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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.

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More Maintenance and Construction Work.

When I first had my allotment I decided not to have a shed unlike most people. It seemed an unnecessary expense as I thought that I could carry all my tools and bits and pieces in the boot of my car. However, my poor little car is getting into quite a state as it is getting more and more abused and is getting quite an identity crisis firmly believing that it is a motorised wheelbarrow! Not only do dirty spades, forks and trowels get thrown in dropping bits of mud and soil everywhere, but so do dirty plant pots and seed trays that have been emptied, old bits of string and dirty plant labels as well as assorted bits of rubbish found on my allotment. So, I am now hoping to have a shed, if I get permission, as we are limited with the number permitted on the site under planning rules. The removal of my two big Josta Berries has given me an area about equal to the size needed, but in the wrong place. However, I have been able to move the compost heap away from the fence where it was and put it in the space that the bushes previously occupied. This has provided the perfect spot for my shed. I have roughly levelled the soil ready for the slabbed base, but it will need firming up. Some sheds on the site have been put a concrete base, but I don’t like the idea, because it will be harder to remove if I ever vacate the plot. However, slabs will move if just laid onto soil, so it is my intention to hammer some of the plentiful rubble on the site into the soil to firm it up before laying the slabs on top to form the base for the shed.

Sheds are supposed to be positioned down the outside edge of the plots and that helps to provide a barrier between the plots and the field and my new shed will do this, but I have another plot that also has a field edge. So, I have also slabbed down the side of this one, between my Tay Berries, and Blackberries that are on the fence, to keep the weeds at bay from the field. Others are making barriers with the field and their plots by doing similar things including placing compost heaps at the end of their plots.

On the subject of troublesome weeds we are going to start and have “Weed inspections,” made by the committee to encourage weeding and maybe even to offer help to those who are struggling to keep their plots tidy. Apparently this is something that many other council run sites around the country regularly do and from reports posted on websites, they can be quite “Draconian,” about them. With the upcoming inspection, many plot holders have set to in earnest with weeding. In an attempt to encourage them we have started to empty the big compost bays so that they have no excuses over what to do with their weeds. The Compost heaps seems to have done a lot better this time after being left alone a bit longer with lots of good soil coming out from them. We now need to persuade people to use it as we will have something like 7 or 8 tons of soil to dispose of when they are all emptied!

Elsewhere on the site the limestone drive entrance has been re-laid and is much better now the limestone has ground down more and is starting to set like natural concrete, rather than being just a layer of loose stones. Other maintenance problems on the site included a leaky tap in the dry spell and plastic water tubs under taps that had to be replaced as they had perished and broken up from the effects of the sun and rough handling. One, or two plot holders have started making use of the petrol strimmer that was bought for the site. It is great as a short term measure on untended plots to keep the weeds from seeding and spreading, although, others favour small tarpaulins being used to cover offending areas. The use of “Systemic,” weedkiller to deal with problem weeds like Dandelions on plots is permitted, but discouraged. On paths however, there is not much alternative as trying to dig them out is difficult and destroys the surface of the path.

 

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