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Getting Back Out

Well the Christmas holiday wasn’t quite what we hoped. Both of us were struck down by rotten colds as were quite a few others from what I can gather. It doesn’t really make you keen on getting on with jobs.

The weather has taken a change for the better now, sunshine and a hard blue winter sky some days but cold. Even wrapped up warm in many layers, it’s not the best when you’re just getting over a cold. Luckily there’s not a lot to do that’s urgent outside – although in a few weeks they will be.

Working on the War!

Manure Barrow

Manuring Your Plot in 1945

I’ve been getting some work done over the last couple of weeks. Mainly to do with my researches into the Dig for Victory campaign.

It’s a funny old business, writing. On my best day ever I managed to write 3,000 words but on a bad day I’ve been known to spend a day on just a couple of hundred words.

There’s a phrase in the September Dig for Victory guide that uses the term “O.S.” – it took me nearly a day to confirm that “O.S.” stands for Operational Surplus thanks to a couple of my older online pals.

Like the squirrel, the gardener who has done his job well can indulge in a satisfied smile in September, when he surveys the fruits of his labours and decides on those “O.S.” fruits and vegetables that will represent his household at the church or chapel harvest festival, tokens of his appreciation of the world-old partnership between Providence and man.

Outside Jobs

I have got some jobs done outside. The area in front of the compost heaps and the path to them in the walled vegetable garden has been covered in some layers of thick cardboard and then a deep layer of wood chippings. One of those jobs that only takes a couple of hours but keeps getting put to the back of the queue.

I lost a pane of glass in the greenhouse door during storm Eleanor. Replacing it was a two minute job if you don’t count the hour driving to and from the glass merchant. Clearing up the broken glass, however, took near two hours. Toughened glass breaks into hundreds of small pieces when it goes and they’re the devil to clear. In the end I got the workshop vacuum out to it. I still keep finding bits even now.

Shed Maintenance

Solar Shed

Floor painted with Cuprinol – it’s not looked so tidy since I got the shed!

One job I’ve been meaning to do for the last two years was to give the big shed a coat of Cuprinol preservative. Well, being as it was dry it was a good day to do that job. Regular maintenance is well worth it with sheds. Once rot sets in, it’s a far bigger job to sort.

That took the best part of a day and the next was spent giving the solar potting shed a coat of Cuprinol as well. Unlike the big shed, the solar shed had never been treated by me. It’s made of wood that has been treated with a Scandinavian system called Thermowood and guaranteed for 10 years although it does benefit from a coat of preservative (See Swallow Potting Shed Arrives)

I also took the opportunity to empty everything off the floor and the benching under the windows. Most of it went into the greenhouse, which now looks like a disaster zone.Then the windows got a good clean and both that benching and the floor got a good coat of Cuprinol. I didn’t do all the walls but did go about 8 in. up from the floor. The bit where the floor and walls join is one of the weak spots where rot starts in any shed.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Getting Back Out
  1. g evans says:

    Just a thought about the glass on your green house breaking, during the Blitz the windows were crossed with tape to stop them smashing, I wonder if it would help on your glass.

    • John Harrison says:

      I think the problem was the frame twisting and putting pressure on the corner – toughened glass is vulnerable to damage at the edges and corner.
      The taping on windows was to reduce splinters rather than prevent breakage. A lot of injuries and damage was caused by glass. There were warnings about uncovered foods that seemed OK but contained slivers of glass been dangerous following bomb damage.

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