After the excitement of taking possession of the new plot, the reality of the task quickly took over. We could see there was plenty to do, but it wasn’t something to worry about, more motivation to get started than anything else.

The first big task was to cut back the tall grasses as close to ground level as possible. For that it was visit to the site tool shed to sign out ‘strimmer number 4’, one of the petrol units available to members to borrow. This is a really useful service that costs a very modest amount per year to use, well done to the site committee!

Now we can see what we have

With the grass and weeds cut down we could see the lay of the land and that there were some natural level changes that would dictate any design. That was fine by us and we decided not to fight the way the ground naturally falls.

Protecting a small fruit Bush

‘Project Cardboard’ needed to go into full swing too, because this will be a ‘no dig’ plot and a substantial layer of card is necessary to block out the light to the underlying weeds and to be covered by suitable mulches that will add to the weed barrier and also feed the soil below.

Bark chippings, decorative and functional
Compost over card in this 2m square bed

It was fun going around various commercial outlets and explaining that we wanted to grow vegetables with thier waste cardboard. Everybody was really helpful and the card collection soon built up. We may even take some produce back to them at harvest time to say thanks – call it cardboard karma 🙂

That’s rather a lot of manure

Cardboard down it was mulch time, with compost, bark chipping or house manure; guess which one of us did the multiple wheelbarrows of manure? Hard graft, but worth it in the end and that large bed should be an ideal home for pumpkin, marrow, squash and rhubarb.

Dreaming of the pumpkin harvest

More of the same required across the rest of the plot, but we are very pleased with the results from the first four days of hard effort.

Happy, if a bit tired

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