Saturday 12 December 2020

Raspberry Bed Infrastructure V

A visit on a Saturday rather than a Sunday as I have another six raspberry canes on their way and it's raining tomorrow according to the weather forecast. The road is back open, no diversion today and the entrance to the allotment is done. They could have put a transition row of stones of kerbs in line with the gate and really have made it look good,  but its a whole lot better than it was and we are off the road now and don't get in anyone's way if they want to get in or our of the new estate

Here was the state of play at around 8:00am when I arrived on the plot the Ketta store and the surrounding dross was removed and stacked in a more orderly fashion on the other side of the path. The decaying woodchip were shovelled off the weed membrane and the area for the 4th raspberry bed was exposed. 

As with the 3rd bed I marked lines at 600mm off the bed already installed for the side of the bed frame and then 700mm off that one for the outside edge of the other side of the bed frame. I created a shear plain along those line using a fork and moving it backwards and forwards and from side to side.

I then set about digging and weeding the bed area going a little wider and into the path, but as I knew that I can just about get one of these installed before 1pm I didn't do the whole path width and will come back and dig and weed that once the bed is in place. 

The Kikka Digga adds a levered foot-plate to your existing fork or spade to act as the fulcrum, whereas traditional digging makes your lower back take the strain.

By placing your foot on the Kikka Digga foot-plate, you simply pull back on the tool handle to lift the load without the need for bending. I can vouch that you save time and your back with this product, Its a joy to use and so much better than just a fork. For more information about this bolt on tool read my review using this link or visit the 
Kicker Digga website for more information.  

With the bed turned and weeded I shoveled the soil into the middle of the bed ready for fitting the bed frame in place.

That' the mares tail and couch grass removed from the 2.4m x 0.6m bed and a little of the path to one side  

A broken paving slab was placed at each end of the bed with an edge 600mm off the frame already installed. The U shaped timbers of a 2.5m Joist with two 600mm joist one each end was placed on the slabs and then a 2.5m joist was brought over and drilled and screwed into place making the frame. It would have been too heavy and awkward for me to handle pre built. 

With time getting the better of me the frame was lowered into place and roughly leveled. It needs to be moved a little more into line on the path and leveled a little before it ready to accept the raspberries, but it's more or less done. 

View from the plot entrance the bed needs moving towards the path a little and it and the one behind need levelling a little better next visit. Cheeky the Gnome is at his tricks again and Ben is not happy about it. 

Nearly clearing to the main path has effectively split the remaining area to be dealt with into two and made them look less daunting. I still have the debris in the corner to sort out before I can get the remaining kerb edgings in and clear that area ready for three beds for the coming Rhubarb that is due in May. 

A quick mop up of all the tools, the drill was taken back to the car and then it was time to lock the gates behind me and make my way home for lunch. 

You can better see in this photo how they could have made a better job by straightening out the kerb edging. I have no idea if the areas with side will be grassed or planted up, but the width of the hard standing for cars coming in or going out is ample such that we will always have pavement to walk on when arriving or leaving.  

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