Friday, 21 November 2014

Continuing to raise the allotment with trench Hugelkultur (3)

There were a significant number of old pallets on the new allotment.  I toyed with the idea of using them to board around the allotment but they have all deteriorated and most of the wood is being decomposed by fungi.

Pallet wood is not treated with preservative or tanalised so will easily rot away.  I have decided to bury it.  Now, this may surprise you knowing my thoughts about burying wood, however I am going to continue to do this until all the wood is put into the Hugelkultur trenches.

The trench top soil dug out today was sieved with a little chicken manure.  This top soil was mixed with top soil dug out and sieved from the paths.  I had planned to remove one spit deep of subsoil from the bottom of the trench but found the Hugelkultur I did earlier in the year.  All the wood was decomposing well so I decided just to fork over the bottom of the trench, mixing the woody material with the subsoil.

As the Hugelkultur had improved the drainage, there was little water at the bottom of the trench and it was relatively easy to turn the soil over.  More shredded woody material was added as a six inch layer to the bottom of the trench.  Neat comfrey liquid was watered over the shreddings and a thinnish layer of topsoil was pulled over the woody material.  Farmyard manure was then added to the trench and the rest of the topsoil was dragged over the manure with the rake.  

The hole in the path was filled with a blue plastic sheet and lots of stones.  The top of the new path is being capped with sandy clay to smooth it off.  The path really needs some shredded bark to make it more passable but I will have to do this another day.

I am quickly running out of shredded woody material and will have to use the shreddings on the car park at the bottom of the allotment site.  This is no hardship, however it does take more time.

The minimum temperature in the greenhouse was six degrees celsius, while in the hotbed frame it was a balmy ten degrees celsius.  The shredded woody material in the hotbed was 26 degrees celsius six inches below the surface.

As I am going to fill the greenhouse with sweet peas in January, I will have to move all the greenhouse plants into the hot bed frame.  It will be a tight squeeze.  There may be room in the small greenhouse but there is a lot squeezed in there too.  I still have to pot up all the chrysanthemums and store them away so I can take cuttings in the early spring.  Also, there will be twelve apple tree grafts and two plum grafts to find a home for.  I would rather keep them protected until the buds break and they get leaves.

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