So, the plot was ready to have the raised beds put in. After buying the timber (treated 6x2) I got it delivered to work were the lads cut it to the right sizes for me and took it down to the allotment - thanks guys - again!! (I think by this point, they had enough of coming to the allotment and helping me!)
When I looking and deciding what wood to get I first thought I would get some scaffolding planks and use them and the advice I got was that these would be far cheaper than treated timber from a timber yard. Honestly, after looking and budgeting it worked out about £15 - £20 cheaper than treated timber and the timber lasts longer than scaffolding planks. I think back in the day maybe scaffolding planks were a lot cheaper but with more and more people turning to grow your own and wanting raised beds in the garden, scaffolding yards seem to have put their prices up. I rang one company to enquire if they had any planks for sale and he said "if I had a pound for every phone call I got asking me this, I'd be rich". So treated timber it was.
It was easier to get some treated 3x3 cut to about 8 inches long and screw the 6x2 into that rather than trying to screw the 6x2 together and it made them a bit sturdier.
The ground underneath the beds could probably have benefited from rotavating, but not only did I not want to end up catching the draining pipe underneath, more importantly, I genuinely could not be bothered. The only problem was that the beds didn't sit flat on the ground. And so began building up the bottoms of the beds, so that the soil etc... wont come out of the bottom. I lined the beds with some really good quality weed control fabric I then ordered the top soil and because it was delivered that day I didnt have chance to put manure in the first two but the 4 after that, Ive put in about 1/3 coverage with manure, then the top soil will go in.
I got a tonne of top soil delivered straight to the allotment. Now I'm totally useless when it comes to volume and measurements, I always have been and I'm not sure at what point when I was ordering a tonne of top soil that a, I could move it all myself and b, that it would only be a couple of wheelbarrows worth of soil!! When I pulled up at the allotment with my wheelbarrow in the back of the car (the wheelbarrow i borrowed from work because the wheel on mine has buckled and will only do for light jobs) I could have cried! I have never seen so much soil, we're not talking a couple of barrows full - I lost count at 45 barrows full, and it filled the first two beds.
Despite every muscle aching in my body...I could FINALLY plant something!!! Waaahooooo, so with my walking stick (the muscular pain was that bad!) I went veg plant shopping! Looking back now i probably don't need 12 brussel sprout plants, because we don't eat brussel sprouts unless its Christmas...but we have them anyway. We also have about 8 cauliflowers, a tonne of peas and onions from that shopping trip! Minor problem - whilst I was planting the veg - the chickens were eating it!! So I've had net all the plants so the chickens cant get them.
The babies moved down to the allotment in May, their first night there I ended up down on the plot at 10:50pm terrified that something had eaten them. As it happened poppy hen (the white one) wasn't in the hen house, so i put her in, but because there wasnt a lockable door on it im not sure how long she stayed in there. The next day I was down there making adjustments to the old house so they could be shut in at night, which meant going down there every morning to let them out. They got the idea though after a couple of days and took themselves off to bed.
Miss Bootsy planting pumpkins for halloween:
Miss Bootsy and Mum planting up Boo's raised bed, with runner beans, more pumpkins, strawberries and some flowers
And I think we're now in June 2013!! Hooray!!