One of the distinctive features of Hagg House allotments is the number of plots that have been taken over by trees. Many of the plots have long been unusable for this reason, although the council has recently done a lot to cut them down and get the plots back into use. Our plot, thankfully, was relatively clear of trees, but there were plenty of ash stumps limiting which areas can be cultivated.
There was one stump right in the centre of the plot that I dug out, with a great deal of effort, early on. Since then, I’ve been trying not to think about the half-a-dozen or so stumps further up that are going to have to come out too at some point. These are clogging up some prime growing space, sending roots into (and doubtless sucking the goodness out of) what will be this year’s potato and tomato beds.
On Friday, I did some exploratory digging. It took about three hours, but I was able to get lots of roots out, and get underneath the biggest stump to start undermining it.
On Sunday I went back, and after another stint had managed to separate three stumps from the herd and drag them away to be slaughtered (although I needed a neighbour’s help to move the last of them). That should be the hardest of the work done now; with their ringleader gone, I don’t think the rest will put up as much of a fight.
That means that we can now start thinking about what we’d like to use the space for when it’s accessible. Perhaps an asparagus bed? Or some more fruit trees and bushes? Or a greenhouse? Or maybe some chickens?!