AllotmentPlotopia Progress – Week 12

A week of drilling!

Now that the timber is here, things are starting to take shape on the plot a bit more rapidly. As ever, and as to be expected at this time of year, the weather has largely dictated how much progress is made.  That and the fact my 10-year-old drill doesn’t seem to hold as much charge as it used to.

However, notwithstanding that, progress has been made.  I’ve begun attaching the stakes to the timber, and ‘roughly’ putting them in place.  In an effort to reduce the amount of timber needed, the plot ‘border’ also serves as one end to each of the beds.  Likewise, the same is true of the border each side of the drainage ditch/pond.  This approach not only reduces the amount of timber needed but also increases the overall strength of what is there.  The downside is that so much is connected, that a simply misplaced stake can affect the entire layout.

It’s for exactly that reason that, at this stage, everything is being just ‘roughly’ placed.

During this rough laying out, it has become apparent that the sides to the plot are not straight lines.  Both the sides and one end are slightly off.  The other end isn’t an issue because it’s ‘open’ and I can, therefore, ensure it’s perfectly straight myself.  The other end leads to another plot, where the plotholder has installed (using concrete) a small fence.  I’ll shoulder some blame for this issue as I only measured from single points.  Had I measured from different positions, it would have become apparent that there was an issue.

The difference isn’t huge – 10cm at most on each side.  However, as I’ve planned and mapped everything out literally to the centimetre, it obviously has an impact.

Solution to the Problem

While I haven’t yet finished laying out every piece, my current solution is to slightly reduce the size of the pond and drainage ditch (or, at least the soil borders either side of the ditch).  The short end of the plot may have to forego hedging, but that isn’t a huge issue.  I can alter that side by installing some trellises and climbers instead.

Aside from that little mishap, based on what I’ve laid out so far I’m happy that I’ve chosen the right layout.  The ends where I have the polytunnel and a ‘spare’ area appear to be somewhat larger than I expected.  This increases the likelihood that I’ll place a second tunnel at some stage, and possibly add poultry to the plot too.

As of today, I’ve now screwed the stakes into all 24 main beds and attached the ends to half of them.  The border edge for one half of the plot is also in place.  The beds themselves, however, are not yet connected to that.  Both the shed and greenhouse base frames are assembled and in place too.  Over the coming days, I’ll assemble and loosely place the remaining beds and install the remaining border.

Thereafter, it will be a case of fitting the beds themselves and screwing everything together.  The stakes need to go just over a foot into the ground, and although they are pointed, it will take a little force.  I’m tempted to get a tough bulb planter to see if this speeds things up.

Ideally, I’ve like to get all this done before Christmas – but as ever, it will very much depend on the number of dry days we get.

Lee Bailey

Founder and Editor, ForkMojo. Organic Allotmenteer, Husband, Father & Programmer.

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