Sunday, February 25, 2007

Warming the soil

It’s nearly spring, so we thought we’d try to get ahead of nature by warming the soil.

Dan and Amy’s top tips for soil warming:

(1) If you garden on clay, like us, the soil stays cold for ages.
(2) Clear plastic warms the soil faster than black plastic.
(3) It’s warm enough to start sowing once weeds start to grow.
(4) You can look up the temperature a particular seed needs to germinate, but the unpredictability of the British climate makes this meaningless. Decide if the soil needs to be cool, warm, or hot.
(5) There’s a useful weather forecast which tells you the soil temperature for your area.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

We cause climate change

After we’d cut the trees down, we ended up with a huge number of twigs and small branches littering the allotment. What is the responsible thing to do in our uncertain age?

(1) Leave them to decay naturally. This will keep the greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere for longer, potentially protecting people who live on very flat land next to the sea. The wood will eventually turn in carbon dioxide, but not quite so soon.

(2) Burn them, creating an artificial spike in global temperatures, thus making world leaders panic and start building wind farms.

Friday, February 02, 2007

We become Archaeologists

We’re digging over the new allotment at the moment, and we have unearthed an ancient landfill site.

The soil is filled with chunks of metal, margarine tubs from the 1980s, and a large sheet of plastic which has disintegrated into very small fragments.

This is a nuisance, and we probably won’t be able to get rid of every single piece. The soil is very sticky and full of couch grass, bramble and bindweed roots, so it’s fairly tough going. But we’re grateful we’re not in East London, where they’re digging up radioactive waste.