Week One

Today I finished my first full week on the plot. I got the “Thank you for your signed Tenancy Agreement, you can start work on your new plot!” email on Tuesday 25 January and my first day on the plot was the Wednesday 26 January. There is a lot of work to do and although it is relatively easy work, due to health issues I was only going to manage a couple of hours of slow work at a time. This will improve as my health improves.

The first task I wanted to achieve was to clear the space at the side of the shed so that I could create a composting area. Then to start on clearing the Brambles away from the trellised area so I could actually see what was there!

Composting Area

Armed with secateurs and shears I quickly realised that the majority of the overgrown undergrowth was just dead ferns and could be cleared by a rack. It didn’t take much raking to clear a large amount of the dead ferns. However, there were some brambles that had managed to find their way into compost. These removed with the secateurs.

The old framework that separated the compost area into three main units had rotted quite badly, so this was removed as much as possible. In order to fully remove the old timberwork and brambles, it is going to be necessary to move the compost to temporary location then rebuild with pallets. Job for next week, hopefully.

Blackberry Bramble Trellis

From what I could ascertain, there were 3 or 4 blackberry plants which would have been trellised along the wires between the uprights. Unfortunately, this area has not been tended for at least a couple of years and the blackberry brambles have started to spread and become unruly.

With the aid of secateurs, the blackberry bushes were gradually cut back to just above ground level. Once this was complete it was clear to see that runners had established themselves all over the place and these would have to be removed completely by digging the roots up. This will be tackled over the next few weeks.

Seeing the Wood for the Trees

Already I am starting to see a clearer picture of the plot and what is left to do. It is still going to be a few weeks before I can start creating beds, so what next?

I need to continue burning the rubbish that has been generated and fortunately, the previous tenant left an incinerator bin which has already been pressed into action and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

By Tuesday I will have a pair of loppers and then can start to clear away the very overgrown Raspberry bushes that sit in the centre of the plot. The aim here is to remove and destroy the Raspberries as I already have 6 new bare root plants ready to be planted. So I think this will be the major job for the next visit on Wednesday.

I have to keep reminding myself that this was taken on as a retirement project and I do not retire until October. I have plenty of time to get the plot how I want it and I doubt whether a great deal will be grown here this year. I could get beds for potatoes and brassicas readied by April. I can still continue growing in tubs at home until then.

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