £45 for 8x11ft ). After treating it with some lovely waterbased blue treatment (I can’t afford to leave it to rot in as permiculture probably wants me to…) I banged it in, layered the bottom first with ‘rooster’ (chicken poo) and then with cardboard (leaving a 6″ overlap under the box). One box I covered in a single layer of cardboard, the other a double. I managed to scrounge a ton of rotted manure which I laid and watered liberally. Unfortunately I can’t find any straw at present – I’ll be looking this weekend for a couple of bales!
All good so far – two boxes approx gives me 60ft2 or (5.574m2) and I intend to build another two next weekend if I get the chance. The boxes only took about an hour to collect, paint and nail.
My next job is to plant potatos down the side of the plot that I want to break up the soil. Hopefully they’ll do the job so I don’t have to dig! I’m also going to shore up the sides of my compost heap – there’s a fair bit of topsoil dug by the previous guy that is nice, loose and broken down. I dug some remaining manure into it and will use it in a mini raised bed for herbs and spices.
Pictures to come…