Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Probably Not The Best Idea...

Despite a heavy frost, I was determined to do a bit more at the Hill today - although when I got there & realised it really was icy going, I abandoned the idea of installing the next bed & decided to move the first of the red & blackcurrant bushes into its new location instead.

On reflection I really should have turned round & gone home again as soon as I realised just how frozen the ground is (the first strike of the spade threw up ice shards, one of which caught me on the cheek), but I had my green wax jacket & woolly hat on, & a flask of coffee, so I ploughed on anyway.

Julie (2nd best plot) & husband Phil had also braved the cold & came down to say 'happy New Year'. Phil said "I see you're changing the bed layout - it looks different." So I explained the shortened beds & new fruit beds.

"I'm moving the currant bushes from the edge of the plot into this new bed - would you do that or take cuttings and start again?" I asked Julie - who has some wonderful redcurrant bushes on her plot.

She looked at the frozen ground, "I'd give it a go moving them, I think - if you can! I've just been harvesting some parsnips from the tyre towers - I had to lift off a solid layer of soil before I could get to them!"

Working the spade all the way round the currant bush to loosen it certainly kept me warm, as did a strategic pause for coffee from the flask. A great deal of huffing & puffing & heaving got it into its new home, although it was not so easy bedding the roots it - the earth didn't take well to being dug and even though I heeled it in, I think that there are quite likely to be air pockets around the roots.

I took a bag of strawy horse manure from the pile by the manure skip (just the same size pile, incidentally, as before I emptied the bags into the skip a few days ago) & tucked it in all the way round the bush, & hopefully it will be OK.

On that less than satisfactory note, I dug a few JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES & a SWEDE (virtue) & came home to warm up.


  1. The compost I brought in a couple of days ago came indoors as frozen lumps! It thawed overnight in the kitchen and got sown with onions and a few chillies though.

    I'm sure your fruit bush roots will settle ok when the thaw comes. Might be worth another trample of the boots!

  2. My family and friends have been keeping me up to date with pictures of their gardens covered in snow etc ..... Very picturesque but horrendous for me and my aversion to cold :O)

    I think my fellow noter above is right in giving the bushes an extra trample come the thaw .... but they are hardy things :O)


  3. The compost bag outside is now not just frozen, but also has with a good coat of snow, Flum - glad I sowed a few onion seed in modules at the end of last month now.

    Makes you wonder how folk live in really cold places, doesn't it Dinzie?

    I think that the poor ol' currant bush is just sitting in not much more than a frozen hollow with a straw horse manure blanket - good job it is hardy - will give it better treatment when the ground defrosts a bit!


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