A Lot Can Get Done In Three Months

It has been 3 months since my last post and I am so sorry readers. It has been very busy here with my returning to full time work and trying to catch up with all the back log I left before I left at Christmas.

During the last few months we have been able to get up the allotment and during them visits we have been able to get quite a bit done. The allotment is now looking a lot different from when we first started back at the end of September 2018, there has been big changes and little changes and we will go through them all in the blog post. So be warned this might be a very long post as we don’t want to miss anything out.

When we last post to the blog it was about the fence and it being completed, it was a very big achievement getting that done and we kept the momentum going (even the we didn’t keep up with the blog). The next project we started on was the shed as we previously mentioned was in completely the wrong place on the plot, the first step was getting the new base sorted so it could sit level and secure. Plotting out the new location for the shed made us realise how big the shed is and how lucky we are to have it already on the plot for us to use. We wanted to base to be slightly raised so there was air circulation underneath the shed which will hopefully stop it from rotting so quick, we archived this by using five breeze blocks spread out across the four corners and one in the middle for support. We then placed a black plastic sheet down over the middle block and then pinned the corners down by using paving slabs, hopefully this will keep the mare’s tail at bay but we will have to wait and see if it works. 

Once the base was set and levelled up ready for the shed to be moved, we had to find some willing volunteers to help me move it. It took a few weeks to get everyone at the plot at one time but we finally got everyone there, moving the shed wasn’t an easy feet as it had to be moved across the plot & rotated 180 degrees. To be able to lift & move it we needed to create some kind of handles to be able to lift the shed, to do this we used decking boards which we drilled the smaller side of the shed and everyone took one corner. On the count of three we all lifted and did the shed shuffle across the plot, we put the shed down twice on the way to check everyone is okay and to check which way we was rotating it into place on the base. During the move, one side of the sheds tongue and grove came apart. We knew there would be some slight damage during the relocation as it was a very old shed being moved across the plot to that isn't level at all. We were lucky though as it was only the one side that got damaged during the move, so it was an easy fix with some cladding through my local DIY store. To be completely honest I (Michael) prefer the look of the new clad side as it looks so smooth and clean, The only problem with cladding the whole shed would be the cost and also working out the angles needed for the sides that go all the way up to the point on the roof.

Just after we finished cladding the side of the shed that was damaged the weather forecast for the next few days went really downhill with it due to rain for days. This was very bad news to hear as the wood we had just used to clad the side of the shed wasn't treated in any way at all. This meant if it did rain before I could get something on there, it might ruin all the hard work we had just put in by re-cladding it. So that night after I (Michael) finished work & had my tea, I headed up to the allotment with a paint brush and the colour which we had picked for the shed. I got the side painted and the back of the shed two, a few coats of Cuprinol Silver Copse was all we needed to get it sealed in so the rain wouldn't do any damage to the new wood. The weekend that followed, we headed up to the allotment to get the rest of the shed painted. It was a slow process but we are both so happy that it is all painted up now as it was starting to look a bit depressing with this old tatty tacky green shaded shed sat on the plot looking like there was no life left in it at all.

The next big change on the plot was the water butts and water collection as we have previously mentioned that there is no access to water, unless your live some of the other plot owners who live opposite the plot. We wish we was that lucky to live opposite but the houses along the path next to the plots are way out of our price range, but that is a subject for another blog post. For a quite a while we have been looking into getting IBC's which are 1000L water tanks that can be used for water butts on the allotments. Yes, 1000L does sound like a lot of water but if there is no access to water at all on the plots, we wanted to make sure we could collect as much rain water as fiscally possible. I have been hunting high and low for some Black IBC's at a reasonable price (the reason we want black ones if that it will stop algae from growing inside them due to it blocking out the sunlight), as we previously mention in our previous post about planning the allotment that we could purchase some IBC's from toucan environmental but they were £60 per IBC then there is a £45 delivery charge. This means that it will cost nearly as much as the IBC is to get it to the allotments. So, with a little more hunting around I found a guy not too far from the allotments that sells the black IBC's for £40 each and if we bought four at a time, he would do me a deal at £150 for them all with free delivery. That was a deal I couldn't turn down so we started asking around the plots if anyone else wanted any and Dave at plot 19 came to the rescue as he wanted two which means we could have two for ourselves for only £75. So, we bought the four and had a right pain cleaning them out but that will be for another post in the near future.

There is a lot more planned for the next few weeks and we will be updating you all about it as it happens, but we are both really happy and satisfied with everything we have been able to get done so far. So, keep coming back if you want to see how we get on over the summer.

Michael & Dawn
Location: Chipping Sodbury, Bristol BS37, UK

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