Digging a long trench at Norfolk Park

On Wednesday I was back volunteering at Norfolk Park Community Gardens along with nearly a dozen other garden-minded folks. Nick had asked us to tackle the forest border:


At the front were the overwintered dead stems of St John’s Wort, Lunaria and others; towards the back there was a large pile of unleveled earth, which brambles and chickweed have colonized with glee despite a Mypex covering:


To the left and behind the dead stems were, allegedly, some hidden rhubarb:


It was my task to clear the stems and overgrowth, to get some light and air into the rhubarb crowns; at the same time, we all needed to level the earth, and cultivate it into a long hump with trenches either side, for planting squashes into.

Here’s the finished result with the trench:


An amazing effort from everyone involved, and I was glad to get dragged away from the rhubarb to do it! The ground sloped down from the earth hump so that, as we levelled it off, I propped up the earth half way down with a couple of bits of wood. We then only levelled as far as that, to make a bit of rudimentary terracing and stop all the earth escaping down the slope and away from the camera.

Elsewhere, here was my progress with the rhubarb:


All of last year’s annuals were cleared away, and if you look closely, you might see the stems dotted either side of what’s now a relatively clear path. Next week I’ll hopefully expand the cleared area to the left, and reveal yet more historically planted crops. But look again at that trench!

Norfolk Park Community Gardens is open to new volunteers every Wednesday, 10:30–16:00. Note that listings elsewhere saying Thursday are incorrect!


One comment

  1. Julieanne · April 24, 2016

    corrr, nice trench


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