The Wild Patch Group

The Wild patch diary volume 1

We have been given the use of a raised bed, shed and greenhouse at a community allotment at the Red Machine Allotments, just off Ettrick Grove. The allotment has a pond at the far end that has become overgrown, with the soil always wet due to the lack of drainage. We are looking for interested members of the public with a passion for conservation to help us control this habitat, helping it to flourish as a wildlife area

There are several raised beds on the allotment currently being used by different community groups, all sharing the facilities of a locked shed and a greenhouse. The bed that we have been allocated has been partially cleared, and further work will be needed to get it ready for planting. We have agreed to link with the 21st Century Herbal Project and are keeping them updated with our progress too with several of our members attending their workshops.

The year started for us in March with clearing the over wintering weeds from the bed, eased by having been covered over winter. There was work involved in putting in support posts along the bed, so that we can fan train our donated gooseberry bush, which now has fruits developing. We learnt to plant chitted potatoes, climbing beans and raspberries, and we managed to find some space for 3 pots of herbs. Where there are concerned about uncontrolled spread, or a need to move plants around, we have recycled some handless buckets! There are various vegetables growing in the plot, planted from seed - both in the greenhouse in pots and directly in the bed where the radishes are now sprouting. We keep a record of what is happening around the site and Mike and Ann are making sure everything is kept nicely watered. Work has been done in clearing the path of weeds and grass, but as you can imagine, that is a slow job, well worth the effort. We will be successional sowing seeds to grow salad and vegetables to make the most of having the raised bed. Now that the weather is better, group members are checking in reguarly to water the seedlings and weed the bed ... no not just once a month!

Christa - Wearside U3A