Category Archives: construction

Pops, the Poly and the plank

“Is the allotment open, go down there a minute.”

Pops had a brain wave. I didn’t ask for one, but he had had one.

The poly tunnel needs a pathway inside. Pops has constructed one. Three planks of wood, and joined together with stakes forming what pops described as ‘horns’.

First he wanted to level the inside.

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Then he put the plank down, making sure that the horns were bedded down so that they could be covered with dirt.

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And he made sure it was nice and level. All very snug. I’m under instructions to make sure that add dirt to the edges and way it down.

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Project Othello: #7 Raising Poly

The box came, the anticipation rose. The instructions and guidance were printed off.

Today was D-day.The day scheduled for the raising of the poly. It would be done today, that was the mission. Mama and H started fairly early. Half a lie in, and down to the plot with the box. All the bits were taken out. Mama went to great pains-after the arch debacle-to count out each of the components. That we had enough, the right ones. Make sure.

 

And off we went. Carefully constructing the one side, painstakingly making sure that we had the right strut. There was waggling of nuts and bolts. I didn’t think I needed a spanner, so I didn’t bring one. We brought one back later, to tighten things up. It was very straight forwards screwing things together.

Of course, my trenches were wonky. Those that I had measured out and dug last week oh so diligently. The area inside was a bit big still, so with Ma holding the two sides I had to dig around half the poly area to make it sit properly. I never, make things easy for myself.

Mama and I constructed the frame. Then time came to anchor it. I had an anchoring kit, with some long pegs that had come with it. These were twisted into the ground. I was mid wallop with the mallet when pops turned up as much welcomed help. This was after all, something of a Dad job. Mallet was surrendered to Pops, promptly going around and whacking the pegs in. I have in addition to this, staked the corners and also used tent pegs. Not necessary, by in the manufacturers instructions; more for my own piece of mind.

Next phase was to put the cover on. In the first instance, we got it inside out. So taking off, started again. Slid it over the frame quite nicely and neatly after the sticking on of anti hot spot tape. I don’t want the skin burning! Fits very snugly, very closely. As mentioned before, we had wonky trenches. These now corrected, allowed the poly to sit fairly flush. The frame has a skirt, so the dirt from the trenches was now shovelled back onto this. Allowing the poly to have additional anchoring and support.

The inside, as you will noticed is still grassy. This was on a return visit, dug over by the parents. Pops is threatening to dig it over again, before we put a path down the middle and horse shoe the area.

 

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Room enough for a view

In taking up the other of the plot, we have gone from 89sq metres, to the grand sum of 200 sq metres. I borrowed Dad’s measuring tape so that I could arrive at that figure. Allowing me to further take stock of what was where.

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There are a lot of builders bags at the back, I know. All to be used, filled with waste and autumnal leaves. The Wendy house is there, as are the raised beds, daleks and water buts. In addition, there is the top end. Sukh shanti garden at the bottom is separated from project Othello by the arch.

A bit of hard prep today, for project Othello. I hate digging, and generally avoid it.

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Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Project othello:#5 Arch-nemesis

One is not talking about slimers or slugs. But this:

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Had seen one in wilkos, and thought it might be nice as a gateway to Project Othello. This really was a two person job. Ma and I had to fight to out it together. The holes were wonky. The instructions unclear. However, Ma and I laboured on, and managed to get it raised.

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Asked a lovely plot neighbour-he in the background-to help sink the legs. I concede that it’s probably not very robust. In fact I need to fix some of the rungs that are loose. But it might serve its function. All being well, red and yellow roses will climb up it. And perhaps will line the side if it too.

Project Othello is now levelled entirely. It as neat as it will be, at this time of the year. The area marked out will dug, for the possible, hypothetical poly.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

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Project Othello: #3 oh four-tonner

oh fortuna

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Find your mamas, and give her a hug. I did.

In the week and a half that she has been off, Mama H had managed to generate four builders bags of dried, dying, decimated grass. I have contributed, before you get ask! I have been given the duty of shovelling the grass in to the bags.

