Allotment Adventures - First Steps, Just Keep Digging

It feels like an age since I last updated you on the exploits here at Teapot Towers. Our next kitchen funs will be the first steps with sourdough bread and as soon as I make peace with my attempts (vague though they are) at healthier eating I want to pop down on this digital paper the next step in jazzing up the base cake I posted a while back. Something which might help me with that though is out latest addition, a little allotment space that is in need of a lot of digging.

Summer in the hills can be a bit of a lofty claim, I'm looking out through chilly drizzle as I type, but the ground is still plenty hard and packed with stones. The idea of turning this into something useable is a little daunting so we are breaking things up into 5msq. beds. This way we can complete a section and potentially pop some seeds in too, though it's late in the year, some fast yielding veg like radish and beets will just about squeeze in a crop and we prefer the idea of experimenting over watching empty land.

We have been extremely lucky, making new friends in the area who put us onto a local land owner called Becca. Amongst her 40 odd acres is a small field that there is no practical purpose for and rather than letting the space go to waste she lets folk grow on plots in exchange for the odd bit of produce during a glut. Plenty of work to be done before we'll get one of those mind you, mostly with those guys stuck in the ground to the left.

So how do you go about prepping something like this? The ground around any seeds or young plants needs breaking up to allow little roots a chance to work their way through. There are of course further steps to put some nutrients into the ground, digging in manure for example but with the warm months ticking away we are just eager to get the ground dug with the hope of popping some seeds in. The traditional way of doing this is in trenches, digging a spade deep trench at one end of the section you want to dig, then moving along in one direction, filling that with the soil from your next trench, breaking it up as you move it to it's new spot, filling the final trench with the soil from your first. Working in this way means you are never standing on the ground you have painstakingly dug and undoing all your hard work.

We popped in an extra step to clear as many of the big rock and stone obstructions as we could. Namely, Sam getting real muddy, working through the ground as I turned it over with a fork, as we shuffled along I could loop back and trench dig post stone removal.

So you've gotten the elbow grease flowing and have a bit of a plant bed ready, what next? Well, in our case, rabbit protection, which will be our next allotment tale. For this little square at least.....all around it, it's more digging!!


Are you out in the garden? Have a home growing experience to share? Tell us your tales, drop a comment below, come chat on the twitters or use the #myteapotmoment on instagram to show us your pictures.