My blog entry of Jan 29th “Sleeping Beauty’s forest needs a trim” showed Dave’s allotment and the huge infestation of brambles that needed to be cleared.
Well, after a few weekends, phase one is finished. The most useful tool by far was the sickle, swung with gay abandon and yet neither of us managed to cut off the feet of the other.
Allotment "after" image
Of course, nothing comes for free and the brambles did their best to get their own back – we are both covered with scratches, but we’ve got phase one finished, now just the roots to deal with.
He’s going for digging them up, perhaps I am just impatient, but I think I’d recommend rotovating the whole area and deal with the new growths as they come up.
Still, there’s more to do as he has a second area that he has taken on next month – still it will be great to watch and record his progress, and help out occasionally.
In my view, gardening shouldn’t be a solo activity (though I am married to a Summer gardener, but that’s by the by), and any large jobs are always easier to do together. So when Dave got himself an allotment that hadn’t been touched for years, it was time to offer a hand.
Well, the photo doesn’t do it justice (and was taken after work started), but it appears that he has got himself Sleeping Beauty’s forest, actually the whole area is covered in brambles (blackberries) up to over 2M in height and so we need to start by cutting all of that down, burning the wood, digging up the roots before starting to plant.
So, I came along with my long-handled sickle and we thrashed at the bottom of the brambles and after a whole day yesterday for him and half a day for each of us today, I guess we are half-way through. The sickle was certainly the tool for the job, though we also used long-handled secateurs, rakes to dump it on the fire and, of course, thick gloves and hats to make sure the brambles didn’t get the own back too much.
Dave has much more work to do, but it will be a great challenge and we’ll all look forward to eating the produce, especially the blackberries which will be particularly sweet.
Is Sleeping Beauty in here somewhere?