Weekly Update – new big beds, pea and bean frames, and a wind break


I’m still waiting for the stump grinder and as a result ‘project polytunnel’ is stalled for another week.

I’ve taken the opportunity to disassemble two raised beds and associated mesh frames that I bought from my back garden. I’ve always hated them. They’re the wrong size and the design of the mesh frames was too unwieldy. The hinged hoop design that I’ve used on the allotment is vastly superior.

I’ve replaced the old beds with two MUCH bigger standard sized ones and I’m using the old wood to make a new flower border.

Finally I’ve put up two new pea frames, one of them has a wind break for the early planting. I’ve also put up new guy lines to support the frames against summer gales – which can be very bad here – we normally have quite a few collapsed bean frames each summer on the site.

If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and my middle daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot.

On Jennie’s plot, for example, we focus on potatoes, squash, alliums, and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do an update of the allotments, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.

Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self-sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.

My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.

I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease.

I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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