Friday 12th February
Down at Plot 33 we have a lot of ground to clear and this month the weather has been against us. With the ground still frozen there’s little point in trying to dig out the never-ending couch grass. There is a theory call no dig so we thought we might give it a try on a couple of the beds. The theory is that by excluding the light with a mulch, you stop weeds growing, and using composted materials (garden compost, well-rotted manure, leaf mould etc.) placed on top, allow the important micro-organisms and worms to pull the nutrients down to where they are needed. This leaves the undisturbed fungi to help feed plant roots and limits the weeding to the top few inches of soil.
For a fuller explanation try https://charlesdowding.co.uk/start-here/
Having acquired a large quantity of cardboard we thought, “what’s the worst that could happen”, and set about laying down the cardboard weighing it down with bits and pieces from the plot. We don’t have any compost at the moment so the card will just have to do. Slowing down (fingers crossed) any regrowth of the weeds we have cut down while we get our plot sorted.
Another theory we have decided to try, is that of creating a ‘hot bed’ in the greenhouse. Rather than the melons and pineapples of the grand Victorian estates our humble hotbed will hopefully keep any seedlings nice and warm in the coming months. The ‘Hot bed’ will then be ready to be moved outside to grow pumpkins or courgettes in. We made our hotbed using a slatted frame, we found behind the shed, and one of the giant cardboard boxes we had acquired. We filled it with the free horse muck (no longer steaming and a little frozen on top).
For a fuller explanation try https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/faqs/hot-beds-early-sowing-vegetables
Greening Stoke is a project run in partnership between Festival Stoke and Letting in the Light. We are based in Stoke-on-Trent.
We are starting this adventure in January 2021 in the middle of a national Lockdown. Until things change and begin to open up we are abiding by all the Covid-19 Government guidance and for the foreseeable future only Rachel and Anne will be working, in a socially distanced way, to prepare and maintain Plot 33 for when we can invite the community to work with us.
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