Just when I felt that we were getting on top of our allotment and it could be kept ticking over nicely somebody decided that she wanted to take on a half plot and use it for her flowers. So, on Tuesday morning we got down to the new plot and it was mainly overgrown and with a patch of ground elder against the currant bushes.
First step was to trim off some of the surface grass and weeds in the central section which was not too heavily populated with plant life and then to skim off turf in nice sizes to build a compost bin.
I have built three bins and filled two with green material scraped off the top of the plot. on top of each foot of green material we have added three trugfuls of horse bedding full of urine and sh*t. The horse bedding is sawdust and wood shavings. When the two binfuls have rotted down and are producing less heat the bins will be dug out, emptying the contents of the middle bin into the front bin and the contents of the back bin into the middle bin to re-aerate the composting material and get the heat generation going again. In th eforeground of the picture is an area that has been dug and weed roots removed and baked in the glorious sun we have had the last few days. I have sown field beans into this section as a green manure crop and also a couple of rows of fenugreek so we can use the foliage to make a methi curry.
One section we have put under heavy opaque plastic sheeting until we can get round to dealing with it. To the right of the photo you can see where we have broken straw bales into smaller flaps to cover the groundwe have taken the turf from to build the compost bins. This will act as a good weed supressant and slow the oxidation of any organic matter in the exposed soil.
Here you can see the biggest problem with this plot, ground elder, the Romans have a lot to answer for bringing this menace into Britain. A small pathway was clipped through next to the currant bushes so that the remainder could be sprayed with glyphosate weedkiller. It is just starting to show signs of turning yellow now and wilting. A few more days should see it getting down to the roots and killing them off completely,