The playing field is slowly being levelled. Mama H is a woman on a mission. Thanks to the rain, much of it can be hoiked up to reveal the dirt.

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The plastic does actually look quite nice. As nice as plastic can look, it has the look of potential about it. The grass has been chopped down, and then covered with cardboard or newspaper in places. At the moment, half of the plot is cleared, with not a lot left.

Just behind the builders bag are the the devil’s own brambles. As lovely as raspberries are there are some along the side anyway. Trapped behind the bags, the brambles can be kept away.
Till I decide, that is, whether I am cutting them down or cultivating them. Those bags can also be filled with leaf mold over the autumn winter, so nothing here is being wasted. The plan is to clear up to the bags.

The adventure, is only just beginning.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Project Othello: #1 Origins

I might be getting towards the tail end of my summer holidays, but Mama H is officially starting hers. So that gives her plenty of time and impetus to give me  a hand. Project Othello, concerns the top end of the allotment plot. The existing half, the sukh shaanti garden is 88 square metres. So I Imagine, that the rest of the plot is of  similar size. I have yet to go down there with Dad’s measuring tape. When I have figured out what I want to do, I shall definitely size things up. I am banned from putting raised beds there-by my mother-so the odds are that this bit, will be more manual labour orientated. Influenced, heavily, I think, by Ma’s own GYO experiences as a child.

This patch has been fallow now for approximately a year. Previous owners had cleared it, and Rotavatored it. But sadly, through no fault of their own, were unable to attend to it.  We musn’t begrudge them that, they did genuinely have a go. Unlike the neighbouring plot, where you will see the tiger tigers lurking. That is another issue. It makes very cross. That as someone has paid their rent, they cannot be asked to vacate. Anyway, that is my soapbox. Except when that plot seeds weeds all over mine. Have seen the owner all of four times in my two years there.

Anyway, Project Othello. Why the Shakespearean name? It looks awful on the top, but beneath there is something that has a lot of potential. Case of Othello taking on Iago and winning. We like Othello, for all the nastiness he encounters and overcomes. I now have visions of a nasty Christopher Ecclestone…moving on, though.

There has been a lot of debate, wrestling with what to do. Do I weedkill, pull up, cover? Two years ago, I had to just pull up the grass and weeds. The plot had been dressed with weedkiller. I didn’t have that luxury this time. Weedkiller, also needs dry days to work. Which, despite the current state of Blighty summer, is calling take a chance on things. For the moment, Mama has made short work of pulling up grass and chopping down. The best part of which, is being put into builders bags to compost down. Though, it could also be chopped down and covered with the tarp. Essentially, that is what is happening. That which can  be pulled, is being pulled. There are lots and lots of brambles along the border and also by the back where the fence is. Not sure whether these will be chopped, killed, or cultivated. Might even keep the odd invader out. The cardboard and newspaper should help block out the light, and facilitate things being broken down into the soil. We are doing our best, to stop seeds getting everywhere. Not an easy task, I tell you.

Those two cats you see, I don’t know who they belong to; but they often come and skulk around the plot. We startle each other, as they exit the grass. But today, these two just sat there having a chat with each other.

A third sorted, and more to come.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Feeling a bit brassica

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Looking ahead to the winter, today some winter brassicas were planted out. Ma got very excited yesterday when they arrived, and they have to be planted out ASAP. I had a vague idea where to plant them and how. In the one bed, that hasn’t done very well or very much. Also this area, has in past flooded quite a bit too. Of course, many will tell you about having to net them. Well, these are part netted, part fleeced. I do have veggie mesh on the other cabbages.
Stupidly, have left gaps in those and so flutterbies have got in. As well as that, slugs! I swear they are psychic. Only just planted things, collared them, added pellets. Whoosh. Big fat thing was there as though it had ESP. Was promptly lobbed. It was not pleasant.

Anyway, the cabbages, caulis and broccoli have been sunk. As to whether they last, well that’s another thing.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit.