Some people take on cultivated allotments and within days are sowing their seed. Some people take on overgrown allotments and spend a few weeks renovating before sowing their seed. Only an idiot takes on a field. Did someone call?
This is the new allotment site. It’s a private site, so there’s no big help from the Council. It’s a bunch of like-minded people with no money turning a field into 26 allotment plots. It’s what it is – an exciting opportunity. Around the edges of the plots there are plans for a community orchard and maybe a vineyard. It’s not what I expected when I was told I could have an allotment plot, but in a way its a hell of a lot better.
There’s no one to do anything for anyone. We’ve got a field, and that’s the extent of it. We’ll have to fund and fit deer fencing, run water pipes, mark the plots out, basically do everything ourselves. There also seems to be a collective interest in brewing and wine making too, which is worrying, in a good way. I’ve never had an allotment, but I’ve a feeling that even by allotment standards this project is coming in a bit off-centre!
Now, I accept that I’m a bloody idiot, but at times my idiocy is tempered by a basic understanding of what I’m trying to achieve. This time it’s not so clear. This time I am at a loss, I am perplexed, I am stretched to a point that an idiot should never be stretched to … by sod!
How in the name of Barry Gibb do I deal with this? Where do I even start? I googled ‘sod’, and my eyes bled for a few hours.
Now, as I see it, I have five options.
OPTION 1: I can remove the sod, dig over the ground and get planting. I can either remove the sod by hand or use a turf cutter. Then all the turf can be piled up, wrapped in black plastic, and left for a year to turn to loam. It will be hard work, and I’ll lose a few inches of topsoil.
OPTION 2: I can dig down, turn the sod so the grass is under the soil, and then spend the rest of the year battling with the grass that resurfaces. It’s hard work, and could be a continual pain in the arse.
OPTION 3: I can wait until no one is looking and then soak the entire area with glyphosate, wait a few weeks then dig it over. It’s easier work, I keep my topsoil, but it will be saturated with herbicide.
OPTION 4: I can cover the area with newspaper and a layer of topsoil and let the grass die off underneath. It’ll be easier work, but I’ll need a whole bunch of topsoil, and there’s no vehicular access to the site so I’ll be forever barrowing the stuff in, plus it could be detrimental to anything that grows more than a few inches deep.
OPTION 5: Someone (that’s you lot) has a better idea!
Come on then, share the wisdom you gardening folks!