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  • Rebecca Armstrong

Filling raised beds at the community garden

Our main task for our monthly garden work day was to fill our raised beds – next time we hope to paint our pallet fence

Our most recent work day in the garden was all about the raised beds. We got these from Forest Recycling Project, made from reclaimed wood. We’ve had them for a few weeks but lacked the requisite materials to fill them.

We needed top soil, some compost and wood chip. After several callouts on Facebook, we finally managed to find 12 big bin bags of top soil for free. We procured some compost at a very good price from Organiclea and several bags of wood chip were donated.

With everything at the site, it was time to finally fill those beds. But first we had to decide where to place them. It’s not like we would be able to move them once we’d filled them. We wanted somewhere that would get plenty of sun as well as rain, and that would also be visible from the road but not close enough that they might be susceptible to litterbugs.

Placement decided, we carried them over and flattened out the ground a bit, removing a lot of grass and what I know as stickyweed; its scientific name is Galium aparine. The plot is verdant with these plants right now. It all ended up in our compost heap so won’t go to waste.

Lugging around 40kg bags of compost and soil wasn’t for the fainthearted, but we managed, lining the bottom of both beds with cardboard and wood chip first and then pouring on a mix of the soil and compost. Another layer of cardboard weighted down with rocks will hopefully keep the weeds to a minimum.

Weeding it out

Elsewhere more volunteers were hard at work weeding the bulb beds we dug and planted earlier this year. We’ve had a wonderful crop of narcissi, crocuses and some blue bells – all free from the council – but they’re slowly being choked by sycamore seedlings. We’ve got a lovely established sycamore tree but it’s been very productive with seeds and we don’t want to end up with a forest.

We had hoped to paint the pallet fence – we’ve got some gorgeous bright paints from Forest Recycling Project. But we ran out of time. So that’s a job for our next gardening day, which takes place on 11 May. We also want to start digging some beds ready for planting.

Gardeners and would-be gardeners are always wanted and welcome – this is a community garden, after all – so if you’re around and want to get involved, please do come along.

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