Long plot clearance in effect

Today after a bit of a soggy start I managed to clear half of the long plot against the wall. Now that my main plot is all covered up, nice and neat ready for stopping any weeds throughout the year, I have time to do the clearance of the other areas.

Before

The picture shows what it used to look like against the wall a couple of weeks ago. Plenty of weeds near the wall and a bit of a mess. And now the next photo is what it looks like after I have cleared half of the long plot.

After

I dug it over, removed a lot of the weeds from under the surface and on top, and then I moved the blue sheeting onto the other half and dug over the cleared area. It looks a lot better.

According to the new rules of the allotment association which have come into effect this year: there needs to be some work completed on your plot, with the intention of growing things before the end of February. I’m probably a week ahead of the game because although I’m not intending to grow anything this year (shhh! don’t say anything!) I do intend to take the soil back and use it for the borders on my real plot. I don’t want the rulebook to be thrown at me before I have done that little job.

Something for the tip…

So, I filled a wheelbarrow full of old wood that was lying around on the long plot, and then that went to the tip. Also as I was digging over the plot I picked up quite a bit of weeds couch grass. This went into a bag and also went to the tip on the way home. As things have turned out I have managed quite a bit today! All of this was done in about two hours of work.

Allotment clearing in the rain

It’s just after dawn on Saturday, February 22, 2020. A weekend after storm Dennis which caused local flooding of the surrounding fields and roads. This weekend is raining, after a week of on/off in-between showers passing across the country. Finally I find myself some time to get to the allotment. So far in the soggy and muddy allotment plot, I’m hiding in the garden shed because of an increased downpour. That’s where I am up to this morning.

A bit of a soggy view from inside the shed

But, this is by far the most fun I’ve had in a while! Clearing the muddy plot of weeds in the rain, with nobody around apart from the squirrels and the birds in the trees.

The effect of storm Dennis!

Today is Sunday 16th of February. It’s been quite bad rain as storm Dennis has made itself known across the county. Rain has been pretty much non-stop for the past couple of days and the high winds have caused the usual damage. Unlike storm C, this storm D was mostly rain in this part of the UK.

Last night was quite windy outside. The main part of storm Dennis was with us and it had kept me awake for most of the night. A lot of high wind speeds causing whistling outside the windows and creaking in the house as it moved the building slightly. Also, the rain was heavy! And it was continuing in the morning as well when everybody got up.

I decided to make a quick visit to the allotment. My aim there was just to check out any storm damage from last nights high winds that may have moved the black sheeting. Getting there was going to be a problem because the roads are prone to get flooded. I had to find my way round through a different route just in case.

Fields on the left, road on the right, then more fields after the fence … usually

In the distance as I entered the main gate I could see that the water level of the river had flooded the fields at the back ground. The wharf bridge was mostly under water. Flooding like this has happened quite a few times in the past, I remember, and this was quite bad. The road leading across the wharf was submerged and the fields on either side looked like permanent lakes, instead of the fields that they actually are. Cars were still driving through the flood waters even though they risked destroying their engines.

I walked down to the bridge and took some photos. While I was there approximately 10 cars decided to risk it and drive through the floodwaters across the bridge. All of them made it, although a few of them looks like they might be letting water in through the doors and also it seemed to me like the water might be getting into their exhaust pipes as well. None of them stopped however and all of them drove up the hill. So I guess they were lucky that time.

Allotment before storm ‘D’

I was hoping that I could make it to the plot this afternoon. Today is Friday, the 14th of February 2020.

Planning for the allotment visit started early this week and I had purposefully built up several hours during the first few days so I could leave early and catch the weather before it turned bad again. But today there was extra to do and I was unable to leave on time. I was only able to make a very quick check before the weather turned: just 5 minutes to look over the plot before storm Dennis. That storm is forecast to arrive later tomorrow and this will be the second storm in as many weeks for the allotment. I wanted to ensure everything was still tied down from last week. It was! 🙂

So it was just a little bit of straightening needed. Pulling the black sheeting straighter and positioning a few of the bricks so it was better prepared for high winds forecast over the coming days. I’ll just need to keep an eye on the sheeting over the next week in case it moves slightly, as usual.

Minor storm Ciara damage?

Just before sunset today, Sunday the 9th of February 2020, I made a special trip (very briefly) down to the allotment. The high winds and rain from today’s storm were still with us. But, there was very minimal impact on the allotment itself.

As you can see from the photo.

Black sheeting moved slightly with the Ciara storm high winds

Hardly any movement in the black sheeting despite the severe winds and we have had high wind gusts since midnight Saturday. There was some slight movement in the sheeting but that was all. Something I could easily fix with five minutes of moving the bricks back into their original positions and minor straightening of the black covering sheets.

Some other allotment holders haven’t been as fortunate though! I noticed that lots of plastic has been flying around the walled garden. Some of it has ended up on my long plot against the wall.

Plastic netting, plastic bags, some plastic sheeting. Also, a large compost bin made out of plastic. Just like the one I took from my plot yesterday. This one had obviously been rolling around the walled garden and had ended up against the wall on my side of the allotment area. I don’t know who it belonged to so I left it where it was in the hope it wasn’t going to go any further now the winds were calming down.

The running around before the storm

A storm is about to hit the UK. It’s a fairly large one, with wind speeds predicted to be gale force. The storm is predicted to hit sometime on Saturday evening. With that in mind it is a good idea for me to visit the allotment and make sure that everything is securely fastened down.

Today though, it’s all completely calm with bright blue sky and not a cloud anywhere to be seen.

On the list of things that I imagine will be blown around the allotment plots are, black sheeting covering the main plot and the empty plastic compost bin which I recently moved against the wall.

This means buying some more bricks to weight down the black sheeting covering the main plot. Also I need to pick up the compost bin. The big black compost bin that will surely be blown over the far side of the allotments if I don’t bring it home.

Full cover up for the first time

Tonight I left work early and made it to the allotment before sunset. I made it with 1 hour to spare! So there was plenty of time to do a little digging before it went dark.

Full cover up

With a little bit of digging and clearing completed I was able to finally move the compost bin onto my adjacent plot and start the main cover up. I converted the whole plot with black sheeting. For the very first time! This marks the first time I’ve ever had the whole plot clear since taking it on.

Way back on the 7th March 2015. Nearly 5 years ago. My previous diary shows what it used to look like. A lot of work has gone into clearing this plot piece by piece. It has been a slow process but deliberately so.

https://smallallotmentdiary.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/first-day/

So, I was pleased to finish that job and now I am ready to clear the other adjacent area and start transferring soil back onto the main plot. Also I can now start the biggest job: the final border.

That job will take the remainder of the year I think. I will not grow anything this year, instead I will spend my time fixing the borders of this main plot and clearing the secondary plot near the wall so I can hand that one back to the Allotment Association.