I spent Monday afternoon at the allotment re-doing and changing work we had previously completed. We do try and get things right the first time round, but plans have a habit of going awry. I guess this is because we are still getting to know the site and all its idiosyncrasies, and because this is unfamiliar territory.
In my last blog post I mentioned the new leaf mould container I had proudly made. It took ages as the wire was so springy and untamable. In the end I had to mould it around a bin.
But I discovered as soon as I started filling it that it was far too small to hold even a fraction of the leaves that will rain down on us from the neighbouring plot. So, with a hammer, some sticks and a staple gun, I set about re-taming the wayward chicken wire and moulded it into a new shape. I am not entirely sure how it looked from the other plots as I was cursing the wire and threatening it with a hammer, but our new neighbours arrived, laughed nervously, and swiftly retreated.
I think it matches the rickety style of our fence. Rob is yet to see it and I am worried he may sustain an injury from laughing.
My other task was to rabbit proof one of the pallet compost bays Rob built during our first weeks on the plot. A few months ago we met the guy who previously owned the plot and he returned the original gate he had taken when he left. Rob had already made our new gate by then, but we kept the old one, moving it around the plot from time to time when it got in the way. I recently discovered it is the same width as the compost bay on the right and figured bay and gate combined might discourage rabbits from burrowing into the compost. You would think turning the bay into a bin would be a simple task since everything needed was basically at hand. Well…
Back in March we decided to use the bay on the left to store the turves we removed when digging the beds and path, but we later discovered the rabbits liked this corner and used the pile as a springboard into the neighbouring plots. So last month I dug out the remains of the turves and put them in sacks – until I ran out of sacks. The rest of the soil I flung into the right-hand bay, out of the way.
On Monday afternoon, after I had remade the leaf mould bin, I had to dig out as much of the soil from the compost bay as I could and put it back into the neighbouring bay just so I could get the gate close enough to secure it with wire.
Voila! Our new compost bin:
I was desperate to put the bin into use after all that, so I trimmed the surviving Jerusalem artichokes and put the tops in. I fully expect to find the bin full of rabbits upon my return.