Oh yes – another 20 tonne delivery of compost (green waste)!
Is is more interesting to hear regular updates on a big project or see the finished result in one blog feast? Let me know. This time I have been so busy getting these beds ready it’s going to be an all in one update !
We thought we would take advantage of the frosty weather to get a delivery across the field – doesn’t make a bit a difference to a 32 tonne load of course I soon realised. The driver tentatively drove over the bridge into the field and got up the old cobble track as far as we had cleared the sods but it’s still 200-300 barrowloads to shovel! We are back to the original plan to form no dig beds directly on the old pasture, along the lines of Charles Dowding method. The thicker the mulch the quicker you can get planting so we are going for 4inch high raised beds with cardboard layer over the paths to save on compost and barrowing, then covering everything with membrane for extra protection. We will see how quickly it all dies off underneath to see if we plant through the membrane or take it off when we plant out transplants in May. 6inches would have been ideal but we would have had to get another delivery of compost this spring – that was 300 barrows too far for our stamina!
Bed one was getting the method started and then by bed 4 we had an efficient system for marking out the beds and shovelling. Two adults takes 2-3 hours per bed approx – it is not worth counting in barrows. Add in child labour and it’s quicker but much more fraught! Just 2 more to go for spring and then we have enough to get on with. We should have enough compost to do 2inches over another 3-6 bed area which we will cover and let sit until Aug/Sept and hope will be ready for biennials, if not I will be asking a driver to risk the bridge again…
All helped along by this great shovel from Niwaki (not the original purpose for buying it but it is ideal – light and broad).
Six beds done and covered..
And just to remind you what a flower garden should look like – bring on summer!