October is the month I’ve picked to have the plot ‘complete’ for 2 reasons – firstly, because it will allow me to do some autumn planting (garlic, onions etc), and secondly because the weather leading up to that is generally favourable. The end of October into November is typically when things start to be more wet than dry, and the cold creeps in.
This gives me 5 months to get everything done, which I think should be more than achievable – and with any luck, I’ll be well ahead of schedule. I’ve broken down the tasks as follows;
June: Dig over & remove debris from the remainder of the plot. I’m allowing a full month for this because I want to get it done as well as I possibly can. Although I’ll be using raised beds, I still want the ground below them to be as good as possible (which means the beds won’t need to be as high as they otherwise would for things like root vegetables etc). Although I’ve only dug over around 8sqm so far, I’ve already removed around 5 barrow loads of debris – glass, bricks, tiles, cigarette lighters – you name it, it’s probably somewhere in the ground on this plot! Some of this debris has been quite sizeable too, which takes time to remove. I also want to ensure I get as many perennial weeds out as well – especially the roots. Finally, I’ll get the soil into a fine tilth and get the plot as level as possible, which will make aligning everything far easier in the months to follow.
July: I’ll mark out the layout in string, and add timber edging for the main path, shed/greenhouse and plot border. Path, Greenhouse/Shed bases to be laid (‘MOT’ and Sand – brick pavers to be placed at some point for the main path). Compost bins to be modified & positioned (I will cover that in a future post).
August: Construct Greenhouse / Shed and Cold frames. I’ll share more details about my plans for this in a separate post soon
September: Construct and Position all the raised beds, then fill with soil and compost. More details on how I’m going to put these together in a future post.
October: Finishing touches – then some planting!
I’ve now settled on a layout I’m happy with – one that maximises the growing space, but also provides some balance between ‘work’ and relaxation. I’ll share details of that plan in the coming days.
Founder and Editor, ForkMojo. Organic Allotmenteer, Husband, Father & Programmer.