From hacking down and digging out to putting in. At last!

Today was the day that our plot finally began to look like it’s being cultivated. A few cloves of garlic and a couple of rhubarb crowns aside, everything we’ve done so far has pretty much been hacking things down and digging things out. Today, at last, was all about putting things in.

Last Thursday I took delivery of 3 fruit trees, 20 raspberry canes, and 30 cold-stored strawberry runners. The trees and the raspberry canes all needed planting within 48 hours of delivery to prevent the roots drying out, so Saturday was our deadline to get them in.

In preparation, we’ve been desperately digging over the ground that they’ll go into, extracting ever-larger piles of roots from perennial weeds and nearby trees. This seems to be an endless task: even areas that we thought we’d dug over already turned out to be root-infested when we went back to them. I realise that roots will grow back given time, but not that quickly, surely! Today, digging time was up; whatever the state of the soil we had to get the plants in.

The three trees (a cherry, a plum, and a greengage) went in at the top of the plot, with two 4.5m rows of raspberries beside them. The strawberries have a 16m2 bed further down.

I’ll post more on how they’re arranged and why over the next couple of days. For now I’ll just say how pleasing it is to know that next time we visit the plot, it’ll be something more than 200m2 of bare earth. I just hope at least some of what we’ve planted takes…

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