Week 56 – Waterbutts

The main news this week is I have waterbutts behind my shed! To be completely honest with you I only have one that’s actually in it’s permanent position – the other 2 are just there waiting for paving slabs etc. but the area behind the shed is clear enough to move them into place which I am really happy about.

I’ve been to the plot a few times this week. I spent Monday lunchtime burying all the rubble I’d dug up from behind the shed and fruit trees. I already had 27 bags of rubble waiting to be collected by the ‘rubbish man’ and didn’t feel I could add any more to the pile so I dug some holes behind the shed, threw the rubble into them and covered them over. I won’t be growing anything behind the shed so it doesn’t matter what the soil’s like and I hope the rubble will act as a solid base for the water butts. Fortunately I finished burying the rubble before quite a heavy downpour had me sheltering in the shed. That was all I was able to do on Monday as the rain didn’t let up for the rest of the afternoon.

The weather had improved enough later in the afternoon for me to take my 2 helpers to the local areodrome for a drink at the cafe and to, hopefully see some light aircraft taking off and landing. Unfortunately, it was too windy or any of the planes to be up but we enjoyed our snacks.  On our way home we popped into a local garden centre. As Helper no 2 does so much work on the plot and is always so enthusiastic I felt it was only fair to let him have a say in what we grow. So we had a good look at all the seeds trying to choose which ones we wanted (after we’d taken a good look at all the books and CDs – why do garden centres sell books and CDs?) Louis chose spring onions and sweet peppers – hoping to build on last year’s success, no doubt. Helper no 2 chose lettuce and pumpkins. They’ve all been added to the pile of seed packets already in the shed (why do we gardeners insist on buying so many seeds?) and my 2 helpers can assist me in planting them next week.

On Tuesday morning I received a message from Dan telling me the Rubbish Man was available to take the rubble sacks and could I meet him at the allotment in an hour. I could and did! He took all 27 bags of rubble – no fuss, no problem, just gone. I hope this will be the last time I have to use him as I have now dug over the whole plot (apart from the path) so I shouldn’t be digging up any more rubbish. Hopefully just a couple more trips to the tip to remove the wood, shower doors and a few other bits and that should be the last of the rubbish and I can concentrate on the all important planting and (hopefully!) growing. So pleased to see all those blue sacks gone!

On Friday morning, after I’d taken Louis to college I headed to the local garden centre. I was after a plain paving slab to sit one of the waterbutts on. The local garden centre only had decorative ones, lovely but completely pointless as a flippin great waterbutt is going to be put on top of it so it won’t be seen. So, instead I drove over to the local DIY superstore and found exactly what I wanted. I’d already messaged Michelle and she was at the allotment when I arrived with the solitary, not at all decorative paving slab.  I carried it round to the back of the shed and placed it in position. I had to build up some of the soil under it to make it flat and completely stable – Michelle, very helpfully had a spirit level in her shed which came in very useful. After a bit of jiggling I had the slab in the correct position, flat and not at all wobbly with the water butt positioned on top. I also brought round the other 2 waterbutts and put them in place to make sure they would all fit – they did.

Gino came down for a chat and pointed a possible flaw in my plan. The roof of the shed slopes to the sides not the back so, any rain coming off the roof will end up in the guttering on the sides of the shed which currently feed the water butts at the front of the shed. I hadn’t thought of this. I think it will be as simple as dropping the current guttering a small amount so it slopes towards the rear of the shed and feeds into the guttering  which will run along the back of the shed and into the new waterbutts. Simple!  (I hope) I may well need some help to do all this.

What I didn’t need help with (see what I did there?) was chopping up the pile of wood on my plot. I have lots of pieces of wood – fence posts, decking boards etc on my plot which Michelle and I couldn’t take to the tip because they were too long to fit in my car. You may remember I bought myself a small saw. On Friday I used said saw for the first time and I still have all my fingers! This is not quite as silly as it sounds as both my dad and my brother have lost digits after accidents with sharp blades.  It was surprisingly easy to use and I was pleased with how quickly I was able to saw each piece in to a more manageable size. After about half an hour of sawing I was left with quite a hefty (but shorter) pile of wood which will need to be taken to the tip at some point.

The green manure looks like it’s tall enough to be dug into the soil. Once I’ve done that, the potatoes (still chitting on my kitchen windowsill) can go in.

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The onions are coming along nicely but no prizes for guessing which one ISN’T the onion! It looks like it’s going to be fairly easy to see where Louis planted the Aliums!

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Rhubi has started to look healthier again. A few new shoots and some lovely looking green leaves.

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Here’s how I left the plot this week. I’m really happy with how the space behind the shed looks. The plan for next week is weeding as many of the beds as possible and the path if we have time, and planting the potatoes. If I can get another waterbutt in position that would be great but we’ll have to see how we go.

2 thoughts on “Week 56 – Waterbutts

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