Allotment Vegetable Growing in December 2003
View to Compost and Leafmould Bins
By December 2003, I had had the plot for a year. It was all cleared and the compost bins constructed from pallets were filled. The council deliver wood chippings to the site, which make good paths and leaves swept from the streets.
To the left of the bins was the leafmould cage. The leaves contain quite a bit of grit, which is actually good for the clay soil even if there is a lot of litter to sort out from the leaves as I stack.
To the left you can see the cage of chicken wire (about a 6 foot cube) filled with the leaves and plastic bags filled with leaves holding down them down.
The wheelbarrow was kept there as I had no shed at the time - tools were concealed behind the heaps.
In the foreground you can see the thick coating of leaves spread over the dug soil. The idea being that the worms will draw the mulch of leaves down into the soil.
View 'up' the plot from the compost bins.
You can see the fleece holding down leaves in the middle. The wind really whips up over the site and I didn't want to spend days moving leaves only to see them blow away!
Although December is a cold month with short days, it was very satisfying just carting pile after pile of leaves.
The theory on the leaves didn't really work. Come the spring, the leaf mulched soil was wet and solid whereas the uncovered frosted soil was far easier to get a fine tilth from.
View from the top towards the compost heaps.
On the left is the water tap. I'm lucky with this plot having the tap on hand. The blue water barrel was given to me and knocked around for a while waiting for me to find a use for it.
I covered about 8 feet down from the top of the plot in wood chippings to provide a base of operations. That translates as somewhere to dump bits of wood etc that are sure to be useful.
Allotments are great places to recycle. You name it and we'll find some use for it.
Another shot from the top of the allotment
You can see the old duvet cover weighted down by plastic milk containers filled with water holding down yet more leaves.
When the spring came the excess leaves were gathered up and placed on the leafmould heap, which had sunk to about half way up, so making lots of space for them. It's surprising how a great pile of leaves can shrink down to about a sixth of the original stack height.